How well do you know your pre-internet history?

The act of tuning in on the radio using a dial, sliding open the inky-smelling well of the hi-fi record player, the expectation of a juke box at the pizza joint — all are becoming rare encounters. The smart phone and bevy of streaming services housed within call for an increasing phase out on old audio formats and A/V equipment, and those of us who have kids go slack-jawed every time they say things like:

  • "Why do they call it 'rolling down the window' when you don't roll anything, you just push a button?"
  • "Today at school the teacher put a big rectangular box into a hole in a machine and it played a movie."
  • "Just have Uber bring us some McDonald's."
  • "What is my best friend's phone number?"
  • "iTunes is so weird. Why would I buy music? I can just listen to the video on YouTube."

It's really hard to not come back with a "In my day..." while brandishing a cane at the whippersnappers when they talk like that. There, there. At LPL this summer, we have a few remedies for your outrage at the retirement of the unplugged life, and a quiz that will make us pre-internet experts feel pretty good about the depths of our otherworldly knowledge and ability to time travel. Tell the kids, it's ok to slow down. Then show them how to do it proper with books, music, and unplugged events at the library.

Take the Quiz

How Well Do You Know Your Pre-Internet History?

Take the quiz to see how you rank on your knowledge of devices that existed before dial-up was even a thing.

Step 1 of 4

Which came first, the Walkman or the Discman?

1990s Music Nostalgia

List created by LPL_LeahS

Whip-smart Debut
Automatic for the People London Calling

In the pre-internet age, what you listened to was a choice stemming from attentive cultivation of taste. You had to be intentional about music. You had to work for it. Here's a sample of tunes from a youth spent wisely among the record shops, BMG catalogs, music videos, zines, and book stores of Chicago, and from a time when I bought the physical CD, listened to it once, twice, a billion times, till its lyrics were lines in the play about my life, the liner notes worn as my thrifted Chuck Taylors, and its melodies a part of my genetic makeup.

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Lawrence Picks: Silence

List created by LPL_IlkaI
At times, our modern society can feel beyond noisy and there are a number of books out there for those that find themselves craving a more silent existence. Presented here is a cross section of books touching on the subject: Silence.

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Unplugged Staff Picks: Lo-fi & Acoustic Albums

List created by LPL_LookPlayListen
Unplug this summer with some of the best acoustic and lo-fi albums out there!
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