Library can host video conferences

Published 11:21 am Monday, February 18, 2019


few days ago a patron called the Clark County Public Library asking for help with an online interview with a company from Alaska. The patron wanted help connecting with the interviewer through Facebook Messenger.

Facebook offers a service that allows members to video conference provided both parties have a camera and a microphone attached to their computers.

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If that is the case, then all the parties have to do is sign into their Facebook accounts, get into Messenger, click on the video conferencing icon that appears in the upper right hand corner of the page, enter account names, and — Hey, Presto! — the conference begins.

The patron who contacted the library was concerned whether her internet connection could  handle the conference. Rural residents often have problematic internet connections. Let’s be honest, everybody has a problematic internet connection sooner or later, but in rural areas, upload and download speeds often lag behind those in-town. In rural areas, service is more frequently interrupted.

In this particular instance, the patron wanted to know if the library had video conferencing equipment she could use in the library, thus taking advantage of our high-speed internet connection.

The answer to that question is yes. The library has a dedicated laptop with camera and microphone for video conferencing. That equipment is available for use at the library. It cannot be loaned, although it must be checked out. Here’s what I mean.

Library patrons can check out the equipment on their cards, as long as their cards are current and valid-registration up to date, no fines over $5. Non-patrons can check out the equipment by showing a driver’s license.

The thing to keep in mind is that a room — the board room or the community room — must be available to do the video conference. Conferences cannot be done in the main part of the library because ambient noise would interfere with the conference and the conference conversation would disturb patrons working on other projects.

So, if you want to use the library’s video conferencing equipment, make an appointment. Make sure there is a room available and schedule the room for the time you want to use the equipment.

All of the library’s adult services and reference staff can answer questions about video conferencing and the equipment. However, reference librarian Jeff Gurnee got the whole system together, so if you have a technical question, you might want to talk to him. Call the library and connect to extension 111.

Call the library with your digital questions. We don’t do repairs, but we can usually walk you through common computer difficulties.

Other programs next week:

— Monday at 2 p.m., Chair Yoga. Taught by Kathy Howard, a certified Yoga Alliance instructor. There is a $5 charge per class.

— Wednesday at 2 p.m., Kentucky Picture Show presents, a 2018 film about a team of secret agents who set out to track down the Nazi officer who masterminded the Holocaust. Rated – PG-13.

— Wednesday at 7 p.m., reference librarian Jeff Gurnee makes your synapses arc with wicked trivia challenges at the Engine House Pizza Pub.

— Thursday at 9:15 a.m., Gentle Yoga. Also taught by Kathy Howard, a certified Yoga Alliance instructor. There is a $5 charge per class.

— Thursday at noon, Book Lunch discusses “Bruno, Chief of Police” by Martin Walker. Bruno, a policeman in a small French village and a young policewoman from Paris suspect anti-immigrant militants killed an elderly North African man. As they learn about the dead man’s past, Bruno’s suspicions turn toward a more complex motive. Books available at the circulation desk. Please register to attend.

— Saturday Feb. 23 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Outside the Lines Adult Coloring. You can’t make mistakes using crayons, just unique creations.

John Maruskin is director of adult services at the Clark County Public Library. He can be reached at