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Attending Events and Classes with Zoom Video Conferencing

Due to the health concerns, guidelines and restrictions surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, McNally Robinson Booksellers is changing the way we deliver our events and Community Classroom courses for the remainder of 2020. Instead of meeting in person, we are now providing events and classes through Zoom video conferencing. While these virtual gatherings will not be the same as meeting in-person, we hope they will continue to provide unique opportunities to learn and connect with authors, which you can attend from the comfort and safety of your own home.



Using Zoom

To use Zoom, you need the following system requirements:

  • An internet connection: broadband wired or wireless (3G or 4G/LTE).
  • Speakers and a microphone: built-in, USB plug-in, or wireless Bluetooth.
  • A webcam or HD cam: built-in, USB plug-in, or a HD cam or HD camcorder with video capture card.
  • You can also join with just audio (through a computer or over the phone) for more of a podcast/radio experience, though of course you will not be able to see any video or screensharing.
  • Zoom works with most operating systems, but please note for Windows the operating system should be at least Windows 7 (Windows Vista needs SP1 or later and Windows XP needs SP3 or later).
  • For full system requirements, please visit Zoom's support website.

We recognize that technology isn’t perfect, however McNally Robinson Booksellers cannot be held responsible for any technical difficulties your device experiences during your class or event. To that end, we strongly recommend joining five to ten minutes in advance to make sure you have time to test your set up and make sure that everything is working correctly.

If you are having difficulties with Zoom, it may be because a) you are using an old version of Zoom, b) your video is not working correctly or c) the audio is malfunctioning. Read on for solutions to these issues.

a) If Zoom isn’t loading or is getting stuck in a download loop (the Zoom client keeps downloading but failing to open, for example), then you should try uninstalling your current Zoom client and reinstalling the latest version from Zoom's download centre. When joining your first event/class, Zoom will automatically download its latest version.

b) If your video is not working, you can try one of the following options:

  • Make sure all other programs that utilize the camera are closed (or are at least not currently using the camera).
  • Restart your computer.
  • Check if the camera works in other applications, and if it works elsewhere, then uninstall the current version of Zoom and reinstall the latest version from their download center. d. If the camera does not work in any application, then please visit your device’s support page to update your camera driver

c) If you experience echo or feedback in your class it is generally because another device (in your area or from another participant) is channeling your audio back. You can try to isolate this by:

  • Moving further away from or turning off all other devices with speakers.
  • Muting other attendees.
  • The source of echo could also be from speakers (from a television or soundbar) that are too loud, a device performance issue (echo cancellation failing), or a bad microphone.



What to Expect When Attending Virtual Classes


The Community Classroom registration process remains the same: you can register online (, over the phone by calling 204-475-0483, or visiting one of our stores in person. Depending on how you register for your class(es), you will either receive a confirmation email or confirmation paperwork with a Zoom meeting link and dial-in code included (for phone access). You will also receive a reminder email the day before your class begins with the access information provided again.

Please do not share your meeting link with anyone who has not registered for the class. Educators will be taking attendance as they admit students and will not admit anyone who is not on the registered attendance list.

Once it’s time for your class, simply click the link (or use the dial-in code) and you’re ready to learn!


Joining Your Class

Before your class starts, please make sure you’re in a quiet, comfortable setting with minimal disruptions—all classes are interactive, so every participant will be able to see and hear your video and audio.

We recommend joining your class a few minutes ahead of time to make sure you have time to download Zoom (if this is your first time using the program) and to make sure your computer settings and/or devices are all working correctly.

Once you click the Zoom link a new tab will open prompting you to either download Zoom or click “Open Zoom Meetings” in the dialogue box. Once this is done, you will be taken to the waiting room (a blank meeting window with the class name) until the educator admits you to the class.

Once admitted (it may take a moment or two to load) you should be able to see and hear the educator, as well as the other participants (although you may not be able to see everyone at once). There are a couple of layout options you can choose, but the default is the “Active Speaker” view, where the video of the person speaking appears largest (most often the educator), and the video for the remaining participants appears above that. If you would like to see everyone at once, you can switch to Gallery View (where you can see all participants in a large grid) by clicking “Gallery View” in the top right corner of your screen.

If you are having any difficulties with video or sound, you can adjust your settings by clicking either the audio (microphone icon) or video (camera icon) in the bottom left corner of the Zoom meeting window.


During Your Class

From this point on, you can experience the class without taking any further action, but if you choose you can also interact further by using the options in the menu along the bottom of your screen:

  1. Participants (people icon) allows you to see a list of other class participants (appears on the righthand side of the Zoom meeting window) and send the educator non-verbal feedback (options appear at the bottom of the participants list).
  2. Chat (speech bubble icon) allows you to chat and share files with everyone or individual participants (also appears on the righthand side of the Zoom meeting window, beneath Participants if that list is open). Please do not use the chat function to ask a question, as the educator and other participants may not always have their chat open, and may miss content as a result.
  3. Screen Share—this option has been disabled to prevent any disruptions to the class. Only the educator can share their screen.
  4. Record—this option has also been disabled. If you wish, you can ask the educator to grant you permission to record. The educator’s decision will be final.
  5. Reactions—allows you to send positive reactions to the educator (thumbs up or applause icons).


Asking Questions

Depending on whether or not you have your video enabled and how many people are in the class with you, you may be able to ask a question simply by raising your hand as you would in an in-person class. However, Zoom also has a virtual “raise hand” option you can use if the educator cannot see you. This option notifies the educator whenever you virtually raise your hand.

To virtually raise your hand, make sure you have your Participants list open. At the bottom of this list, click the blue “Raise Hand” icon. You will be able to see your virtual raised hand beside your name in the Participant’s list. Once the educator has responded, they will be able to lower your virtual hand, and the icon will be removed from beside your name.


Leaving Class

Once the class is over you can leave the session by clicking the red “Leave” button in the bottom righthand corner. Another red bar saying “Leave Meeting” will appear. Beneath it you can cancel (if you pressed the button in error) and there is also an option to “Give feedback.” If you have time, please tick that box before clicking “Leave Meeting.” We would greatly appreciate your comments on both the class and your experience attending over Zoom.

Once you’ve clicked “Leave Meeting,” a window will pop up asking about your experience. Let us know about the class content, your experience with the technology, other subjects you’re interested in learning about and how you heard about this particular class.



What to Expect When Attending Virtual Events

More information to come.