Submitter: We’re in the midst of a big shifting project, and as I was making my way through the 920s, I came across this gem – Complete Idiot’s Guide to Online Genealogy – year 2000! At some point fairly recently it had been REBOUND, so I don’t have a nice cover to show you. As the librarian in charge of the computer books in the 004s, I was appalled and immediately withdrew it, but we still have a copy in our Genealogy Reference section. Sure, there are some still relevant tips for online genealogy sources, but the information is so out-of-date, this can’t be very useful. Check out the pages that talk about how dial-up works and the handy search engines Alta Vista and Hotbot. Since our Genealogy section will also have to be downsized, I’m hoping to talk them into getting rid of their copy, too.
Holly: Hotbot! I remember that one. Just because a book has *some* useful information in it does not make it a keeper. You have to consider the book as a whole, and this one is too old to be useful. Some patrons would follow a book like this step-by-step, and then call the reference desk, frustrated, saying “the book said to go to Hotbot, but my computer doesn’t have The Hotbot! Should I install it? Can I get it on The Facebook?” I like the Complete Idiot’s Guides, but they’re not helpful to newbies on any subject if they’re this outdated.
Submitter: It is disconcerting to find a book on Internet research published in 1997 in the library. I was very curious about what was on the Internet in 1997! Mostly, it’s about using email. Attached are pictures of some inner pages. A link to an AOL page is listed as the only available genealogy listserv. This book should have been discarded long ago.
Holly: This was one of the genealogy books by one of the genealogy authors in 1997. Cyndi Howells, the author, would probably agree that the information in this edition is very outdated. Genealogists depend on Internet sources more and more. The amount of useful genealogy information online has probably quadrupled or more since 1997! It’s a whole new world, people. Now, let me tell you about my mom’s cousin’s ex-husband’s grandma…