Kids and Computers

communicate online

Communicate Online

This had a grand total of ZERO circs and it really isn’t that great for content either.  No mention of issues of copyright.  No real discussion of safety other than a comment: “if you see something that upsets you, tell a grownup.”

Okay how about this one:

web page

Make Your Own Web Page
A guide for kids
Pedersen and Moss

Not that bad for HTML practice,but of course dated for what most kids are looking for in computer books.  No discussion of copyright or safety issues either.

Try this one:

build a website

Build Your Own Website

I am a fan of Usborne materials from way back.  This one is excellent for 1998!  Although not much on safety issues (maybe we weren’t concerned enough over a decade ago to make it an issue!) but there is a discussion on copyright and using public domain materials.

Of course it wouldn’t be a post from me without a teen nonfiction gripe.  So here it is:



The cover is dull but the insides aren’t too bad.  It is a decent overview of careers, e-commerce, and some very brief history.  A brief discussion of security issues and potential safety problems were included.  Not a bad purchase in 2002, but it needed to be gone as soon as Facebook and other social media were part of the teen culture. By the way, this poor book had zero circs as well, so my guess is that these books aren’t meeting the needs of teens anyway.

Run, don’t walk, to your youth technology sections and take a good look.

To all celebrating Thanksgiving, have a wonderful holiday!


  1. You know how MBAs need to take a few years to get “with it” whenever a big change happens? Same goes for things like this. You can get the books on a subject as soon as it hits the “big time”, but ditch them soon because, being first generation, they will age preternaturally quickly.

  2. I don’t think teens in 2010 have a lot of needs about learning the Internet in books… In fact, most teens could write a book about using the Internet and give it to their parents.

  3. Any computer book is likely to be outdated by the time it hits the shelves, given the length of the publication process and the speed at which technology changes.

    But I love that kid on the first cover. Apparently he used his computer to figure out how to crack the state lottery, judging by his ecstatic expression!

  4. I see something that upsets me: these horrendous covers. Why do they all have the same color scheme? Same publishers, designers, what?

  5. I own “Make Your Own Page”. I bought a copy in 1999 when I was learning HTML. I was 13. This wasn’t the first book on HTML I’d read, by the time I got it I already knew most of what was in the book. I’d also long outgrown most of flashy picture style of the book.

    I’m keeping mine as a souvenir of the great late 1990s, but given that I know of 10 years doing HTML in 2010, this particular one isn’t appropriate for a library in 2010.