Thanks to a CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) Act grant from the Arizona State Library, Prescott Public Library offers a Zoom® Business account available for use by the community for free virtual meetings. Community organizations, book clubs, and small groups use the service with the support of library staff.
For years, Prescott Public Library has been a hub for community groups to meet. With five meeting rooms available to the public, the library would host as many as 1400 meetings a year. With the appearance of COVID-19 in March, the library had to close its public meeting spaces. Library staff have searched for an interim solution during this time – a way to host meetings during the pandemic – and the Zoom subscription makes that possible.
One of the most attractive features for community groups using the library’s account is that there is no time limit on sessions. Free Zoom accounts normally expire after 40 minutes, forcing users to reconnect – a frustration for many meeting-goers.
The other bonus to using Prescott Public Library’s service is that it comes with a real person who can help with booking and orientation to Zoom. “We have about a half dozen regular users now,” said Craig Brown, Meeting Room Coordinator. “Not all users of the library’s Zoom account are experienced users.” Brown says that having Zoom experience definitely helps makes meetings successful, but he is available during library hours to offer support and training.
“Our goal is for people to be able to do it themselves. Practice, training, and those kinds of encounters are part of that. One-to-one practice helps people feel much more comfortable.”
Groups that have used the virtual meeting rooms like the Prescott Corral of Westerners International and the Forest Hylands HOA agree that the live support and the extended time for meetings have been an important aspect of the service.
The subscription allows for 10 concurrent sessions, so Brown encourages the community to explore this service. “There’s plenty of “room” to go around,” said Brown.
If you need technology for your virtual meetings the library has iPads and WiFi Hotspots to borrow. Contact the Ask a Librarian desk at 928.777.1526 for more information.
This project is supported by the Arizona State Library, Archives & Public Records, a division of the Secretary of State, with federal funds from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. This grant provides for a one-year subscription to Zoom-based virtual meetings.
Visit www.prescottlibrary.info/virtual-meeting-rooms/ to complete an application for virtual meeting room space and to learn more about using Zoom.
Virtual meetings are available during the library’s normal hours of operation. Please contact the meeting coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 928.777.1521 if virtual meetings are needed outside of the library’s normal hours of operation or with any questions you might have about this service.
Prescott Public Library brings you the discovery of ideas, the joy of reading and the power of information. Visit www.prescottlibrary.info or call 928.777.1526 for more information.