Wireless Internet & Printing – Part 1

Nashville Public Library offers wireless internet access (WiFi) free at all locations. Pretty cool, if you have a wireless gadget. If you don’t, the whole idea may be a bit mystifying. In this four-part training, we’ll talk about how wireless works, we’ll show you how to use the system tray and the control panel, and we’ll offer basic wireless troubleshooting tips.

You will need a laptop to complete hands-on portions of this training. If your location does not have a laptop, you can still complete the other areas of the training module.

Part 1: How does wireless work?

Wireless networks aren’t really wireless. Eventually, something has to be connected to the Internet. A router is what makes wireless networks possible – it is connected by cable to the Internet. The router receives information from the Internet and sends it to a wireless computer in the form of a radio wave. A wireless card in the computer picks up the radio wave signal and changes the radio wave back into data for your computer.


A laptop, PDA, or other device needs a wireless card to use the library’s WiFi. Not all wireless-enabled gadgets will work on the library’s network – PSP cannot connect. Most laptops, PDAs, or cell phones should work fine.

Take the Quiz

For library troubleshooting, we only need to know these basics. But if you’d like a more in-depth explanation, check out the How Stuff Works Introduction to WiFi.

Your mission, should you choose to accept it:

1. Take the quiz (above).

2. You’re not finished yet! This is a four-part training. You must complete all four parts.

Go to Wireless Internet Part 2

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  1. Glenn Worden says:

    As to the question about how many times patrons ask for help with their wireless, we frequently get asked “How do I log on?” I’m guessing about 6 out of 10 have a Nashville Public Library card and pin and don’t realize they are ready to go. The rest either have no pin or no library card and need the public access numbers. On the rare occasions when patrons are still unable to access our wireless, I am less confident in helping them. Their settings could be wrong; they have no wireless card; their hardware is defective; or our wireless may be down. In that last case we would need to hunt up our Branch laptop and try to connect as a way of troubleshooting.

  2. Cook says:

    Another way to check if your wireless is down is to see if any of the remote self check-out machines are down, since some of these are wireless. If there is no network cable, then it is wireless.

    We will have more wireless tips this month.

  3. Jim says:

    The tutorial was good, but none of the survey questions had options that applied to me. I also was unaware that I had to sit through the entire quiz time when I took the quiz. I would answer a question, be told that I had the correct answer, and after waiting for the the next question for a bit I hit the “next” button at the bottom. Unfortunately I discovered that this negated my answer and while I was told I was correct on all questions, the results said I got 1 right. (I’m not sure how that one registered.)I had a similar result with the “throw down,” which I took after the deadline as I was off for awhile.

  4. Cook says:

    Jim, Sorry you had trouble navigating the quiz.

    The ‘submit’ button actually records your answer, if you miss that, then it assumes you have skipped it. This is coded into the software, so we can’t adjust it.

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