Virtual Seminars FAQ | Newberry

Virtual Seminars FAQ

The Adult Education Seminars program is now fully virtual! Virtual seminars will feature the same dedicated instructors, unique learning opportunities, and intellectual community central to the Newberry’s Adult Education Seminars Program. Unlike face-to-face seminars, virtual seminars will meet online in a virtual classroom via Zoom video conference and share resources and communicate via email.

Please see below for answers to frequently asked questions, including a Zoom tutorial.

Frequently Asked Questions

What do I need to participate in a virtual seminar?

In order to participate, you’ll need access to an email account* you check regularly, a phone, tablet, or computer, and an internet connection. While a webcam (a built in feature of many devices) will allow you to participate via video, you can also participate through audio only.

*Please add to your email contacts to ensure that you receive our emails. You can update your preferred email address by contacting us at

You will also need basic computer skills, including the ability to download and install a program, navigate a web browser, access email, and open links and attachments.

What is Zoom?

Zoom is a meeting and video conferencing system similar to Skype or FaceTime. Zoom allows you to participate in a video conference and/or dial in to participate through audio-only via phone. Zoom meetings are free and hosted through the Newberry Library. While you can participate in Zoom meetings through your web browser, we recommend downloading and installing Zoom for the best experience.

How do I use Zoom? Are there any training resources?

Yes! Please see our Zoom Tutorial which offers an overview of Zoom and a guide to getting started. If you have additional questions, please reach out to us at

What is the size of a virtual seminar?

While we are not limited by physical classroom space in this new online format, we have opted to limit seminar capacities to preserve the conversational, community spirit of the program, provide hands-on support to instructors and participants, and maintain a quality learning experience. Like our in-person seminars, virtual seminars range in size depending on the topic and format of the seminar.

Will virtual seminars be recorded and available to watch later?

We have opted not to record virtual seminars due to a variety of concerns regarding privacy and consent for both instructors and participants. While we recognize the technological affordances of a virtual seminar, we want to maintain the open discussion and free exchange of ideas that are at the center of our seminars. This is particularly true for writing workshops, genealogy seminars, and other classes that may involve sharing writing, personal stories, and/or sensitive information.

What if remote learning is not for me?

We understand that online learning may not be for everyone. To request a refund, please contact us via email at Please note the Newberry retains a 10% processing fee.

  • For one-session seminars, tuition (less the 10% processing fee) is refundable up to 24 hours before the seminar begins.
  • For multi-session seminars, tuition (less the 10% processing fee) is refundable up to 24 hours after the first seminar meeting.

What if I still have questions about remote learning?
If you have any questions or concerns about virtual seminars, please email seminars program staff at We will get back to you as quickly as we can.