Calendar help for private events

Discussions about the Calendar Tool at lds.org. Questions about the calendar on the classic site should be posted in the LUWS forum.
eblood66
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Calendar help for private events

Postby eblood66 » Thu Oct 25, 2012 8:21 am

We recently had a scheduling conflict because our building scheduler has been scheduling private events using reservations. I talked to the stake leadership and they were under the impression that reservations were how the developers intended building schedulers to schedule private events (I think partly because they are called building schedulers and that's the only thing they can create--but that's another topic that's been discussed multiple times elsewhere).

I was searching for both calendar help and discussion threads that would bolster my position that this needs to stop and that private events need to be scheduled on a calendar (probably a private stake calendar where the building scheduler is an editor).

I found several useful discussion threads easily enough but when I looked at the calendar help it was less clear than I'd like. The information on reservations is pretty good and it is pretty clear that they should not be used to actually schedule resources. But there are two bits that explicitly mention private events (both on the Scheduling Events page):

If you're not a calendar editor but still need to publish an event, contact the appropriate calendar editor with the request. If your event doesn't fit on any specific calendar (such as a funeral or wedding), contact your ward clerk or building scheduler with the request. The event can be added to a general ward calendar. See Submit Requests to Building Schedulers to Schedule Events for more information.
Later it says:

If you're not a calendar editor but need to schedule a ward or stake building (such as for a funeral or wedding), contact the building scheduler to schedule the building. To contact the building scheduler, in the sidebar of the calendar, click the arrow next to the location and select Contact Building Scheduler.


By default, building schedulers aren't set up as calendar editors on any calendar. It would be advantageous for calendar administrators to add the building scheduler to a general calendar as an editor so the building scheduler can schedule events rather than simply create reservations.
These suggestions are primarily directed towards johnsonth but obviously others are welcome to comment as well.

First of all, there is an inconsistency between the two statements. The first says to go to a ward administrator or to a building scheduler whereas the second just says to contact the building scheduler. It would be good if they were in sync.

Second, since it tells people to contact the building scheduler for private events, I think it needs more direction on what a building scheduler should do when contacted about private events and how the calendar needs to be configured to support this.

Specifically, I think it should be very explicit that these events should not be placed as reservations. Second, it should be more firm that building schedulers need to be added to as a calendar editor and it should provide more guidance on what calendar could be used (general stake calendar, public stake calendar specifically for these events, private stake calendar for these events, public ward calendar in the ward of the building scheduler or private ward calendar in the ward of the building scheduler) and the pros and cons of each. Or alternatively you could just pick one of these to recommend and reference one of the discussion threads if someone wants alternatives.

I think this is a subject that does easily create confusion with the new system so the more concrete the help is on this subject, the better in my mind.

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Biggles
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Postby Biggles » Thu Oct 25, 2012 8:41 am

In our ward, anyone who wishes to reserve the building for any wedding, funeral or private function is pointed towards the Exec Secretary. He then liaises with the Bishop for his agreement before entering the event on the calendar. A calendar that has been specifically set up for that purpose.

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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Thu Oct 25, 2012 8:51 am

eblood66 wrote:Second, since it tells people to contact the building scheduler for private events, I think it needs more direction on what a building scheduler should do when contacted about private events and how the calendar needs to be configured to support this.


Thanks for pointing this out. I agree that it is confusing.

In our stake I'm working to convince people that private events can and should be scheduled in the ward; there's no need to contact anyone from the stake or the building scheduler. We have a designated "Calendar Coordinator" in each ward who would be the person to contact. This similar to the way Biggles said his stake operates, with the ward executive secretary filling this role.

It's difficult to get that message across because of tradition and the way the calendar currently points people to the building scheduler. But as has been pointed out, the building scheduler can't even create events unless he's also been given calendar editor permissions. So the way that role was set up implies that the building scheduler really shouldn't be doing any event scheduling at all.
Questions that can benefit the larger community should be asked in a public forum, not a private message.

eblood66
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Postby eblood66 » Thu Oct 25, 2012 9:48 am

aebrown wrote:In our stake I'm working to convince people that private events can and should be scheduled in the ward; there's no need to contact anyone from the stake or the building scheduler. We have a designated "Calendar Coordinator" in each ward who would be the person to contact. This similar to the way Biggles said his stake operates, with the ward executive secretary filling this role.

It's difficult to get that message across because of tradition and the way the calendar currently points people to the building scheduler. But as has been pointed out, the building scheduler can't even create events unless he's also been given calendar editor permissions. So the way that role was set up implies that the building scheduler really shouldn't be doing any event scheduling at all.


Personally, I like that method of handling it. But as long as the calendar help points people to the building scheduler I'm not going to even try to push the idea. Tradition is too strong for me (as just a ward clerk) to change peoples minds on this without some official backing. On the other hand, if the official help were to advocate that approach then it I would gladly push it myself.

But whichever approach the help describes, additional instruction could alleviate some of the confusion. As has been discussed in other threads (multiple times) a change in terminology would help even more but until that happens, some changes in the help systems (one way or another) would be good.

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Postby russellhltn » Thu Oct 25, 2012 10:01 am

I think it would be helpful if the help file suggested that the building scheduler were to create a private event calendar to schedule these events on. This is something that is within the ability of the building scheduler since anyone can create a calendar (subject to approval by a admin). At least that would resolve the issue about directing members to the scheduler and how they should handle such requests.
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RBeatse
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How we do it

Postby RBeatse » Thu Oct 25, 2012 1:16 pm

RussellHltn wrote:I think it would be helpful if the help file suggested that the building scheduler were to create a private event calendar to schedule these events on. This is something that is within the ability of the building scheduler since anyone can create a calendar (subject to approval by a admin). At least that would resolve the issue about directing members to the scheduler and how they should handle such requests.


I was just recently given this position in my Stake for all buildings in the Stake. We are getting all of the Wards used to scheduling their own "Ward" activities but anything that is a private event (I never knew how many people use the buildings for family Thanksgiving events!!), gets scheduled by me on a "Private Events" calendar for the whole Stake. This is not even viewable by most of f the Stake but if someone tries to schedule something, they will see that it conflicts and are told to contact me where I can tell them where the problem is.

Just a note about how we are handling it.

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Postby Gary_Miller » Thu Oct 25, 2012 1:47 pm

RussellHltn wrote:I think it would be helpful if the help file suggested that the building scheduler were to create a private event calendar to schedule these events on. This is something that is within the ability of the building scheduler since anyone can create a calendar (subject to approval by a admin). At least that would resolve the issue about directing members to the scheduler and how they should handle such requests.


The only problem I see here is that the Building Scheduler would only be able to create a calendar (subject to approval by a admin), for the ward where his records are. That does not help for all the other wards that use the building.

I think it would be best if the individual wards created a calendar just for private events one of the default administrators scheduling the events, or as Bro Browns stake does it a designated "calendar Coordinator" with in the ward.

In our ward we just made a public calendar titled "Family Events Reservations" with the description, "Used to Calendar/Schedule Private Family Events. Such as weddings, funerals, reunions, ect." The editors are all the default administrators anyone of them can book the event. However we recently called a calendar coordinator so my guess is they will handle all the booking of events not related specifically to an organizations calendar.

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Postby russellhltn » Thu Oct 25, 2012 2:11 pm

Gary_Miller wrote:The only problem I see here is that the Building Scheduler would only be able to create a calendar (subject to approval by a admin), for the ward where his records are. That does not help for all the other wards that use the building.


Assuming that everyone in the building was directed to the same Building Scheduler, I don't see a short term problem with that. Long-term, there would be an issue of hand-off to someone in another ward.

However, anyone can create a stake calendar (also subject to approval by a admin). I think that would be the smarter option in this case.


Gary_Miller wrote:I think it would be best if the individual wards created a calendar just for private events one of the default administrators scheduling the events, or as Bro Browns stake does it a designated "calendar Coordinator" with in the ward.

In our ward we just made a public calendar titled "Family Events Reservations" with the description, "Used to Calendar/Schedule Private Family Events. Such as weddings, funerals, reunions, ect." The editors are all the default administrators anyone of them can book the event. However we recently called a calendar coordinator so my guess is they will handle all the booking of events not related specifically to an organizations calendar.


That's certainly a viable way of doing it.

But I think the focus of this thread is:
  • The calendar has a role of "Building Scheduler", both in the software itself and the help file.
  • By default, the Building Scheduler has no rights to add events.
  • The help file does NOT suggest what other rights the Building Scheduler should have to function.
  • The help file directs members seeking to schedule family events to the Building Scheduler.
  • The help file does NOT suggest procedures the Building Scheduler should use for these family events.
The above is not a good combination. And can lead to Building Schedulers using the Reservation function like a calendar. I think we all agree that's a bad idea.

To me, the problem isn't the software as much as the help file needs some tweaking. Which is a very easy fix, comparatively speaking.
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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Thu Oct 25, 2012 2:11 pm

Gary_Miller wrote:The only problem I see here is that the Building Scheduler would only be able to create a calendar (subject to approval by a admin), for the ward where his records are.


The calendar used by the Building Scheduler could be a stake calendar.

Gary_Miller wrote:That does not help for all the other wards that use the building.


In any case, for stakes that choose to use this method, the calendar used by the building scheduler is probably a private calendar. Its sole purpose is to create an event so that the location/rooms are properly booked. It wouldn't really matter whether it were a ward or stake calendar; any calendar can book a location/room.
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Postby RBeatse » Fri Oct 26, 2012 5:20 am

aebrown wrote: It wouldn't really matter whether it were a ward or stake calendar; any calendar can book a location/room.


Maybe I am wrong, but I don't think this is correct. If the "private Events" calendar is not a Stake calendar, then unless you have a different person for each building (which we do not), you cannot book rooms in other locations. Our "Private Events" calendar is a Stake Calendar so that the person called as the building scheduler (me) can book locations/resources in any of the locations.


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