Virtual Seminars FAQ | Newberry

Virtual Seminars FAQ

The Summer 2020 term is moving online! 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.

When will virtual seminars begin?

The Summer 2020 Virtual Seminars term will officially begin Tuesday, July 7 and run through the end of August. We are also offering a special series of short one-session seminars in June exploring humanities contexts for pandemics past and present. This series includes The Philosophy of Anxiety, Baseball in Cultural Crises, Familiar Strains, Chords, and Dischords: Musical Echoes from the 1918 Pandemic, ​Utopias, and Arts of Dying: The Visual Culture of the Black Death in Medieval Europe.

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.