email @ your library, and a request

I often tell people after my talks to email me their questions if they’re longer than I can reasonably answer during a quick after-talk chat session. A librarian from New Hampshire emailed me yesterday to ask about the email classes I’ve taught, both in the library and in the adult ed classes I teach at nights. I wrote her a long chatty email about the ins and outs of teaching email classes mostly to older adults. Then I figured I’d copy it over and linkt o it here. Then I figured I’d include it a few different ways so that readers could see a few ways you can get content on the web, instantly. For those of you who just want to read about my email classes, any of these will work.

  • email class on Jottit – a very smooth interface where you get a subdomain of your choosing and can put text there. You can do this short-term or own your page wiht the addition of a password and an email address to send a lost password. Brainchild of Aaron Swartz
  • email class on pasta mostly just a text box that you can paste words into that will automatically link it to your account. I’ve used this for years and while there is no guaratnee, it often fits the bill for text I don’t want to dump directly on the blog but want to be able to talk about.
  • email class on – lets you post as text, rich text or “message board” and pick a URL starting with For a small donation you can own the URL for some length of time. Pretty basic but functional

And my question. I say in the email that I’d really like a “getting started with email” book, something totally brand-neutral that just discusses email concepts and mechanisms. I don’t care if there are branded examples, but I’m not looking for a “how to use Yahoo mail” tutorial and I’m looking for PRINT though I know I can print out a website. So, I can Google like anyone, but does such a simple book exist? I’m feeling maybe it could even be a pamphlet that if it doesn’t exist, might be better off being created one of these days.

7 thoughts on “email @ your library, and a request

  1. This isn’t exactly a pamplet, but go to my website ( and I’ve uploaded the two handouts that I give out when I teach email basics each month. Feel free to print the out or alter them in anyway.

    It doesn’t cover attachments or anything advance, but it will get patrons with limited computer skills an email.

  2. Both the Idiots and Dummies series have books on email. I found them on with searches for Idiots e-mail and dummies e-mail. The trick is to use a hyphen for email.

  3. There is a book called Send: The Essential Guide to Email for Office and home by David Shipley and Will Schwalbe. This book is a great guide to email etiquette and how to write good (and how not to write bad) emails.

    There is also a new edition of the Complete Idiot’s Guide to Computer Basics which has a chapter on setting up email for the first time, adding pictures, attaching documents, etc.

    Hope that helps at least a little bit.


  4. funny you should mention email basics today. i helped two people with yahoo! mail’s (recently changed?) interface today.

  5. There’s also E-Mail for Dummies in its second edition.

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