About remote meetings
2020 has brought one good thing: remote meetings. In the library, you can't do a lot of remote work, our most important task, despite all the new modes of operation, is customer service. Especially in small and sparsely populated libraries, every employee is handling a loan, return or information service every day. Despite all the possibilities that digital brings, our most important work is still done in the physical library space, communicating face-to-face with the customer. However, meetings and trainings are successful remotely.
For someone like me who lives in Korve and has a long commute, it is a huge relief not to have to go to Helsinki all day for an hour and a half meeting. Thanks to modern technology, I can participate in it from the workplace or from home. In working life, you have to constantly learn new things, and the threshold to participate in the training organized in Lahti is wildly lowered by the fact that you don't have to sit for five hours on a train for a half-day training and be afraid of getting lost in the sinful melee of the big city on the paths of evil.
Last week, I gave a XNUMX-hour presentation about my own part of the Monilukutaitoa sanataiteella project at the library's remotely organized developers' festival. There were people from the libraries of Kanta and Päijät-Häme, Kymenlaakso, South Karelia, Pirkanmaa and Central Finland. Originally, the festivities were to be organized in Hämeenlinna. It would have practically taken me two working days to give that fifteen minute presentation if the original plan had been kept. Or one obnoxiously long one.
Alright, I don't enjoy traveling. I prefer to spend my days off and holidays at home. However, the remote presentation has its challenges. I always get excited about whether the connection at home works and if it does, whether the microphone works. Can I open the slide show I made with Power point at work with the free version on my home computer, I couldn't. Usually the problems are solved, in this case too the organizer of the event opened my slide show from his own computer and turned the pages according to my wishes.
The hardest thing about giving the presentation remotely was that I couldn't see the audience. I don't know if they were sleeping, laughing at my jokes, or showing lewd finger signs, fed up with my jokes. There was a chat option at the event organized via Teams, but I couldn't read the comments that came there, I had to focus on speaking. However, you shouldn't read chat messages during the presentation, because the speaker's tone of voice does not differ from the written text and the possibility of misinterpretation is possible in a hurry. It's about the so-called twitter effect, where everything written is interpreted in the most unpleasant and always wrong way possible. And all this is usually completely purposeful.
If in the future I get to speak at an event organized in a similar way, I will ask the participants to keep the cameras and microphones on. It's much easier to perform if I can see the audience's reactions and hear their sighs, the rustle of paper and the hiss of writing. In a remote meeting, you can even cough without feeling like a bad person.
Now, however, I'm starting to prepare for the word art and book advice sessions that will be held live on site. I had the first one this autumn last week, Thursday is the next one. Before that, I will participate in performance training organized by AKE in Lahti. Remotely. The instructions that came with the invitation stated that the cameras will be turned on throughout the training. Thank you! You just have to remember to shave and put on pants.
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