Blogger Public Awareness and Advocacy Committee

Zoom Tips for Libraries II

In June, I shared tips from King County Library System for using Zoom. But we all know that the name of the game is flexibility and iteration, so here’s an update on where we are now.


Who has it, who doesn’t, and how are you going to keep it?
As our leadership team planned for returns and curbside pickup, we knew change was coming.

  • How many staff members aren’t able to come back?
  • How many branches can we staff with the staff that can?
  • How many open hours can we standardize for the branches that open for curbside?

With those questions in mind, it was clear that our original model wasn’t sustainable.

Something Has to Give

After discussions with management teams, we kept half of our original producers. But we only were able to schedule them one day a week so they could return to their libraries. To quote one of our bigger locations, “curbside is relentless”.


  • Zoom Producers V1
  • 9 staff members support all Producer-led online programs.
  • Staff produce a program on any day.
  • Programs claimed through MS Teams.
  • Zoom Producers V2
  • 10 staff members support majority of Producer-led online programs.
  • Producers are scheduled one day a week.
  • Substitute team situationally covers expanded program numbers and fills in as needed.
  • Substitute team uses MS Teams to claim extra programs .

What Else has Changed?

A new shared calendar. There’s less color coding and we’ve relaxed the rules on competing audiences.

A shorter request window to ensure that programmers have equal access to the Producer team.

Weekly training sessions give staff time to practice and ask questions. I alternate between meeting and webinar training on Tuesday evenings. This helps to free up the producer’s time for shorter technical checks.

Final Tips

As part of our communication with presenters, we send them tips for engaging video calls. These should sound familiar, but it’s helpful to have them all in one document. Then during the technical check, we’ll make some suggestions to improve their set up.

  • Lighting. This is a big thing we check during a run-through. Keep in mind that your tech check may be at a different time of day than the actual program!
  • Location. In general, we only suggest a Zoom background if a presenter can’t clean up their clutter.
  • Angles. They aren’t just for Instagram, keep that camera up.
  • Wardrobe. Now is not the time for clothing that rustles or could make noise.
  • Voice and Volume. Speak clearly and try to limit background noise.

Looking for More Details?

Please contact me and I’d be happy to share the current version of our workflow.

Zoom allows libraries to “[d]eliver programs outside or inside the library to meet users where they are, addressing community and educational needs, including those of unserved and underserved populations.” (ALSC Competency III.7)

Writing this post for the Public Awareness Committee is Angela Nolet. She is an Online Library Services Librarian at King County Library System. Reach her at

One comment

  1. Cicilia Bangun

    Thank you, this is very helpful as everything goes online

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *