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Alaska Online With Libraries (OWL) Program

Zoom offers articles and video tutorials that you can find with a keyword search on your topic here. There is also a set of video trainings available here that will cover the basics.

Here are some general tips for optimizing your Zoom experience:

  • Use the desktop version of Zoom over the browser or mobile clients.
  • Close all unnecessary applications during a Zoom meeting. If your internet bandwidth is low, try turning off your camera when you are not speaking.
  • If you are presenting, you can create the best experience for your attendees by using a USB headset for clear audio and placing a light source directly in front of you for a clear video picture. 
  • For information about the differences between meeting and webinar types, see this page.
  • For information about the roles in a meeting, see this page.
  • For information about the roles in a webinar, see this page.

Scheduling and Setup

  • Use the Microsoft Outlook plugin to schedule Zoom meetings directly from the Outlook app. For more information, see this page.
  • Use the Chrome or Firefox extensions to schedule Zoom meetings directly from Google Calendar.
  • List the email addresses of alternative hosts with registered Zoom accounts in the scheduling setup in case you are not able to start a meeting. For more information, see this page. If you want to schedule a meeting for a guest host without a registered Zoom account, see this quick guide by OWL Admin Kyle Williams.
  • For information about scheduling a recurring meeting, see this page. For information about scheduling a recurring webinar, see this page.
  • If scheduling a webinar, click "Enable Practice Session" under "Webinar Options." This will create a setup area that only the host and panelists can access before the start of the webinar. When you are finished with setup, click "Start Webinar" to broadcast to the rest of the attendees. For more information about the webinar practice session, see this page.
  • If scheduling a webinar, send invitations to panelists beforehand for logistical ease and to access the practice session before the broadcast time. After submitting the initial schedule form, go to the information page under "My Webinars." Under the "Invitations" tab at the bottom of the page, click on the button that says "Edit" next to "Invite Panelists." You can also import a .csv file with the name and email addresses of the panelists. For more information about inviting panelists, see this page.


  • To increase security protections, Zoom requires you to choose either the waiting room or passcode features. Creating a registration page can also aid security. Requiring authenticated profiles to join can further limit attendance as needed.
    • If using the waiting room you must admit each attendee manually as they enter the meeting. For more information about the waiting room, see this page.
    • For more information about passcodes, see this page.
    • Creating a registration page will allow only registered attendees to join the meeting. The meeting link could be widely distributed, for example, but only email addresses associated with the registration form will be allowed admission. For more information about registration pages, see this page.
    • For more information about authentication profiles and restricting Zoom attendees to a particular domain, see this page.
    • For programs at the ASL, we often enable the waiting room and create a registration page, and admit attendees based on that data.

Host Controls and Screen Sharing

  • Host controls in a meeting include participant management, chat, screen share, polling, recording, and more. For more information about host controls, see this page.
  • Assigning a co-host role can help with meeting administration. For more information about assigning a co-host role, and a list of controls only available to the host, see this page
  • Explore Zoom's screen sharing functions on this page.
  • If you are hosting a webinar or meeting that features an active discussion or Q&A, it can help to team up with a colleague with one person focusing on presentation and sharing the screen, and the other monitoring the chat boxes.


  • Access reports by logging into your Zoom account on Under "Admin," find the drop-down menu that says "Account Management." The "Reports" button is on this list. For more information on getting started with reports, see this page.  
  • Meeting reports provide data on registration and polls. Webinar reports provide data on registration, attendees, performance, Q&A, and polls.
  • For more statistics, explore the Dashboard, under "Admin." Use the Dashboard to track audio, video, and CPU usage statistics by user for each meeting. This can be useful for tracking how your library's equipment is performing during a meeting and diagnosing potential issues. For more information about getting started with the Dashboard, see this page


  • Cloud Recordings are deleted after three months. If you want your recording to be posted longer, download it and upload it YouTube, Facebook, or some other video platform. If you have special requests, contact a member of the OWL staff and we'll see what we can do.
  • Access cloud recordings by logging into your Zoom account on Under "Personal," click on "Recordings."
  • For information about cloud recordings, see this page.
  • For information about local recordings, see this page.
  • Cloud recordings of meetings or webinars can be made on-demand and require viewers to register before receiving access. For more information about on-demand recordings, see this page.
  • Zoom offers recordings in several different layouts, much like you are able to change your personal layout during a meeting. For more information about recording layouts, see this page.