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Revision as of 01:03, 7 December 2007

Copyright © 2007 Userful Corporation. All rights reserved.
(Updated 2007.12.06)

Pre-Book Manuals

If you cannot find what you are looking for in this document, please also see: Template:Pre-Book Manuals


Welcome to Pre-Book

Thank you for choosing Pre-Book, Userful's full-featured, open source, computer station reservation system which integrates with Userful's DiscoverStation public access computing software, as well as Windows. With Pre-Book, patrons can book time on a station using the Internet, Intranet or by simply logging in at an available station. Whether it is in a library, school, or another venue, Pre-Book is easy to install, learn and use.

Purpose of This Guide

This guide is targeted towards staff, who will interact directly with the Pre-Book Web interface for day-to-day operations. It describes how to use basic featues of Pre-Book that would be most commonly used. It assumes that Pre-Book has already been installed and configured in your organization. It does not discuss administrative functions; for those, please see the Pre-Book Administrator Guide.


For most users of Pre-Book, the steps needed to accomplish tasks are very simple. There are several key areas of interest for both patrons and staff, including making reservations, deleting reservations, and checking histories. All of these are described below.

Logging Into Pre-Book

For Patrons

The steps to be followed by patrons or end-users for accessing Pre-Book's Web interface are listed below:

Figure: Pre-Book login page.
  • Enter the Pre-Book Web interface by typing in the IP address or hostname of your Pre-Book Server in your Web browser's address bar. (You may find it useful to create a "bookmark" or to add this page to your "favorites" list in your Web browser so that you will not need to re-type the IP address in the future.)
  • Type in your username (or barcode) and password in the appropriate field and click on OK to continue. (In some organizations, the password field is not used. This is an option that the Pre-Book administrator can set.)

For Staff

Figure: Pre-Book Web interface welcome page.
  • From any Web browser in your network enter the IP address or hostname of the Pre-Book Server in the address bar. (You may find it useful to create a "bookmark" or to add this page to your "favorites" list in your Web browser so that you will not need to re-type the IP address in the future.)
  • On the welcome page as shown in the figure click Staff Login.

Figure: Logging into a staff account.
  • Enter a staff member's email address and password (each staff member that will use Pre-Book should have an account registered in Pre-Book by the administrator).
  • Click OK.

Making a Reservation

There are a few steps to making a reservation. These are the same steps any end-user or patron would need to follow to reserve a station:

Figure: Book it.
  • Log into Pre-Book as explained above.
  • If you are logged in as staff, you must use the Search for a Patron menu item and enter the appropriate barcode.
  • Select the date, time and location for your reservation; this will display the available stations.
  • Click on book it to reserve your PC.

Figure: Confirmation.
  • A message will display confirming the details of your reservation.
  • If you wish to receive e-mail notification of your reservation, enter your e-mail address.
  • Click on Confirm Reservation to complete the process.

Figure: Review reservations.
  • Your reservation history will be displayed.
  • You can scroll down to the end of the displayed page to review your reservations. Staff members can use this feature to see a patron's reservation history.
  • NOTE: Make sure you click on Log out before leaving the reservation station, or else other people will be able to view your information and even make changes.

Deleting a Reservation

Figure: Deleting reservations.

Both patrons and staff can delete an unfinished reservation, or a session in progress, through the reservations page.

  • Log into Pre-Book as explained above.
  • Staff can use the "Search for a Patron" option from the staff menu.
  • Once you find the unwanted reservation, just click on the trash can icon beside the reservation to delete it.

Extra Features for Staff

When logging in as a staff member (see "Logging Into Pre-Book" section above), you are presented with some extra features. Here are some of them:

Main Page

Figure: Staff main page.

After logging in as staff, you will see this page:

You will notice that it has several key features:

  • Station Availability -- lists the stations available for booking.
  • Patron Search -- allows you to look at a patron's reservation history or future reservations. Through this you can also make reservations on behalf of a patron.
  • Override Barcodes -- lists barcodes that can be used by staff to make reservations or start sessions for patrons who do not have a membership card. These codes must be used with care, because they do not require a password to log in. Staff should enter these barcodes in for the user, rather than give the barcode to them, or else there is potential for abuse of the barcode. When entering an override barcode, staff should try to ensure that the patron cannot see the barcode.
  • Staff Menu -- a simple menu for staff to use in Pre-Book. The key items in this menu are discussed below.

Policy Overview

Figure: Policy Overview page.

The Reservation Policy screen can be used to review the Pre-Book settings. In particular, these policy areas are described in detail:

  • Making reservations
  • Cancelling reservations
  • Penalties for "no-shows"

Log-In Records

Figure: Log-In Records page.

The Computer Log-In Records screen allows you to review station use. You can set the date and location of interest, then click OK to display the results. This is useful for verifying a patron's use of stations, seeing how busy your stations have been, etc.

Clicking on the various headings in the records table will sort by that heading. An small arrow next to the heading, like ^, implies ascending/descending sort order.

Support Information

Userful Support Info