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Alameda County Library

We are in the process of developing a phased approach to reopening that ensures the health and safety of our communities and staff. In doing so, we are following the best available advice from our county, state, and national health officials as well as the American Library Association. We plan to share our reopening plan next month, and our website will be updated with the details of the plan. Read more

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Online Events: Preparing to Participate

by Stay Safe, Kind & Connected Blog Team on 2020-07-07T09:56:00-07:00 | Comments

Online Events: Preparing to ParticipateStay Safe, Kind & Connected Blog 15

By Caitlin Ayer, Natalie Campos, and Diane DeLara 

With communities around the world sheltering in place, many of us have turned to virtual chats to stay connected. Whether using apps like Zoom, FaceTimeor GoToMeeting to work from home, gather with loved ones, or join one of AC Library's virtual events, it’s a good idea to mindfully prepare for a meetup. While you can join a program on any device with your camera off, it's so much nicer to be able to see everyone's faces. How do you make sure you're looking and sounding your best? Here are some key points to consider as you begin setting up. 

Location and Framing
First, you’ll want to pick a good location for your call. 
Try to find a spot that is free from distracting sounds and movement. Don’t forget that people can see what’s happening behind you. Test out your spot by turning on your camera to see what’s in the frame. Try to be at eye level with the camera so others can get a clear look at your face and not a look up your nose! You can prop up your device on a stack of books or angle your camera so the audience can see your full face. 

You should make sure your face is well lit. If the location you choose has windows, set up so that you are facing the natural light. Avoid having any bright lighting behind you. This will turn you into a shadow. No windows? No problem. As long as the lighting in the room is directed at your face and not directly at the camera, everyone will be able to see you clearly. 

Most devices have a built in microphone and speakers. When you log in to your event, you will right away be given the option to test them both. A tip: you’ll sound best with a headset. If you have a pair of headphones that you use with a phone or other device, plug those in and give them a try. If you’re having problems with your audio, you can find lots of troubleshooting solutions hereAnd if you’re still having difficulties, you can easily switch to a phone call without even leaving the program. Just open the audio menu on your screen and select “phone call” to get instructions on how to dial in. 

Now that you know how to look and sound your best, you’re ready to join us for a virtual program on GoToMeeting. We’re working hard to come up with lots of new programs for you to enjoy online. Be sure to keep checking our events page so you don’t miss a thing. Whether you join us by phone, tablet, or computer, we can’t wait to see you there! 

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