Learning Libraries

Dec 01, 2011

We are in the beginning phase of creating a learning/lending library comprised of leadership, sales, teamwork, business, etc... books.

We are going to set up a system (do not know what tool we will be using yet) in which learners can check out the books for up to a 4 week period for independent study.

  • Are any of you Heroes doing this at your companies? 
  • How do you incorporate Articulate/e-learning into it?
  • Do you have assignments that go along with the books?
  • If you have assignments, do you have different ones of each book? or different assignments for each type of book?

I was thinking of proposing this to my team:

  • Before a team member can check out a book, they have to take an introductory course about the 'book course', that will include:
  1. Things to think about while reading the book.
  2. How can I apply this to my current position.
  3. How will this improve my performance
  4. What did I learn.
  • When the team member returns the book, they will be given an assignment through our LMS.


Thank you for your feedback!!

5 Replies
Poornima Ramachandran

That's a very novel idea to me, Eric.

It is a very nice thing to blend the Articulate with Library.

For people who are not sure what book to lend, may be you can create an appetiser quiz. It will have some random case studies, and should ask the person how to respond. The person can choose any question / case study that interests him, and this will lead him to a specific book. (ie, here, we are moving from the quiz to the book).  

In this way, you might succed in creating a hunger for the book, which leads the person to want the book.

Also, will the whole idea of `having to face a quiz' discourage the employees from the very act of borrowing? I think replacing testing terms like `quiz' / `exams' with less serious ones will help... (`Discover `book name', `Thinking (Re)Cap' etc)

Mike Bubyn

Hi Eric,

I have seen a couple of different approaches to this in the past several years. Here are a few examples:

  1. The SMT (senior management team) of an organization started a book club. They would read the book and discuss it at the end of the month. Notes were taken regarding the book and how it relates to the business. It was suppose to be for the 12 member SMT only. Eventually Word got out about this and other staff asked for the title each month. It went viral with the company purchasing 100 of each book each month. a lottery system was put in place to see who got to read the book at the same time as the SMT. This evolved into many different books being purchased each month, and staff members would advocate for which title should become the next SMT read. it fostered great dialogue throughout the organization.
  2. I was part of a team which tried to nurture "personal development". Our approach to reading was to allow users to contribute as they saw fit. We had activties within the LMS which asked many of the same questions as you did: What are the key take aways of this book? How does it relate to your business line? Who do you think would benefit from reading this book. Every month we would profile a book with comments from these activties.

One suggestion would be to not bottle neck the process up front. If the end goal is to get them reading then don't put surveys and training in front of the reading. Intrinsic motivation is the driver for this type of intervention, focus on supporting activties after the book is read and you will get the interest to make this successful.

good luck.

Mike Bubyn

I believe book selection was a significant weakness. In both cases selection was arbitrary and that sometimes led us astray. There was a multiweek conversation regarding Anderson's " The long tail". Some people felt we should incorporate aspects into our business, where others felt that we were wasting our time as our B2B strategy conflicted with the writings. In the end management felt the conversation itself was worth the time but the book didn't really help. 

I could see the same thing happening with Pink's "drive" if your organization isn't into changing the motivational structure it may cause conflict. Using my ID brain I would define areas of interest ( productivity, Out side the box, sales, operations and define objectives for each area. This could also align post reading activities. 

Sorry for the speech, as for titles. I really liked Collin's "good to great", Allen's "getting things done" Covey's "7 habits".

We often took from these lists:




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