myspace safety

Are you a friend of Tom?

MySpace Safety
51 Tips For Teens and Parents
Farnham and Farnham
2006

It’s been a while since I came across a MySpace book in the wild. I have a feeling I am probably the first one to check this book out in over a decade. Aside from the less than inspiring cover, this book probably did an adequate job explaining the basic security and privacy concerns. Why it is still hanging out in a public library collection is beyond me. This is one of those obvious weeds. Even if your particular service population is all about MySpace, I doubt this book from 2006 is any help.

I did take a peek at MySpace and it doesn’t even resemble the MySpace of 2006. The content now focuses on the entertainment industry. I tried searching for my old account, but I think it is gone to time. Also, I can’t remember what I did with mine. I only made an account to show people how to set up an account. Oh well. I guess I can’t call my friend Tom anymore.

Chilton guide to telephone installation

Install your own phone!

Chilton’s Guide to Telephone Installation and Repair
Martin
1985

In the old days, the phone were the “property” of Ma Bell (aka the phone giant AT&T). After lengthy anti trust case, AT&T was split into the “baby bells” and phone service changed for most consumers. People had to buy or rent phones and arrange for installation. Cellular phones were still not common until the late 1980s, and they were expensive. This would have been a good purchase for a public library back in the day, but I doubt would get much action these days. It’s an obvious weed, so I will add a link to Lily Tomlin’s Ernestine that originated on Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In. (An awesome show.) This clip is when Ernestine calls General Motors.

home office book cover

Home Office Advice

The Home Office Book
Alvarez
1990

Time to get your home office in shape. This book is pretty comprehensive. All the those important decisions on furniture, equipment, and design are helpfully analyzed for convenience.

  • What version of DOS do you need?
  • IBM Clone or the real IBM?
  • Lotus 1-2-3 or VisiCalc?
  • America Online or Prodigy?
  • Cordless phone or phone with a cord?

Of course you should also consider driving or walking to the post office because this book is still a few years from widespread home use of the Internet. Maybe you want to consider getting a fax machine?

I did get a kick out the bygone days of the early 1990s. Clunky computers, dot matrix printers and so many floppy disks are quite a contrast to the technology of today. COVID makes home offices kind of important, so maybe a more up to date book on home offices is required.

tv video cover

Video Technology of Yesteryear

The Electronic Revolution
TV and Video
Irvine
1983

The copy of this book that I examined was PRISTINE. When something this old is in great shape, I am immediately suspicious. In my humble opinion, this copy wasn’t used AT ALL in it’s nearly 40 years in this library. I don’t have circulation numbers, but I would bet my MLIS, that it has less than 20 checkouts in 40 years. There isn’t so much as a blemish on this cover or on the pages. Since it is in such great shape, I bet the librarians passed it by and never looked at a pub date.

For you youngsters out there, now I can show you the mysteries of the Cathode-ray tube. This is when there were actual tubes in the television. By the early 2000s, this technology started to fade into disuse as more efficient substitutes became popular. I am also particularly annoyed that the video crew didn’t bother to wear gloves or cover the equipment. I guess I should be happy they were wearing masks.

find the man of your dreams using the internet cover

Dating when the bar is low

How to get the man of your dreams using the Internet
Chance
2005

Ladies! Here is your chance to find the man of your dreams using the Internet. We have had a lot of dating books on our website over the years. By the time this book was published, many online dating sites were still in their early days. Very little is offered about finding the right type of service, although the author said that a good quality in a service is a chat room.

The advice is thin, even for the early days of Internet dating. Some of the other books we have featured on our site about Internet dating have more depth than this book.

fun with science cover

Science Fun!

Fun With Science
Easy Experiments for Young People
Freeman and Freeman
1956

This little gem from the 1950s is CLEARLY past its “sell by” date. The cover was in bad shape and there was some yellowing. This came from a university collection, not a public library. (There was one public library that had this book listed in its collection.) The Freemans wrote many youth science nonfiction books up into the 1970s.

This book was first published in 1943 and was last printed in 2000. The Freemans passed away in the 1980s. I couldn’t find much biographical information about the Freemans with my cursory searches. Given the longevity of their books, as well has the number of titles, their materials should be archived and maintained for study.

internet and computer fads

Old school librarians vs the Internet

Internet and Personal Computing Fads
Bell, Berry, and Van Roekel
2004

This was actually a fun book, from a historical perspective. At the time, this would have been an excellent addition to a public library collection. It’s an accessible book geared to those just stepping into the Internet. Is it relevant for today’s library users? Not really. If they ever do an updated version though, I will buy it for my library.

I remember recently talking to a young professional about the integration of technology in libraries. Most folks were okay with the OPAC since they had been around a long time. The Internet, databases, email, and basic technology support were well beyond some of the old school library types. There was a lot of resistance and discounting of computer based research.