What is the Free Management Library(sm)?

Purpose of the Library
Focus and Scope of Information in the Library (Not a "Content Farm")
Users Contribute Resources to the Library and Why
Acknowledgements

Frequently Asked Questions
--- Who provides the library?
--- What is the purpose and scope of the Library? How is it unique? What's its "niche"?
--- Are the Library materials curated (evaluated) before inclusion in the Library?
--- How can I learn to use the Library to best meet my needs?
--- What if I want to copy or distribute materials from the library? Who owns the materials?
--- How can I add materials to the Library?
--- Can I get Library materials provided to me on a CD-ROM or as printed-out documents?
--- Where can I find additional sources of assistance to solve management problems or achieve goals?
--- Why doesn't the Library annotate each of the links in the Library?
--- Why doesn't the Library offer online discussion groups for each of its many topics?
--- Why doesn't the Library include users' ratings of each article in the Library?
--- Why doesn't the Library require visitors to register before using the Library?
--- Why doesn't the Library include the text of each article on the Library's Website, rather than linking to articles?
--- Why isn't the Library integrated in an online dynamic system, such as Active Server Pages or a database-driven system?


Purpose of the Library

The Library provides free, easy-to-access, online articles to develop yourself, other individuals, groups and organizations (whether the organization is for-profit or nonprofit). Over the past 15 years, the Library has grown to be one of the world's largest well-organized collections of these types of articles and resources.

The Library has been averaging 1,000,000 to 1,500,000 visitors (not hits) per month.. Many of its topics consistently rank in the top ten results from Google searches.

To read more about the history of the Library, see the following article (it takes a bit of time to load, so be patient.)
OnLine Biz Library is a Labor of Uploads

Focus and Scope of Information in the Library

Vast Amount of Information in the Library, But Library is Not a "Content Farm"

There are approximately 650 topics in the Library, spanning almost 10,000 links. Each topic has additionally recommended books and related Library topics. The Library is not an ezine site or "content farm". We do not try to accumulate as many articles as possible in order to maximize the number of visitors we get in order to maximize ad revenue. We do not buy articles. We decline about 50% of the articles submitted to the site. The Library is an informational and educational site.

Focus and Type of Content in the Library

The Library focuses especially on free, online and practical information that visitors can quickly apply. Articles are about personal, professional and organizational development. Therefore, the Library does not focus on topics, such as lifestyle, entertainment, politics, philosophy and religion. Also, the Library does not list specific companies, industry information, maps, investment information and listings of schools. You can get a quick sense for the nature of the Library's topics by viewing the Board Categories to the right on each page.

Library Topics Pertain to For-Profits and Nonprofits

For people who want to use the Library to develop their organizations, the Library applies to for-profit and nonprofit organizations. Many resources for nonprofits tend to be nonprofit-specific, that is, they are primarily about fundraising, volunteers, public policy and advocating. Actually, most of the activities conducted in nonprofits are the same as those in for-profits. The differences between organizations have more to do with their size than the nature of their services -- small for-profits are more like small nonprofits than large for-profits. Similarly, large nonprofits are more like large for-profits than small nonprofits. We make the Library useful to both for-profits and nonprofits, recognizing the vast similarities, as well as differences, between both types of organizations. See Library Includes Materials for For-Profits and Nonprofit Organizations.

Numerous Ways to Learn in the Library

Visitors can learn a great deal in the Library. There are almost 700 topics in the Library, each with highly practical articles. Visitors can very quickly learn a lot about a topic just by scanning the list of subtopics in that topic and how those subtopics are arranged together. Visitors also can use various assessments to closely examine themselves, their groups and their organizations. Results of those assessments can be use to select the best topics to focus on, in the Library. Visitors also can capture their learning in learning plans that are as informal as learning journals or as formal as systematic learning plans. See How to Use the Library.

Users Contribute Resources to the Library and Why

The Library is itself a free community resource to be shared and contributed to by users and authors across the world. Links and other resources are contributed by others from around the world. The resources remain the property of the authors of that information. Benefits to contributors include that their resources, and consequently the authors, get tremendous exposure around the world. At the time of this writing, users from up to 80 countries are using the Library. (See To Share Your Resources in the Library.)

Acknowledgements

Authenticity Consulting, LLC, expresses deep appreciation for:

  • The Management Assistance Program (MAP) for Nonprofits of St. Paul, Minnesota, for its Web hosting of this Library from 1996 to 2005 and for its continued support during that time!
  • The Virginia McKnight Binger Fund, which contributed funds to Authenticity Consulting, LLC, for some of the original development and administration of the Library.
  • United Centers for Spiritual Living (UCSL) for its contribution to enhance the usability of the Library. Although Authenticity has no direct affiliation with this organization, UCSL made a significant contribution, which, in part, funded the redesign of the Library in 2006.
  • NilesRiver.com (Kim Niles) whose extraordinary Web development and technical skills have continually developed and refined the functionality of the Library.
  • Wylde Hare Creative (Erin Scott) whose creative and gifted graphic skills have provided an attractive, yet easy-to-use, interface to the Library.
  • Duoblogger Adsense Consulting. for providing very targeted and useful advice about Google Adsense.
  • Visi.com has reliably been the web host of the Library since 1991.
  • Andy Katzung has accurately and reliably been maintaining the vast number of links in the Library, to the extent that less than 1% of the links are ever broken.
  • The many 1,000s of people and organizations that have contributed free resources to the Library.

Thanks to you all!


Frequently Asked Questions

Who provides the library?

Authenticity Consulting, LLC, provides the Library as a free community resource. The Library has its own logo and domain name, apart from Authenticity Consulting, LLC. Carter McNamara, of Authenticity Consulting, LLC, began putting resources on the Internet for others, back in the very early 1990s when he had the privilege of working with the "Gopher" tool at the University of Minnesota. (The University's tool was one of the first user-friendly tools for uploading, downloading and managing files on the Internet.)

What is the purpose and scope of the Library? How is it unique? What's its "niche"?

See Purpose of the Library

How can I learn to use the Library to best meet my needs?

See How To Use the Library

Are the Library materials curated (evaluated) for inclusion in the Library?

Yes. We review 10-20 articles a day for consideration of inclusion to the Library. Each article is evaluated for accuracy. For example, if an article asserts specific laws, regulations or other specific assertions that clearly are inaccurate, then the article is not included in the Library. Each article also is evaluated for substance. For example, if an article is the short length of one computer screen and includes only vague, obvious generalities, then the article is not included in the Library. If readers notify us of an article in the Library that is verified to be inaccurate (that is other than merely a different opinion than the readers'), then we remove the article from the Library.

What if I want to copy or distribute materials from the library? Who owns the materials?

See Copyright and Reprint Terms

How can I add materials to the Library?

See To Share Your Resources in the Library

Can I get Library materials provided to me on a CD-ROM or as printed-out documents?

The materials in the Library are owned by the authors and/or publishers of those materials -- the Library does not own most of the materials referenced from the Library. Thus, the Library does not have the right to copy, publish and/or distribute those materials. The Library provides those materials primarily by providing links to them. For more information, see Copyright and Reprint Terms.

Where can I find additional sources of assistance to solve management problems or achieve goals?

There is a vast range of free resources available to you in the "General Resources" section on the right-hand sidebar. Also, see the "Related Library Topics" and "Recommended Books" referenced from the bottom of each topic's page.

Why doesn't the Library annotate each of the links in the Library?

An annotation is a very short (usually 2- or 3-line) description of the highlights of a particular resource, for example, of an article. Different users often need different results from, and can have different perspectives on, the same resource. Brief annotations are often very generic and, thus, very often can't be specific and useful enough to those having diverse needs from the same resource.

Also, we've found since 1995 that users very rarely ask for annotations -- instead, they find it more useful to quickly click on the link to the article and then quickly scan it for themselves according to their own needs and perspectives.

Besides, the links we provide to articles are almost always on other websites -- those websites often annotate the articles.

Why doesn't the Library offer online discussion groups for each of its many topics?

Online discussion groups and blogs are popping up like popcorn. The vast majority of them do not achieve the high rate of participation and feedback needed to make them useful to participants. The vast majority fizzle out and die altogether.

However, there are already numerous groups about personal, professional and organizational development that have already achieved that very high level of participation. They have 1,000s of participants and are relevant to the vast majority of topics in regard to management. See Online Discussion Groups.

Our interests are ensuring that our users get prompt and useful feedback -- they're much more likely to get that kind of feedback from an already established online group, rather than our trying to start a bunch of new groups.

Why doesn't the Library include users' ratings of each article in the Library?

Our users report to us that ratings of articles are not really useful to them. They rarely look for ratings. It's just as easy for them to quickly scan an article to see if it meets their own unique needs at that particular time. Besides, each person still should decide for themselves if an article is useful to him or her.

Why doesn't the Library require visitors to register before using the Library?

We have no need or interest in obtaining your name or email address. Many of the authors, whose resources we link to, intended for their resources to be free to the world -- they did not intend for others to have to give their name, email address, etc., to use those resources, so the Library shouldn't either. (The terms for contributing links to the Library include that the users of the Library do not have to register to use those resources. See To Add a Link to the Library.)

Why doesn't the Library include the text of each article on the Library's Website, rather than linking to articles?

Nowadays, the vast majority of writers of articles already have Web sites. We don't see the need to duplicate their articles on the Library's website. We have no interest in owning or managing other's articles. We don't need to.

Why isn't the Library integrated in an online dynamic system, such as Active Server Pages or a database-driven system?

From its inception in 1995, 1,000s of organizations began linking to many of the 100s of topics in the Library. Many schools include specific links in their course materials to specific topics in the Library. Many hardcopy, published articles have included links in their articles, as well.

Moving to a different system would result in changing (breaking) those many links and Web addresses and/or in administrating a cumbersome mapping system between the old links and the new links.

We've found that we can retain the very useful organization of resources (including categories, topics, subtopics, etc.) and the same link addresses without having the break the links or requiring our users to use links that are 100s of characters long.

Find a Topic