How to do it

If you can't find material in books, try magazine articles. Look under "arts and crafts", "Christmas projects", or under specific crafts, "woodworking", for example.


Patrons often need schematics or wiring diagrams for repairing electrical or electronic equipment. A company called Howard W. Sams has been publishing these since 1946. They have series that cover televisions and radios, car radios, CB radios, computers, VCR's and more. You can get a free index to these publications by calling 1-800-428-SAMS or writing to:

Howard W. Sams & Company
Box 7092
Indianapolis, IN 46207

Use the Sams annual index with your patron to identify the "photofact" booklet number needed, then request the schematics through interlibrary loan.

If you are not able to identify the schematics needed in your SAMS index, refer the request but make sure that you include complete information about what the equipment is (e.g. television, stereo amplifier, etc.), its manufacturer, model number and exact or approximate date of manufacture. Your reference center may be able to find the schematics listed in an older SAMS index (once SAMS stops publishing the schematics for a piece of equipment, they drop the listing from their current catalog - so it's a good idea to hang on to your older indexes). If not found there, your reference center may contact the manufacturer for the schematics, or, when older (pre-1946) television and radio wiring diagrams are needed, may look for them in a John F. Rider publication. Rider's Manuals work on the same principle as the SAMS Photofacts, although fewer libraries own the indexes and manuals.

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This page was last updated on December 8, 2003.