Posts Tagged ‘kids’

Halo and Clever Kids

I don’t mind the game. Honestly, I don’t. I’m a science fiction and fantasy fan, so really, the basic premise is fine. And of course, who doesn’t want to be an amazing “fighter/warrior/marine,” the underdog, who takes on the Covenant, one mission at a time, one day of reckoning after another? Looks like some kind of fun.

That is, until last week when suddenly, out of fourteen computers on our main floor in the library, there were 12 kids who were playing Halo on our computers. . . . against each other.

How did they do that? That kind of game would normally bring our bandwidth to its knees.

So here were all these middle and high school boys (ok, there was one girl) on our computers and the place was quiet, too quiet? apparently, they were either using headsets or they simply played without the sound. That’s a lot of shooting; I thought the gun sounds were part of the fun.

Anywayyyyy, as much as I enjoyed having the kids, I had to find out how they were accomplishing this feat. It turned out that one (or more of them) had figured out how to get the game on a thumb drive, download it temporarily onto a computer and then the rest of the kids would access the game through our local LAN. I didn’t even know such a thing was possible.

I called our computer department to give them a heads up and sure enough, a few days later I got the verdict: although the kids hadn’t done any damage to our network yet, the chance for a virus to piggyback onto an illegal bootleg copy of the game was high. The kids had to cease and desist.

In a way, I felt bad. They were having a blast. I even heard kids saying, with shocked voices, “Wow, man, we were playing Halo at the library!” Yes, for those few days, the buzz was big, and the library was a cool place to go.

Gotta figure out how to capture that excitement legally. Sigh.


When is Shhh! Still Appropriate?

Ok, honestly, I thought I was being as kind as possible: “Excuse me, ma’am, but it’s getting a little loud…”

The woman was having a hard day with her four kids, all below school age and all wired for sound. They were challenging her and eventually, the noise level was challenging us. At what point do you say something?

There are loud days at the library and there are quiet days. On the loud days (usually at the full moon), everyone is a little wild. The teens are up a notch, the adults are questioning their fines a little louder than usual, the cell phones are ringing, and the kids are running.

But yesterday was a quiet day and so, poor mom and her kids were sticking out like a sore thumb. We all toughed it out for about 30 minutes, but then, we figured it was time to say something. Was there a better way to say it? Probably. Rethinking the experience, I would say, “Is there something I can do to help you?” or something like that…

In the end, it went from bad to worse. The mother was offended, gathered her ducklings, and announced to the branch and her kids that they were being asked to leave the library. Not true and yet, she “felt” like she was being asked to leave and that made me feel bad…. for us and for her.

We want our small branch to feel welcoming for everyone. Where is the balance point in today’s library? When is Shhh! still appropriate?