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Harrell Library hosts virtual READ Awards using Zoom

Each year, Harrell Health Sciences Library: Research and Learning Commons recognizes individuals from Penn State College of Medicine and Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center community who are strong library supporters and have assisted in advancing the mission of the library through the READ Poster Recognition Award Program.

Every year, the honorees choose their favorite book or a book that made a significant impact in their life. They are photographed with their book for a poster that hangs in the library for the following year. In years past, the READ posters were revealed at a ceremony held in the library to allow each awardee a chance to share a book of their choice and the reason they chose to have it represented on their poster. This year, the award ceremony needed to be held virtually in light of COVID-19.

Using Zoom’s webinar feature, the library was able to host a successful virtual ceremony. Honorees were given panelist privileges in Zoom and were sent a unique link ahead of time to make logging in seamless. The panelist role in Zoom allows users the ability to share their screen, turn on and off their microphone and camera and view the Q&A tab with questions submitted from attendees.

Attendees were able to log in, view the presentations and ask questions or share comments. However, their microphones, screen-sharing and cameras were all turned off. The hosts of the webinar were able to lock all the attendees to view only the presenter’s camera. These are the major reasons a Zoom webinar was chosen instead of a Zoom meeting. Zoom meetings allow all users, unless specified otherwise, the chance to speak, and the host has no control over what the attendees can view. Webinars allow for the host to lockdown and control those aspects.

To make all this work, multimedia specialists in the library were asked to host the Zoom webinar and provide tech support for the night of the event. The library’s multimedia specialists are available to help with events like this for any department looking to run a similar virtual event. If interested, email Michael Cote and Eliza Donne at

This year’s honorees and their books of choice are:

  • Joan Concilio, MPS – Love Lives Here: A Story of Thriving in a Transgender Family by Amanda Jette Knox
  • Pam Porter – Make It Stick: The Science of Successful Learning by Peter C. Brown, Henry L. Roediger, Mark A. McDaniel
  • Julie Radico, PsyD, ABPP – The Likeability Trap: How to Break Free and Succeed as You Are by Alicia Menendez
  • Carly Smith, PhD – Salt by Nayyirah Waheed
  • Tiffany L. Whitcomb, DVM, DACLAM – The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

Read more about the awardees and the books they chose (and why) here

Those working on campus can also visit the library to see the posters in person.

Read more

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