How to Use the Library

--- Primary Uses of the Library
--- For-Profit and Nonprofit Information
--- Translation to Different Languages
--- To Get the Most Out of Any Topic
--- About Copyright Terms and Reprinting Materials
--- To Share Your Resources in the Library
To Get Acquainted With the Library
To Find a Certain Topic
To Use the Library for Personal, Professional or Organizational Development


The Free Management Library can be freely used for your own personal, professional and organizational development (including for-profit and nonprofit organizations). It is updated regularly with new topics, each focused on practical guidelines, tips and tools you can apply -- and learn at the same time. To learn more about the purpose, the information, some history and the developer of the Library, see What It Is. Here are some tips to get the most out of using the Library.

Primary Uses of the Library

People use the Library, primarily for three purposes:

  1. To get to know it as a general purpose resource they can use over time.
  2. To find a specific type of resource to solve a current problem, achieve a goal or meet an interest.
  3. To develop personally, professionally or organizationally.

Information in the following paragraphs gives guidelines for each of these purposes.

For-Profit and Nonprofit Information

You might be from a for-profit or nonprofit organization that you want to improve. The Library includes information for both for-profit and nonprofit organizations. To understand the differences and how to translate Library content from one type of organization to another, see Free Management Library Includes Materials for For-Profit and Nonprofit Organizations.

Translation to Different Languages

A translation utility is available in the upper left-hand corner of each page in the Library and near the upper left-hand corner in each blog. It translates into almost 60 languages, using the TranslateThis button, which, in turn, uses the Google translator engine. As with any automated translator, there are often miss-translations. While not as accurate and reliable as a human translator, the automated utility does provide value to users of other languages.

To Get the Most Out of Any Topic

  • In each of your preferred topic(s), first scan down the list of subtopics to get a sense of which subtopics are included in that overall topic and how those subtopics are organized together. You can often very quickly learn a lot about an overall topic that way. That's true especially for very broad topics, such as Boards, Consultants, Employee Performance Management, Facilitation, Leadership, Marketing, Project Management, Research Methods, Staffing and Training.
  • There are usually many links, or resources, in each topic and subtopic. In each, click on a few of the links -- pick the titles of links that most appeal to you.
  • You also could pick a book or two from the list of recommended books at the bottom of each topic.
  • If you want to further deepen your learning about a topic or subtopic, consider following a plan for learning. You could use a less formal and systematic approach to regularly write your learning in a Learning Journal. Or, you could follow a more formal approach by developing a Training Plan. That Journal or Plan might benefit from considering your learning style, setting goals and motivating yourself to achieve those goals.
  • The addition of a learning plan can add more responsibilities to your life and work, so consider some guidelines from time management and stress management, as you develop and implement your plan for learning.

About Copyright Terms and Reprinting Materials

We want to help you to use the resources in the Library, including to reprint articles where appropriate. Read Copyright, Reprint to see how to reprint materials from the Library.

To Share Your Resources in the Library

  • Read Community Rules to see the requirements for adding links to the Library.
  • Read Copyright and Reprint Terms to see how shared resources in the Library can be used.
  • Read How to Add so you can consider sharing your favorite resources and learn how to share them, as well.

To Get Acquainted With the Library

  1. Read the section What It Is in the left sidebar.
  2. Scan the link Broad Categories in the right sidebar and get a feel for the types of topics in the Library. That is a partial list of the categories and topics. There are about 700 in the Library.
  3. Notice that if you hover your cursor over the phrase Broad Categories on the right sidebar, a bubble pops up with a listing of some of the broad categories. That is available from any page in the Library, so it's very convenient for wherever you're at in the Library.
  4. Scan down the Index on the upper, right corner to get an impression of the many topics in the Library. Realize that each of those very many links are to sections, themselves each having many additional links.
  5. Glance at the types of information in the section "General Resources" referenced from the right sidebar and notice the various resources in that section.
  6. Notice, in each topic, near the bottom of the page is a link "Related Library Topics" that goes to a list of other Library topics that are related to that topic. For example, near the bottom of the page of the topic Advertising is a link Related Library Topics. If you click on that link, it takes you to a list of other Library topics in regard to Advertising.

To Find a Certain Topic

  • Use the "Search" box in the upper, right corner of each page.
  • Scan the list of broad categories from the home page or by hovering your cursor over the phrase "Broad Categories" in the upper, right corner of each page.
  • Scan the Index from the link in the upper, right corner of each page.

To Use the Library for Personal, Professional or Organizational Development

  • One of the best ways to discern which topics would be most useful to you is to do a quick assessment, for example, of yourself, your team or your organization.
  • In the upper right, corner of each page, is a link to Assessments. There are sections about for-profits, nonprofits, your personal or professional development, employee performance assessments, and group assessments.
  • Don't worry about picking the "perfect" assessment. Most of them will help you find at least the top one or two topics, and you can start from there. When working to develop yourself, your team or your organization, many times it's the trying that counts -- if you make the effort, you cannot fail.
  • Also, consider the free eMBAs available from the right sidebar. The Free Micro-eMBA has 10 free, learning modules that can guide you to plan, develop and evaluate a for-profit organization. The Free Nonprofit Micro-eMBA has 12 modules to help you plan, develop and evaluate a nonprofit organization.
Find a Topic
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