Tuesday, November 04, 2003

An Exciting Opportunity to Try A New VoIP, Web Conferencing Tool!

For the last two months, we have been offering some interesting programs using a great new software program for web and audioconferencing. You are invited to try a webinar with us and give us feedback on our programming and the software capabilities. The software we are using is called ivocalize.com; an organization can "rent" a room for 3-500 people on a monthly basis or purchase a server. Prices are unbelievably reasonable. This software allows you to use voice over IP with great sound quality, text chat, synchronized web browsing or presentations, and the ability to record both voice and web pages with the click of a mouse. The software is one of the few if not the only conferencing software which is accessible for the visually impaired. The software is currently being used by businesses and other organizations for conferencing and for computer training - for visually impaired and sighted individuals. We have been excited and satisfied with our results so far, but would like to get more feedback.

In November, we are hosting several programs which you are invited to attend. Tom Peters of TAP Information Services is hosting a program called e-bookworm using the software on Thursday, November 20 from 3:00-4:00 P.M. central time. This is a monthly talk show. On November 20, Nick Bogaty, Executive Director of the Open eBook Forum will be the guest. You can sign into the room and participate and ask questions, or the software also allows you to broadcast the event for people who want to listen but not participate. The broadcast includes both the sound and the presentation whereas the interactive session also allows attendees to text chat or talk if they have a pc microphone. If you would like to participate, go to http://www.talkingcommunities.com/entrance.pl?31122688174
type your name, no password is needed, and click enter. A small software applet will automatically download as you enter the room. If you wish to hear the audio and see the web presentation, go to http://www.talkingcommunities.com/entrance_bcast2.pl?31122688174
type your name and click enter.

On Thursday, November 20, from 7:00-8:00 p.m. central time, we will have a book discussion group on the novel "Empire Falls." Even if you haven't read the book you are welcome to attend and give us feedback on the software and session. Tom Peters is leading the book discussion.

On Monday, November 17, at 2:00 central time, I am doing a talking book orientation for staff which will include the use of a Power Point presentation and an introduction to our website. Even if you are not interested in talking books, you are welcome to attend and provide feedback on the software and presentation capabilities.

The access information is the same for each program. If you are interested in the software but cannot attend the program, I would be happy to set up a time to meet you in the room and show you the software. If you want to see a recorded session, you can go to our program archive page at http://www.mitbc.org/audioave/web/archives.html
Although we don't have many programs yet, we have an interesting variety. They include an introduction to ivocalize and how to moderate a session by CathyAnne Murtha, who uses ivocalize to do computer training. We have an interactive session we hosted in partnership with the Bensenville Public Library on September 11 where a number of people shared their memories of Pearl Harbor and 911. Tom Peters' interview with Steve Potash, CEO of Overdrive is available as well as a short practice session on talking books.

We are planning a number of other programs for spring. We are trying to record each program so that those who cannot attend can access the archived program at another time - we can also put the program on a cassette or CD and loan to people.

If you are interested in what some other groups are doing with this software, go to
http://talk3.talkingcommunities.com/. We would love to have librarians and anyone interested join us for our programs and let us know what you think! Join us. For more information on ebookworm or the book discussion group, please email Tom Peters at tapinformation@yahoo.com. For information on other programs, email me at lbell@alliancelibrarysystem.com.

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