Many things, from science, to markets and products, are evolving fast these days.

After a person gets her degree, chances are that their pace of learning slows down, at least in the fields outside her current position in the company.

  • Creating a company library could be a good way to share knowledge between coworkers, and to bring new knowledge into the company.
  • On the other hand it would need some budget and enough time to manage it, and it could become a useless burden if not properly done.

So, Is creating a company library a good way to improve the working environment? Is some data out there to back any perception/opinion?

  • 5
    Get everyone a safari books online account. – user1220 Jun 5 '15 at 20:14
  • For what it's worth, I've seen both official reference libraries (mostly in research rather than development) and wholly informal libraries/ built up on the basis of "hey, I think this is worth reading and want to share it". The latter, not surprisingly, was much more eclectic. – keshlam Jun 5 '15 at 21:40
  • I would rather have a big screen and a fast Internet connection. – paparazzo Jun 5 '15 at 23:44

If you're talking about a physical library, I would say no unless you have the time, money, and staff to keep it current. We have a library that is woefully out of date because it's largely been replaced with online resources.

Personally I would invest in company subscriptions to training/books sites such as Pluralsight, Lynda, or Safari Books Online. My evidence is only anecdotal, but access to training resources like these are considered highly valuable and sought after by employees.

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  • Does the on line options let you share the status of the library among everyone in the company? (e.g new books bought last week) – Project Shepherding Jun 21 '15 at 18:37
  • that I'm not sure of -- we typically have individual subscriptions on an as-needed basis. – mcknz Jun 22 '15 at 14:24

If your company is an IT company, then go digital. Like pointed out by others here, Safari Books Online has a very huge collection of e-books. Then online trainings may be good as well. It would be a bad decision to maintain a library with IT books because every year, technology improves and new books are released for the updated technologies. So the books that were written 5 years ago may be obsolete.

But if you are an IT company and you want a have library, then chose the books that don't get old such as some design patterns books or agile methodology books, best practices, and those books that are not available as an ebook. My experience with buying technology-specific books with titles such as "how to learn technology here" would easily become obsolete so stay away from those.

Lastly, as what @mcknz pointed out, you should have the resources to maintain it.

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