Submitter: [This book] published in 2000, [has] been on our shelves since that year. Circulation has been 0 in the last 4 years, but I would hate to have anyone just wander into the computer section and pick up one of these relics while browsing.
Holly: I agree. It’s fine to have a book or two on one or two generations of computer systems. For example, now that Windows 10 is standard, it’s fine to have a few titles on Windows XP and Windows 7 (a few…but concentrate your collection on the latest and greatest!). I hear every day from people at my library that their kids got new a computer and gifted Mom and Dad with the old one. (Thanks, kid.) If the book is helping them learn Windows Vista or (God forbid) Window ME, that is not helping *most* library users. The problem is that when people get a computer for the very first time – that is, anyone who would be looking for a book like this – they don’t always know what they have. They’ve heard of “Windows” but for the life of them can’t tell you which version their new machine has. This book has all kinds of tips on finding medical and travel information and shopping online, so it really needs to be up-to-date.
Submitter: The Internet is an overview of how to use the internet from 1998. The internet from 1998 seems like an easy weed. My local library system has 3 copies. Three too many. I knew a now retired public librarian a few years ago who would teach basic internet skills to library patrons. She always referred to the internet as “The Google.” “You need to use “The Google.”
Holly: Don’t do that. Don’t call the internet “the Google.” Just…don’t. There are any number of free internet tutorials online that are better than this book. It was perfectly fine until the very early 2000s, but technology needs to be weeded (or at least considered every 3-5 years). Also, who let someone have a cup of coffee next to the computers?
Submitter: When I was a public Librarian back in the 90’s we could not have enough books like this on shelf. It seemed everyone was coming in to learn about this new thing called the “internet.”
I am sure this book was very helpful back in 1994. It clearly got a lot of use. 2015? Doubtful. I can think of quite a bit that won’t be covered in this book now that its 20 years old.
Holly: This is quickly becoming one of my favorite categories here on ALB. I’m 41 years old, so I was discovering the Internet as it happened to mainstream America. I got my first email address in 1992 when I was a freshman at Eastern Michigan University (@emunix.edu or something like that. Go Eagles!). This book is just so…dirty! Weed it on condition if nothing else!