Frequently Asked Questions

Below, are the most frequently asked questions from users of the Library since 1995. Many answers are provided in the form of links to other sections of the Library so that you can get used to using those most useful sections and to avoid duplicating their information herein.

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

See What Is the Free Management Library?

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

See How To Use the Library

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

See Copyright, Reprint

How can I add materials to the Library?

See Community Rules and How to Add Content to 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, Reprint.

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 (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.

Thus, we do not annotate each article in the Library.

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 several online groups in regard to management 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.

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.

Thus, we link to the current, highly participative groups -- see the link to "Online Groups" in the right-hand sidebar.

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.

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.

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