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So You Think You Can Tech: Zoom – Here we go!

Tech Tuesday

#TechTuesday with E-Services

Zoom – Here we go!

In the coming weeks Jacksonville Public Library will be offering online classes taught by the E-Services Department, and we’ll be using Zoom to show them. So, what is Zoom and how do I Zoom? Below are some tips on Zooming that will help you join and enjoy our classes.

The steps below are for a Windows computer. For steps on how to use Zoom on a mobile device click here.


Zoom … where to start?

Do you need a Zoom account to attend a library class or meeting? No! You can join a Zoom class or meeting as a participant. Yay! You do not have to think of a new username and password. We are off to a good start!


Zoom … how’s my hair?

Do I have to have a webcam to participate? No! You will be able to listen and talk without providing video. Even if you have a webcam you do not have to provide video to join.

So go ahead and put the curlers in, apply that mask, no one will know. Better and better – no account set-up, and no video required. Sign me up!


Zoom … to class.

When you receive an invitation, by email, to a Zoom class there will be a Join link. Click on the link and you are in class. You might have to click on Join Audio or Join with Computer Audio then you are in the meeting. Sit back, get comfortable, and let’s learn something from the library.


Zoom … create an account.

If you would like to host Zoom meetings you can create a basic free Zoom account. You have several options: you can create a username and password with Zoom, use an existing Google account, or use an existing Facebook account. Here is a handy link to get you started: Free Zoom. You will receive an email from Zoom with a link to activate your account. Good news, a basic Zoom account is FREE! There are some restrictions on a free account, the biggest of which is a limitation of 40 minutes per session if there are 3 or more participants.


Zoom … hold your friends close and your family closer.

With your Zoom account you can create a meeting and invite who you want. You have the power! Maybe it’s a Friday night wind down from the week with your friends. Maybe it’s a Sunday afternoon family virtual picnic. You get to decide. To set up the meeting from your account – go to the calendar – and fill in your choices. Once you have the meeting scheduled go to your “Meeting” tab and click on the copy invitation button. Go to your email and start inviting people to your Zoom meeting and paste in the invitation you copied. Note: be careful if you use your “Personal Meeting ID”. This ID allows anyone with the ID number to access that meeting room when it is in use anytime.


Zoom … ready to give it a try?

Before you sign up for a class or host a family picnic you can try Zoom out here: Zoom test. Give it a feel, look around, and familiarize yourself. You will be prompted to click a button to Open URL launcher. Then your speakers and microphone will be tested. Lastly, you will click the button to Join with Computer Audio. You’re in! At the bottom of the screen are some buttons, which like to auto hide. If they disappear bring your cursor to the bottom of the page and the buttons will reappear. This is what a Zoom class will look like, mostly. We will be sharing our screens with you so you can see what we see as we teach.


Take a deep breath … and Zoom!

There are many things in life we do not have control over. Sometimes we have to stop, take a step back, a deep breath (mask on if not socially distanced!), and let go what we can’t control. We can then try something new, like a JPL Zoom class. The E-Services team is here to help you. Hopefully, the information and links provided here will ease any stress of using Zoom.


Additional Helpful Zoom links:

Zoom Quick start: Quick start guides and videos

Frequently Asked Questions: Zoom FAQ



Meet the Author

Donna Peretzman is a wife, mother, and since COVID-19 a baker of bread. At Jacksonville Public Library she normally provides 1-on-1 tech help appointments and computer classes, but since COVID-19 she is helping find a new normal for helping customers with tech help. She started 30 years ago in the circulation department at the Mandarin Branch Library. She has enjoyed seeing all the changes technology has brought to the Library over those years and helping others enjoy it too. In her free time she is most happy crocheting, reading, and spending time with her husband and children.

Monday, June 29, 2020

Jacksonville Public Library