Zoom Help

How to conduct library board meetings when the library is closed, and we cannot gather:

Governor Cuomo’s announcement on Friday, March 20, placed more restrictions on what businesses can remain open, and what workers can enter such places of business during the state quarantine. (Executive Order 202.6)

Here you will find specific guidance from Empire State Development relative to Executive Order 202.6. The document is generally clear in its interpretation: https://esd.ny.gov/guidance-executive-order-2026

The executive order sets an expectation that, “All businesses and not-for-profit entities in the state shall utilize, to the maximum extent possible, any telecommuting or work from home procedures that they can safely utilize. Each employer shall reduce the in-person workforce at any work locations by 100% no later than March 22 at 8 p.m.” 

Library boards in consultation with their director should use their best judgment to adhere to the executive order.

During this time library directors, staff and community members are relying on trustees to make decisions about library operations. It is important for library boards to meet, but also be mindful of trustee health and safety. 

Here you will find some guidance from WNYLRC’s Ask the Lawyer service on how library boards can meet remotely, make timely decisions and legally observe Open Meetings Law: https://www.wnylrc.org/ask-the-lawyer/raqs/120

Some highlights from this guidance indicate boards can observe the following changes during New York State’s quarantine: 

  1. Board meetings do not need to take place in a physical space where trustees meet, and the general public has access to observe. 
  2. Board meetings can take place remotely (phone conference call or online meeting platform). 
  3. Board meetings shall be made available to the general public online in real time (live) through the library’s website.
    Libraries might meet this requirement by posting somewhere on their website (Home, About Us or Board of Trustees page) how the public can obtain call-in information to attend a live board meeting.
    An example statement might read, “The Public Library Board of Trustees will conduct their regular monthly meeting on Month/Day/Year/Time via Zoom as the library is presently observing NYS quarantine guidance. Please email us at: library@stls.org to obtain meeting call-in information to attend board meeting proceedings in real time.”
    Libraries should avoid posting call-in information or live meeting recordings to their social media pages or websites to minimize security and digital space concerns.
  4. Minutes of proceedings shall be made available at a later date on the library’s website (These can be posted where the library posts all other previous meeting documents).  At this time, libraries should just be posting meeting minutes to their website; not recordings.
  5. The library shall publicly post when meetings will take place, and where to obtain meeting call-in information to attend a live board meeting. (Postings can be on the library’s main entrance, book drop, website, and via press release). 

Resources for hosting live recorded online board meetings:

  1. Zoom – https://zoom.us/pricing
  2. Webex – https://www.webex.com/pricing/index.html
  3. GoToMeeting – https://www.gotomeeting.com/

Read more, in a letter from STLS Executive Director, Brian Hildreth, here.

Consider using Zoom

For most libraries, the Basic (free) Zoom membership should be enough to get you through a few board meetings while your library is closed.
Please keep in mind that there are limitations with a free membership:
1) meetings are limited to 40 minutes
2) the dial-in via phone option may not be available

Help videos made by Zoom, available here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qsy2Ph6kSf8&list=PLKpRxBfeD1kEM_I1lId3N_Xl77fKDzSXe

Setting up a Zoom account

Turning on the Breakout Rooms feature

Breakout rooms can be useful if the board needs to go into executive session. This feature allows the individual running the meeting to separate the attendees into two groups.

Prevent Zoombombing!

Some people have been “Zoombombing” – trying to disrupt meetings on Zoom and other platforms. 
Click on the Zoom Settings Tab, and do these things to keep it from happening to you:

  1. Disable “Join Before Host”
  2. Enable “Co-Host” to assign extra moderators
  3. Disable “File Transfer” to stop digital virus sharing
  4. Disable Participant Sharing
  5. Disable “Allow Removed Participants to Rejoin”

Zoom has automatically enabled the virtual waiting room feature. The virtual waiting room is just like it sounds: It’s a virtual staging area that prevents people from joining a meeting until the host is ready.

How do I admit participants into my meeting? 
As the host, once you’ve joined, you’ll begin to see the number of participants in your waiting room within the Manage Participants icon. Select Manage Participants to view the full list of participants, then you’ll have the option to admit individually by selecting the blue Admit button, or all at once with the Admit All option on the top right-hand side of your screen.  

For step-by-step instructions, please watch this 1-minute video.

Check out these resources to learn How to Manage Your Waiting Room and Secure Your Meetings with Virtual Waiting Rooms.

This article also has some more information on securing your Zoom meetings.


Turn on closed captioning with Zoom: https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/207279736-Getting-started-with-closed-captioning

Uploading Minutes to a Library Website

Instructions below assume that your library is using the latest version of WordPress and the “blocks” editor. If you are not sure which version of the editor your site is using, please email Erika Jenns.

  1. Log into the library’s WordPress site
  2. In the menu on the lefthand side of the dashboard, navigate to “Pages” and click “All Pages”
  3. Find the page where you want to upload the minutes and click “Edit”
  4. When the page opens, in the top left corner, click on the “+”
This is what the “+” sign looks like.

5. This will open a menu which will ask you to choose which type of block you would like to insert.
6. In the pop-up menu, search for “File” and click on the “File” icon

This is the “File” icon.

7. This will insert a new block into the page. Choose “Upload” to upload the minutes file from your computer. (A PDF works well.)
8. The file will embed into the page with the file name you used to save it on your computer.

Name displayed on the webpage is the file name used on the computer.

9. You can edit the display name by highlighting the existing text and typing a new name.

Change the display name to something like “March 7, 2020 Library Board Meeting Minutes”

10. Need to move this block farther up or down the page? Use the arrows to the left of the block.

Use the arrows to move blocks on the page.

11. Don’t forget to “Update” when you’re finished! The update button, in the top righthand corner of the page, will save your changes.

Use the “Update” button to save changes.

GoToMeeting: 3-month trial for non-profit organizations

Free Emergency Remote Work Kits for Health Care Providers, Educational Institutions, Municipalities & Non-Profit Organizations
Starting immediately, we will be offering our critical front-line service providers with free, organization-wide use of many LogMeIn products for 3 months through the availability of Emergency Remote Work Kits. These kits will include solutions for meetings and video conferencing, webinars and virtual events, IT support and management of remote employee devices and apps, as well as remote access to devices in multiple locations. For example, the “Meet” Emergency Remote Work Kit will provide eligible organizations with a free site-wide license of GoToMeeting for 3 months. Eligible organizations include health care providers, educational institutions, municipalities and non-profit organizations.

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