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GPO to Offer Distance Training via OPAL

The Government Printing Office issued this announcement via e-mail today:

Library Services and Content Management recently completed an exploration of avenues to provide distance education opportunities, particularly Web-based, to meet the training needs of the Federal depository library community. As a result of a demonstration conducted with volunteers from the depository library community, we are pleased to announce the procurement of Online Programming for All Libraries (OPAL) for use in the FDLP in 2007 by GPO and Federal Depository Library participants. We are currently working on an implementation plan, and we will keep the depository community informed on progress.

The depository library community has long expressed a need for GPO to provide training. While the annual Federal Depository Library Conference and Interagency Seminar meet with rave reviews, staff of many depository libraries cannot avail themselves of these opportunities because travel to Washington, DC is required. With OPAL, GPO will be able to provide training that users can access in their own facilities.

OPAL provides the following functionality:

* Live presentations
* Text chatting
* Voice-over IP
* Synchronized browsing through PowerPoint presentations
* Archived sessions
* Podcasting
* Presentations open to anyone
* Private or limited attendance at sessions

Online Programming for All Libraries (OPAL) was purchased as an interactive Web-based meeting and conferencing service, administered by the Alliance Library System, the Mid-Illinois Talking Book Center, and the Illinois State Library Talking Book and Braille Service. Visit OPAL online at:

I have attended several OPAL programs, including the demonstration referenced above. I am very pleased to hear that GPO has acquired use of this technology for the depository community. I look forward to seeing the implementation plan and encourage people to go to GPO/FDLP OPAL programs as they become available.

Great step GPO!

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