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Library Events Calendar Roundup

   October 13th, 2009

library calendarAn important function of the library is communicating our upcoming events to the community. There are lots of ways to do this, one of which is by having an online calendar.

Of course, there are also lots of software for online calendars and for patrons to reserve meeting rooms. My library just switched calendars, and so did the Blue Hill (ME) Public Library. Since we each evaluated a number of different calendar options, Rich Boulet and I combined our notes, in the hopes of saving other libraries a bit of legwork when looking at calendars.

There are more calendars than what is listed here (in no particular order), and our pro/con notes reflect the needs, requirements and situations of our individual libraries. If you have questions about how we made our decisions, you can contact me through my contact form, and Rich through Blue Hill Library's staff page.

Library Insight     (Rich, Brian)

  • See Groton (MA) Public Library for example
  • Patrons can submit room requests online
  • Comes with 1200 images
  • Marquee of upcoming available for index page
  • SIP2 compliant
  • Will not disclose how many clients use product, but says they are "in 20 states"
  • $695/year plus $600 setup fee
  • Contact: Steve Bolduc / 978-808-1089
  • More info: http://libraryinsight.com/products/rmInsight.htm

Google Calendar     (Rich)

Evanced     (Rich, Brian)

  • See Chelmsford (MA) Public Library and Blue Hill (ME) Public Library (calendar, room reservation) for examples
  • Looks like most comprehensive product available
  • Used by Maine State Library, Web Junction and many public libraries
  • Allows user-initiated requests for room reservation
  • Allows attendee registration and cancellation
  • Somewhat pricey relative to others in market, but unlimited in number of listed events, and no module pricing (except credit card processing is extra)
  • Allows some design customization, to make it look like your website
  • Most powerful calendar search options
  • Locally-hosted installation requires Microsoft IIS 4.0 or higher and has more up-front costs, plus 18%/year maintenance fees
  • Remotely hosted solution carries ongoing subscription costs
  • Seamless integration between web calendar and room reservation software allows users to click off on room policy
  • Calendar allows events to be downloaded to Outlook
  • Offers customizable rss feeds based n search criteria
  • Can be used to track program stats
  • Contact: Claudia Hackworth / 317-352-2188 x109
  • More info & demos: http://evancedsolutions.com/demo.asp

Calandarix     (Rich)

  • See Rockport (ME) Public Library for example
  • Very attractive and very affordable web calendar
  • Does not apparently allow patron-initiated requesting of rooms
  • Compatible with Apache or IIS
  • No remote hosting option, requires local install
  • Cost: Advanced edition is $50 for non-profits; also comes in a
    free basic version
  • More info: http://www.calendarix.com

Eventkeeper     (Rich, Brian)

  • See Hingham (MA) Public Library for example
  • Seems to do everything that Evanced does, but in a very different style
  • Pricing is generally less than Evanced, but is somewhat variable based on modules and number of events
  • Can customize and brand calendar for additional one-time fee, integrate it more with the look and feel of the rest of your web site
  • Also "EK Feed" can can be rss feed marquee of upcoming events for library's homepage
  • Only available as remotely hosted product, no local installation
  • Currently have 1200 customers
  • Exceptional customer support
  • Can be used to track program statistics
  • No maintenance fees (other than annual hosting)
  • Eventkeeper: $275/year; EK Rooms: $250/year; EK Feed (marquee)
  • Contact: Jim Stewart / 508-942-4209
  • More info: http://www.eventkeeper.com

Meeting Room Manager     (Rich)

ConnectDaily     (Brian)

  • See San Bruno (CA) Library for example
  • Reasonably priced
  • Remotely hosted with varying contract lengths
  • Allows a great deal of design customization, to integrate with the look of your website
  • Serves as both a calendar and meeting room reservation system
  • A limitation is that it is designed as an "in-house" product (example, a school would use it for the teachers to reserve meeting rooms). It does have a public room reservation form, but take a little work to customize to be easy enough for the public to use
  • Allows for multiple calendars (Childrens, Adult, Teen, etc) all to be fed up into one master calendar
  • Events available in rss and iCal formats
  • More info: http://www.mhsoftware.com/connectdaily.htm

Calcium     (Brian)

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6 Responses to “Library Events Calendar Roundup”

  1. Christine Ayar Says:

    Thanks for including Evanced in your Calendar assessment! We wanted to mention that our pricing starts at $450 annually and is based the size of a library service population. Evanced offers unlimited, free training to all customers for the life of their Evanced contract. We provide ILS authentication, including SIP2 at no additional cost and we have no additional fees for installation of our products. Many customers mention that we offer far more robust reporting and waiting list management features than other products.

    In the last year we have introduced online payment for room reservations and the ability to translate our software interface into both Spanish and French with the click of button. We are continually adding new features requested by our customers.

    We serve over 1000 libraries and over 4500 individual locations. Should any of your readers want to ask those libraries about their experiences, I encourage them to email me for a list of references at cayar at evancedsolutions dot com.

    Great article – a very fair assessment of the products available – keep up the good work!
    Christine Ayar, Coordinator of Customer Experience, Evanced Solutions

  2. Calendar Evals from Libraries- Elizabethtown College Web Council Says:

    […] http://www.swissarmylibrarian.net/2009/10/13/library-events-calendar-roundup […]

  3. Jake Paris Says:

    Just fyi, the page you listed at Lewiston Public Library is used for staff (those w/o access to gCalendar) to check room availability. Not that it’s private, just that we’ve never offered it to the public. We do, however, have another public-use google calendar that we use for events: http://www.lplonline.org/kids/?page_id=6

  4. Brian Herzog Says:

    @Jake: Thanks for the real link – updated.

  5. liberrian Says:

    For another library events calendar, you might also be interested in engaged patrons. http://engagedpatrons.org/
    it is free or very reasonably priced depending on the size of your library

  6. Cindy Hart Says:

    Trumba is another really great option! The Seattle Public Library has been using it successfully for some time now.

    In Virginia Beach, the Library department provides more than 3,000 unique programs annually for Virginia Beach citizens. We need an online event calendar to both market to and register Virginia Beach citizens for library programs. In addition, an online event calendar allows the library to streamline internal processes, improve program registration and communication with citizens.

    Unfortunately, budget cuts prevented us from subscribing to an online event calendar. Check out Trumba! The URL is http://www.trumba.com/connect/default.aspx