The era of books as the major information source is most definitely over. During that time, the following would have happened: A young PR trainee aims to read all about the world of communication theory and strategy. He first heads out to the next library or bookstore, looking for an expert who actually knows about the field, illuminating him on which he should read. Then he would buy it, borrow or wait, because it is so good that it is already sold out – in short – he had to go through all this hustle to get a brief overview of a new topic. Nowadays, this whole procedure has been shortened by one central resource: the Internet. At Mashup Communications, we are digital natives, Internet-savvy, and always up to date, but at the same time still cherishing an analogue mashup library – but why? Why should any company offer an offline reading option to its employees?
1. Making the most out of printed words
Books provide more profound information. An average blog post or online article is limited in its number of characters simply because reading on a PC or a laptop is tiring for the human eye and limits our attention span. For this reason, they only cover topics superficially, whereas professional literature, whether its an e-book or a classic book, provides more profound and deep content.
2. The cure for being stuck
The average desk worker spends more than eight hours sitting in front of a screen He most likely suffers from squared eyes. So what offers a better compensation than getting away from your desk by using alternative ways of obtaining information? Once the mind is trapped, books can help to calm down and offer a great opportunity to leave the familiar work-environment. A book is portable. It motivates you to get away from your desk and to obtain a shift in perspective by diving into a new scenery, while reading outside in the sun or in the lounge.
3. Books provide new brain food
As a storytelling agency, we live from stories. For thousands of years, books have always been a medium for transmitting information. From the Bible to the Brothers Grimm – they do not just teach us morals and ethics, but above all, they are the reason why we love stories! Thus, going “back to the roots” can provide us with new thoughts and widen our perspective.
4. Citable sources
One of the main disadvantages of the World Wide Web is the “Copy&Paste” function. Information can be spread fast and it can turn into untrustworthy content. The website: www.martinlutherking.org, which appears to be a glorification of the Nobel Peace Prize winner Martin Luther King, has caused a lot of dismay in the United States. It turned out the name of the operator was “Storm Front” and it belongs to the US-American Neo-Nazi-Association. Another example: The student Chen Fan tested the popular online encyclopaedia Wikipedia and registered himself as an important person. For more than seven years, Fan was wrongly listed as the mayor of a small Chinese village. Sometimes, the Internet seems way too fast – or too slow, maybe?
5. Read, share, comment – it also works offline
An internal library offers the possibility for all employees to be on a similar level of knowledge. For all lazy readers: there is always a bookworm among you, who can share the information he obtained with his colleagues. Furthermore, sharing the lecture can enhance discussions and suggestions. In the end, everyone benefits from more knowledge.
6. Conclusion: on- and offline readings offer the best conditions
Reading or being read – a book offers a great recreational method. However, the digital information culture impresses with its timeliness. There is no other place where facts and content can be published, updated and commented as quickly. Features, such as Google Scholar, have now grown into solid and reputable sources of the Internet. Other pages, though, require a more thorough validation of their content. Today, we are in a lucky position – we can use everything, both online and offline, and benefit from both advantages. While a creative design company may display a few tattered Mickey Mouse books, whereas an architectural firm would show-off some elegant illustrated volumes on their shelves – one is certain: with well-chosen books, a corporate library can also reflect the company’s corporate design and its identity.