This is a cell phone picture my colleague took of the screen for Super Smash Brothers Brawl (SSBB) when we were testing the wireless connection with the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh for our online tournament on August 22. As Joseph Wilk’s previous post indicated, we have gone through process to find out how the connection works and to test run it before the actual event. Though I have to admit, when we did make connection at our libraries, it felt a bit like touching down on the moon.

The LAN adapter for my library arrived in the mail the other week and I have a lot more confidence that the connection will work better than the laggy wireless. In order to test the wireless and the Wii, I had to coordinate with the IT department to make our splash page temporarily unavailable. This was a bit of a big deal as our splash page contains our Internet agreement, and by agreeing to this, people are able to go online. IT confined the unavailability of the page to the building I was in so it would not affect the library system-wide. They also recommended trying the wireless first, as we want this to be something easily replicated at other branches in our system. We might not all be able to purchase a LAN Adapter, but all the branches in my system could access the wireless if need be. Because the test proved to be laggy (even at 9am EST), we are putting our hopes on being able to use the LAN adapter.

Joseph’s post also mentioned that my library is in the middle of a SSBB tournament. While the teens currently participating in the tournament ask on a regular basis about the online tournament with Pittsburgh, we are able to have the Wii and SSBB available for open play during the year, outside of the summer tournament which I think helps build a regular audience, enthusiasm, and team work. It is a service I imagine they expect and a great way to relax after school.

By facilitating this online tournament, we’re going to help be a network as library organizations that will bring teens with similar interests together. Sure, they might be able to connect online at home to play with others throughout the world but we’re also creating a safe environment, excitement and content creation as a group (battle songs forthcoming), and learning how to communicate and negotiate with others (even if they are not directly speaking) that they might not be familiar with. We’re all looking forward to this event!

About Kelly Czarnecki

Kelly Czarnecki is a Teen Librarian at ImaginOn with the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library. She is a member of the YALSA blog advisory board.

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