It finally happened. Someone confessed on Twitter that they were weeding one of my books. It had to happen at some point, and likely already has but remained unconfessed. I mean, this book is ancient history. It talks about Gopher and WAIS for crying out loud. And the very first edition (finished in 1992) barely mentions the Web.
Those were heady days. Something new was coming along all the time, and the frontiers for learning stretched out to the distant horizon. There were LISTSERVs and Usenet Newsgroups, Archie, Gopher, Veronica, WAIS, and who knows what else. It was the digital wild, wild west and new cowpokes were coming to town at the same time that others were getting gunned down in the streets. You never knew what tomorrow would bring.
That is, until NCSA Mosaic. With the release of the first graphical World Wide Web browser we all knew that everything had changed. It would no longer be the wild west because the Sheriff had pulled into town. Gopher suddenly looked…boring. Colorless. Un-engaging. Dead. Sure, it would take years to completely die, but it was all over except the procession.
And I happened to be there, with my colleagues Anne Lipow and John Ober, to record it for librarians in a way they could learn these new technologies and teach them to others. I remain proud of what we accomplished back then.
But whatever. Today I can no longer deny that I’ve been writing books about library technology long enough to be weeded. Color me old and nostalgic.