GPO Offered Virtual Attendance

This year, for the first time, the U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO) offered virtual attendance for select sessions of the Depository Library Council Meeting and Federal Depository Library Conference (Meeting & Conference). On October 11, 2012 GPO announced registration was open to attend the four FDLP Forecast Study Sessions of the Meeting & Conference.

With a single registration, virtual attendees could attend any or all of the following FDLP Forecast Study sessions:

Methodology, Study Phases, and State Forecast
State Forecast and State Focused Action Plans
Library Forecasts
Summary Discussion and Future Roles

The sessions provided remote attendees the audio of the sessions as well as visuals of the slide presentations. They too were able to ask questions of the presenters.

Registration also included access to the Web site that was created for the Meeting & Conference. From the site attendees joined the live webinars, retrieved handouts, and accessed webinar recordings. Other features of the site included a discussion forum that gave participants an opportunity to talk over the day’s presentations and a directory of virtual session participants. Notices were used to update remote attendees and provide instructions about using the Web site.

There were 153 virtual attendees from 38 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. An email was sent to all attendees asking that they complete an evaluation form, which was accessible from the Meeting & Conference Web site. A notice with this request was also posted to the Web site. Anyone logging in later to view the archived sessions would see the notice.

Of the 153 attendees, 22 submitted evaluation forms. On a scale of one - five, with five being very beneficial, 18 rated the virtual sessions as very beneficial while four rated the sessions as a four.

Of the four virtual sessions, eight people attended all four, 11 attended three, and three attended two.

Twenty people indicated they learned something that will help them with their depository operation or services.

When asked if they had ever attended a Depository Library Council Meeting or Federal Depository Library Conference in person, five indicated they had not. And three indicated they had not attended a previous virtual meeting or learning session conducted by GPO.

Comments received were very favorable and offered suggestions; here’s a sampling:


“I greatly appreciate the opportunity to attend these four sessions virtually, and I have nothing but positive things to say about how well the sessions functioned.”

“These virtual sessions are the only way I could participate, since our library doesn’t have travel funds for this purpose. ...Thanks for striving to include those of us who cannot physically attend these meetings.”

“The audio and slides were great, at some point in the future, including video would be great! The four online DLC sessions were well chosen this year, but having more of the DLC sessions available to online attendees in the future would be great, especially now that the technology has been tested and seemed to work great, at least from the participant end!”

“I appreciated the chance to access the handouts that those attending the conference in person had. The availability of the sessions to review or listen to later is a bonus.”

“It would be an enormous service if all plenary sessions could be attended virtually. It would be even better if each session could be available, but I understand the complexity of offering the entire Conference virtually.”

“It was almost like being there...”

“Offering the virtual sessions was a great idea. Please continue to offer them.”


GPO is listening to the comments of the virtual attendees and to all the comments submitted with the library and state forecasts. We are planning more virtual learning opportunities and a virtual spring meeting. In the meantime, you can view these sessions and other archived webinars and watch for announcements of upcoming webinars.