Do LDS Tools Calendars Function as a Facilities Scheduling Resource?

Discussions about the Calendar Tool at lds.org. Questions about the calendar on the classic site should be posted in the LUWS forum.
Timkyoung
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Do LDS Tools Calendars Function as a Facilities Scheduling Resource?

Postby Timkyoung » Thu Dec 03, 2015 11:04 am

I found myself in the middle of a facilities scheduling snafu last night. At the heart of the issue was what appeared to be a calendar conflict between LDS Tools and our calendar on lds.org. After a little bit of research, however, I'm not convinced there is any discrepancy between the two. But I've come here to find out if my conclusion is correct. Let me describe the situation.

The woman in my ward who has been assigned to plan our ward Christmas party scheduled our Cultural Hall and Relief Society Room last night (12/2/15) from 7-8 pm. We were going to use these rooms to rehearse our musical program that would be presented during the Christmas party. I arrived a few minutes early and began setting up chairs and microphones for the rehearsal. At 7pm the young men from the ward we share our building with arrived and insisted that they had claim to use of the cultural hall for their weekly YM activity.

I hadn't bothered to check the calendar prior to arriving at the church last night, instead relying on the good word of the sister in charge of the party. But at this point I logged onto lds.org via my Android phone and brought up the calendar. Sure enough, it showed that our ward had scheduled the Cultural Hall and Relief Society room from 7-8 pm on 12/2/15.

I approached the other ward's Young Men's president and informed him that the calendar clearly indicated that we were within our rights to remain in the Cultural Hall, as we had properly scheduled it for our use that night, as indicated on our calendar on lds.org. But he insisted that I was in error, as no such record appeared anywhere on his calendar in LDS Tools, and there was no possible way that he was incorrect because he had synched his LDS Tools account only minutes prior to this conversation.

I have never made use of the calendaring feature in the LDS Tools app. Due to my inexperience in this area (as well as some spurious logic regarding tradition and the importance of basketball to young men on the part of the young men's president- not something I want to get into right now) I decided to drop the issue and let the other ward use the cultural hall. But I've since researched the calendaring feature in the app and I've come to the conclusion that this young men's president was incorrect to use the calendar in the app to refute our ward's claim to the cultural hall.

Initially I assumed that there must be a glitch that prevents the calendar at lds.org from communicating effectively with the calendar(s) on the app, otherwise, why wouldn't our scheduled use of the cultural hall show up on the young men's president's phone? But I've since discovered that anyone using the app will only see events scheduled on the calendars that they are subscribed to, and (I suspect) most users won't even have the option of subscribing to calendars that are created by members outside of their ward. So the fact that our scheduling of the cultural hall didn't appear on this young men's president's calendar in the app is not an indication of a software glitch, but simply the result of his LDS Tools account not being subscribed to the same calendar that my party planner used to schedule the cultural hall.

Assuming all this is correct, it leads to my final assumption, indicated in the subject line for this post: The calendar feature in LDS Tools is not meant to be used as, and will not function adequately as a facilities scheduling tool. Therefore, it follows that in an apparent scheduling "conflict" the calendar on lds.org would take precedence over the apparent absence of any scheduled activity in any particular LDS Tools calendar. Am I correct in this assumption? (Feel free to look at the attached screenshots of my our calendar on lds.org.)
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russellhltn
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Re: Do LDS Tools Calendars Function as a Facilities Scheduling Resource?

Postby russellhltn » Thu Dec 03, 2015 11:25 am

Timkyoung wrote:But he insisted that I was in error, as no such record appeared anywhere on his calendar in LDS Tools,

The question is where is his YM activity? The absence of any other activity is NOT proof the facility is available.


Timkyoung wrote:But I've since discovered that anyone using the app will only see events scheduled on the calendars that they are subscribed to, and (I suspect) most users won't even have the option of subscribing to calendars that are created by members outside of their ward.

Correct. LDS Tools is intended to be used for members to know about events of interest to them. It is NOT intended to see all events happing at a location.

So the real question is - where was the YM Event? Because the calendar system would not have allowed two events to schedule the same building/room at the same time. (So yes, the lds.org calendar system IS designed for scheduling the facility. As long as you actually schedule and not just try and use the "holes". Attempting to use "holes" in LDS Tools is a non-starter.) If he could not show his event, he should have been kicked out.

I'd have a talk with your bishop. This YM President is in need of correction.
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Timkyoung
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Re: Do LDS Tools Calendars Function as a Facilities Scheduling Resource?

Postby Timkyoung » Thu Dec 03, 2015 11:41 am

russellhltn wrote:So the real question is - where was the YM Event? Because the calendar system would not have allowed two events to schedule the same building/room at the same time.


They insisted on using the cultural hall for their activity. As far as I can tell, they hadn't actually scheduled it. The calendar on lds.org certainly showed no indication of anyone having scheduled the cultural hall during this time slot, other than our ward. You can see this in the attachment.

russellhltn wrote:As long as you actually schedule and not just try and use the "holes". Attempting to use "holes" in LDS Tools is a non-starter.)


I'm not sure what you mean by "using the holes". Could you elaborate?


russellhltn wrote: (So yes, the lds.org calendar system IS designed for scheduling the facility. If he could not show his event, he should have been kicked out.


He kept showing me the calendar on his phone. So did the 2nd counselor in their bishopric (he got involved as well). But I didn't really examine their phones very closely- that's kind of an awkward thing to do- so I'm not certain whether he was using the absence of our event appearing on his phone as his proof, or if he actually did have a scheduled activity appearing in his calendar. I've been assuming it was the former, as that would fit my theory as outlined in my original post. If it is the latter, than that would indicate a serious bug in the application and/or the website.

kellymab
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Re: Do LDS Tools Calendars Function as a Facilities Scheduling Resource?

Postby kellymab » Thu Dec 03, 2015 12:28 pm

Timkyoung wrote:
russellhltn wrote:So the real question is - where was the YM Event? Because the calendar system would not have allowed two events to schedule the same building/room at the same time.


They insisted on using the cultural hall for their activity. As far as I can tell, they hadn't actually scheduled it. The calendar on lds.org certainly showed no indication of anyone having scheduled the cultural hall during this time slot, other than our ward. You can see this in the attachment.


This is where mutual building usage needs to not be assumed, but actually put on the weekly calendar. One of the family wards in my building had a problem with their YM and YW fighting over the cultural hall. The bishop finally came down and said that unless you have it specifically on the calendar, it is whoever gets to the building first.

Timkyoung wrote:
russellhltn wrote: (So yes, the lds.org calendar system IS designed for scheduling the facility. If he could not show his event, he should have been kicked out.


He kept showing me the calendar on his phone. So did the 2nd counselor in their bishopric (he got involved as well). But I didn't really examine their phones very closely- that's kind of an awkward thing to do- so I'm not certain whether he was using the absence of our event appearing on his phone as his proof, or if he actually did have a scheduled activity appearing in his calendar. I've been assuming it was the former, as that would fit my theory as outlined in my original post. If it is the latter, than that would indicate a serious bug in the application and/or the website.


The other possible things that could have easily happened is that their ward does have a mutual calendar that specifies who gets the cultural hall each week. However it could be set that "No Facility" is selected under the "Where" column. Without a facility selected, it is just an event on the calendar without a location.

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Re: Do LDS Tools Calendars Function as a Facilities Scheduling Resource?

Postby lajackson » Thu Dec 03, 2015 12:30 pm

Timkyoung wrote:The woman in my ward who has been assigned to plan our ward Christmas party scheduled our Cultural Hall and Relief Society Room last night (12/2/15) from 7-8 pm.

At 7pm the young men from the ward we share our building with arrived and insisted that they had claim to use of the cultural hall for their weekly YM activity.

I approached the other ward's Young Men's president . . . . But he insisted that I was in error, as no such record appeared anywhere on his calendar in LDS Tools, and there was no possible way that he was incorrect because he had synched his LDS Tools account only minutes prior to this conversation.

I've since researched the calendaring feature in the app and I've come to the conclusion that this young men's president was incorrect to use the calendar in the app to refute our ward's claim to the cultural hall.

It appears your ward properly scheduled the building for those two room.

It appears the YM from the other ward thought they had the cultural hall because they had an event on their calendar. My guess is that they did not specifically schedule the room. If they had, you would not have been able to schedule your event later.

Normally, the other ward will not see your events. And you will not see their events. So just showing each other your calendars does not resolve the issue.

The calendar system should not have let your ward schedule the room if it was already scheduled by the other ward. You were able to call up the event and see that you had the rooms scheduled.

My guess is that if the other ward YM called up their calendar, they would not have had the cultural hall scheduled. They would merely have had an event on the calendar with no specific rooms reserved.

If all of this is true, the other ward should go back to their calendar and specifically reserve the cultural hall for every one of their calendar events that require it.

As for using LDS Tools, if I click on an event on my Android LDS Tools Calendar, it tells me which rooms are scheduled, who scheduled the event (or edited it last), and on which calendar the event appears, i.e., everything you found at the LDS.org Calendar. That would have been sufficient evidence that you had the rooms booked. I do not know if iOS LDS Tools will also show that information.

That an event was on the YM President's LDS Tools calendar does not mean they actually had the room reserved. If he had clicked on the event, it probably would have showed that no rooms were reserved.

It is no consolation, but this is the most common Calendar problem we face. Two groups show up at the same time and only one of them actually reserved the room properly. The last time it happened, the Young Women in Excellence folks had made the mistake. We let them have the room and followed up with some specific Calendar training.

The question I would have asked the other ward: I see the event is on your calendar. Did you reserve the room when you put your event on the calendar?

russellhltn
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Re: Do LDS Tools Calendars Function as a Facilities Scheduling Resource?

Postby russellhltn » Thu Dec 03, 2015 12:41 pm

Timkyoung wrote:I'm not sure what you mean by "using the holes". Could you elaborate?

Because it's seem like they're going by "If no one else has scheduled it, it's mine." Their argument seems to be completely based on "you don't have it" - they never showed that THEY had it.


Timkyoung wrote:So did the 2nd counselor in their bishopric (he got involved as well).

I'm not sure if your calling, but you might want to talk to the stake clerk.

Now, what could have been an issue here is that there's been a long-standing agreement between the wards as to which night each ward has the facility, and this choir event could have violated that agreement. A building scheduler can create a restriction to prevent wards from scheduling events when it's not their night. That would have blocked the scheduling of the choir event. Some ward are very slack about scheduling events if they think they're "protected" by such an agreement.

But either way, the other ward was wrong in assuming that the absence of anything in LDS Tools was any kind of "proof".
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