For Dummies series has good information

Published 12:00 am Friday, August 10, 2007

By Lynn Denison
Rowan Public Library
Do you ever feel like a “dummy” when certain subjects are mentioned? Maybe you know just enough about a subject to realize that you would like to learn more without expending too much time and effort.
If so, you have a delightful experience awaiting you at Rowan Public Library when you begin to explore the For Dummies series of books. These informative books are the perfect ones to turn to when you want to briefly investigate a topic. The library has more than 150 For Dummies titles available for checkout.
The For Dummies phenomenon began in the early ’90s when new computer technologies were popping up all over the place. The accompanying how-to manuals were often frustrating to new users and difficult to understand. Starting with the publication of “DOS for Dummies” in 1991, the For Dummies publishers began to tackle topics that are often complex, confusing and intimidating.For Dummies books, while being informative and reliable, have a down-to-earth style and a lighthearted approach. All books make use of cartoons and humorous icons, a “just plain English” style, and a modular format enabling the reader to find answers quickly and easily.
Today, with more than 125 million books in print, For Dummies books cover virtually all topics, including cooking, dating, Shakespeare, gardening, managing finances, running a business, planning a trip, exercising, choosing a dog and eating right.
Let’s explore one of the library’s newest acquisitions, “Understanding Autism for Dummies.” One of the authors, Stephen M. Shore, was diagnosed at 18 months of age with regressive autism, was nonverbal and deemed “too sick” to be treated. Currently he is completing his doctoral degree in education at Boston University with emphasis on helping people with autism lead fulfilling and productive lives.
Just inside the front cover of this book is a two-page “Cheat Sheet,” with numerous concise and helpful “Post-it note” style lists. These include “Logging On to Helpful Autism Web Sites,” “Deciphering Important Acronyms,” “Inquiring about Interventions,” “Carrying an Emergency ID Card” (copy of card included), “Preparing for Emergencies” and “Communicating with Autistic People.”
There is an extensive table of contents, enabling the reader to quickly zero in on the topics of most interest. An appendix lists places to go for treatment as well as associations and organizations that deal with research, treatment, advocacy and parental issues.
A quote that sums up the philosophy of the book is, “The main thing people lack when they first come into contact with people who have autism or first discover signs of the disorder in a loved one is knowledge. Knowledge is the key to understanding, acceptance, treatment and happiness. Allow us to help bring you that knowledge!”You’ll find that all For Dummies titles have similar philosophies consistent with their subject matter.
Other new For Dummies titles available at the library include “Resums for Dummies,” “Windows Vista for Dummies,” “Office 2007 for Dummies,” “Manga for Dummies” and “Bookkeeping for Dummies.”
Please visit Rowan Public Library either on the Web at or at one of our three convenient locations to choose the For Dummies books that will satisfy your inquiring mind in an innovative and entertaining way.
Summer films: Every Tuesday, 7 p.m. at headquarters. August will be foreign films. Popcorn and drinks served.
Displays: Final week for the Dixonville photo exhibit. Visit the History Room to view the photo notebook, a permanent addition to the library’s collection. Kizziah photos ó see a display and photos taken by gifted Spencer photographer Bill Kizziah. Headquarters ó paintings by Carol Dunkley and display by Symphony Guild. East ó all you need to know about stamping by Glenda Trexler. South ó jewelry by Ester Sims.
Literacy: Call the Rowan County Literacy Council at 704-216-8266 for more information on teaching or receiving literacy tutoring for English speakers or for those for whom English is a second language.
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