Thanks for your prompt response.
Your question - Perhaps I'm using the wrong terminology. Lightroom does not see my camera when I try to import pictures. It does, however, see my cannon S5IS and Canon Powershot A550.
I can download the pics with other utilities but Lightroom 3.6 Build 795620 remains indifferent. Is there some entry into Lightroom that a dumb guy like me can switch on the detection process?