CM April12, 
1996. Vol. II, Number 26

image Canadian Internet Handbook.

J.A. Carroll and Rick Broadhead.
Scarborough, ON, Prentice Hall, 1996. 872pp, paper, $24.95.
ISBN 0-13-505017-0.

Subject Heading:
Internet (Computer network)-Handbooks, manuals, etc.

Grades 7 and up / Ages 12 and up.
(any school or library with an Internet connection).
Review by Bob Haxton

The phenomenal growth of the Internet in 1995, facilitated by Netscape and the World Wide Web, has brought some significant changes in the third edition of this popular handbook. The attractiveness of the Web, the ease of use of the Netscape browser, and an awakening to the Internet's potential has increased the number of services greatly.

There were 41 Internet service providers in Canada in 1994 and 163 by 1995. Whole libraries of formerly hard-to-get information have become available as government institutions have got on-board. A foreword by Prime Minister Jean Chretien reflects this new interest, as does his government's commitment to having all schools and libraries in Canada connected to the Internet by 1998. No doubt this handbook will be sitting alongside all those modems.


The coverage appears exhaustive. The eighteen chapters, conveniently, summarized in the preface, cover the obvious questions such as: what is it? what can I do on it? and, how does it work? as well as information on aspects such as knowledge networking and Usenet, and, of course, a directory of services in Canada. Also included are chapters on Microsoft and the Internet, a history of the Internet in Canada, the results of a national Angus Reid poll on Internet use, and a very interesting chapter on the potential of the Internet.

Besides a good table of contents, the summaries mentioned above, an index, a glossary, and some useful appendices, there are two small but interesting features in the layout: each chapter begins with a useful summary in point form, organized in a conspicuous side box, and thought-provoking quotations are arranged in the margins throughout.

The authors are both professionals working in this field and have written and lectured extensively about their subject. They have also written a companion volume, The Canadian Internet Directory, which has about eighteen hundred Internet resources in Canada (as compared to the three hundred in the Handbook), and another on business opportunities, The Canadian Internet Advantage: Opportunities for Business and Other Organizations. The Canadian Internet Handbook gives you not only an evaluation and analysis of the Internet, but also an understanding of the Internet as a community, particularly in the anecdotal case studies given in chapter three, "The Internet in Canada." In reading these, you hear an echo of that co-operative, pioneering spirit that has characterised this country. I would recommend this title to anyone with an Internet connection.


Bob Haxton is a teacher/librarian in Vancouver.

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Copyright © 1996 the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.

Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364