A couple of years ago now, we started offering webinars to help keep the Users’ Group informed and connected, from the open forum KLAS Q&A with Katy webinars to library-specific Duplication training webinars. As we transition to an every-other-year conference format, we’ve ramped up the webinar schedule, including user-led sessions and roundtables in addition to our Keystone-presented sessions.

COVID has only increased the need and popularity of these sessions—and not just for us, but for everyone who uses webinar platforms.

For most of the past few years, we’ve been using Join.Me and had mostly positive experiences and feedback for its ease-of-use and reliability. However, with offering so many more webinars to a broader selection of our users, and with Join.Me’s servers a bit bogged down from increased use, there was a definite shift.

This was particularly apparent in the Keystone Updates and New Features in KLAS sessions that we held in place of our usual Users’ Group meeting during the online NLS conference. The turnout for those sessions was fantastic, but unfortunately caused a few technical issues as our platform and our moderator struggled to keep up with the turnout.

In light of all that, we started the search for a replacement.

This month, we are officially making the switch to Google Meet. From our testing in-house and with a few pilot meetings, we’re confident that it will be easier for us as hosts, and will see a lot less of the lag that was plaguing our attendees.

Illustration of a digital meeting with four attendees.

 

It also has some features that we think will prove beneficial, including automatic captioning, and the ability to show attendees’ webcams in a tiled display for a better “round-table” feel. You’ll be able to enable or disable the captioning and change views any time to suit your preferences, so give it a try!

You do not need a Google account to join us using Meet! However, if you are logged into a Google account, it’ll automatically bring you into the meeting with that account name. If you don’t want your personal or otherwise irrelevant Gmail name visible make sure to log out or switch accounts before joining the meeting.

We hope you’ll try it out and join us at the upcoming Virtual Programming roundtable this Thursday or at one of our other upcoming webinar sessions! Hopefully, this will be an improvement for everyone who had technical difficulties or bandwidth issues with Join.Me. If you do have any feedback about the new platform or difficulties joining a session, please let us know as we keep working to provide excellent online sessions!