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Library Programs Online: Possibilities and Practicalities of Web Conferencing
by Thomas A. Peters

Meet your library patrons where they increasingly live and work-online. This guide introduces you to the exciting possibilities online programs offer, and shows you how to set up online programs in your library-whether one-time stand-alone or half-day, full-day, or multi-day workshops and conferences. Public programs-from lectures, demonstrations, and interviews to book discussions and story hours can be delivered in real time (live) primarily over the web, utilizing a variety of interactive communication tools, including voice-over-IP, text chatting, and co-browsing. Furthermore, online programming can be used for district-wide staff training.

The author explains how to integrate pre-recorded components of a program into a live, online public program; shows how to extend the reach and appeal of online public programs with podcasting and audiorecordings; and explains how to use voice-over-IP and video-over-IP to enhance online programs. In addition to outlining the costs of starting and operating a public online program, Peters also provides cost recovery methods and scenarios.

Online public programs can extend your library's reach into the service population, grab the attention of some early adopters and opinion leaders in the community you serve, and convey to patrons and other libraries that your library is moving boldly into the digital future. Plus, many people are more likely to attend an online library program than an in-library public program. And because online programs are easily recorded and redistributed on demand, your library gets more bang for each buck it invests in its public programming outreach.

Distance education programs in higher education, corporate and governmental training efforts, and other sectors of society have become commonplace, but this is the first guide to focus on how libraries (public, academic, school, and special) and library-related organizations (associations, consortia, etc.) can and are developing exciting online programs for library users and librarians.

Peters, Thomas A. Library Programs Online: Possibilities and Practicalities of Web Conferencing. Westport, CT: Libraries Unlimited, 2009. 165pp.

9781591583493 $40.