Top positive review
78 people found this helpful
This Deserves WAY more than five stars
on May 15, 2012
As a public librarian working in New York City, I am very interested in bridging the digital divide. Though we librarians--everywhere--have been busily doing this for 20 years or thereabouts, there are still those who resist, are terrified of, or hostile towards learning about computers.
Luckily for us, Abby Stokes lives and works in our city and has made herself available to speak in our library branches. At this point she has spoken in dozens of libraries to enthusiastic crowds, and we are in the midst of preparing another branch tour over the next few months. Part of my job involves teaching a class, "Computer Surfing for 50+", and for years I have always concluded the class by recommending the first (2008) edition of Abby's remarkable book, as both a launching-off point for people wanting to learn more--and a soup-to-nuts mini-course for those who want a solid grounding. Its value is enhanced by the brilliant list of 200 websites, arranged by topic, at the back of the book.
The new edition is what we Abby groupies have been dreaming of: it's all there--smartphones, e-readers, Facebook, Skype, flashdrives, and so much more. The format is very pleasing; a paperback (hence, easy to carry), but large enough and with enough of an inside margin that one can position it next to the computer so you can go page by page, following along with Abby's instructions. And I suspect many people do. The test-drive form for those in the market for a computer is what everyone buying a computer wants without realizing it. The sidebars, charts, and lists of steps and tips, are practical and appealing. At the back of the book you will surely be delighted, as I was, by the glossary, the updated list of 200+ websites, the extensive list of keyboard shortcuts, and the thorough index.
The icing on the yummy cake that is Abby's book are the inspired illustrations, and the humor that comes through on almost every page. Abby Stokes knows what late bloomers, technophobes and the kicking and screaming need to know--and how to impart it.
I recommend this book for: all libraries; all people who are learning, or teaching,computer skills; and, really. . .everyone.