With more and more reference material being provided in electronic form, instead of the bulky, bound user’s guides, maintaining an electronic library on a networked drive might be helpful to users. Take the poll. Do you maintain an electronic library?


The days of getting those thick and bulky user’s guides with a software purchase are over. Personally speaking, it’s been years since I’ve gotten one. It seems that most reference material is now provided in electronic form. And while it clears room on my bookshelf, I try to make room for it on my network.

One of the first things I’ll do when I get new software or a software upgrade is to copy the electronic documentation to its own folder on our corporate network. I have a mapped drive to the space, made available to all my users, appropriately called the Library.

Windows Resources, eBooks, user’s guides, tutorials, industry-specific electronic manuals, videos, and so on, are all made available to whomever might need them.

At first, I felt rather put-out because the software manufacturers quit shipping the printed manuals with their product. I even went so far as printing the electronic form and making my own manual. But it seemed silly after a while, and I quickly learned to make use of the benefits of the electronic form of the documentation — the best thing, of course, is the easy search function.

I make the electronic library open to whomever wants to save some sort of reference or training material, as long as it’s organized and put in a clear and obvious folder. It seems to work pretty well.

Take our poll. Do you maintain an electronic library?

What kind of ideas can you share about maintaining or creating an electronic library?