10 Essential Resources Every Industrial Library Should Have to Support the Knowledge Economy

Insights and Best Practices from Leading Industrial Libraries Around the World


An industrial library is a specialized library that caters to the information and research needs of industrial workers, researchers, engineers, and technicians. It provides resources that cover various fields such as engineering, technology, and management, to name a few. The main goal of an industrial library is to support and enhance the productivity of its users by providing them with relevant information and resources.Industrial Library

Industrial libraries play a vital role in the success of industrial organizations as they help to improve the quality and efficiency of their operations. This article aims to provide an in-depth analysis of industrial libraries, including their importance, functions, and challenges.

Importance Of An Industrial Library:

Industrial libraries are critical to the success of industrial organizations for several reasons. Firstly, they provide access to technical and scientific information that is essential for innovation and progress in the industry. Industrial workers need up-to-date information to perform their tasks effectively, and industrial libraries provide them with this information.

Secondly, industrial libraries help to improve the quality of work produced by workers in the industry. They provide access to reference materials, such as handbooks, manuals, and standards, which provide guidance and best practices for the industry.

Thirdly, industrial libraries help to reduce costs for industrial organizations. Instead of purchasing expensive technical and scientific literature, industrial organizations can rely on industrial libraries to provide the same information for free or at a reduced cost.

Functions of Industrial Libraries:

The functions of industrial libraries include:

  1. Collection development: This function involves the acquisition and management of resources in the library. Industrial libraries must select and acquire relevant resources that meet the needs of their users.
  2. Cataloging and Classification: Cataloging and classification of resources are essential for efficient and effective retrieval of information. Industrial libraries use various classification schemes, such as Dewey Decimal Classification, Library of Congress Classification, and Universal Decimal Classification, to organize their collections.
  3. Reference and Information Services: Reference and information services involve the provision of assistance to users in locating and using resources. Industrial libraries offer reference services through various channels such as in-person, email, and chat services.
  4. Current Awareness Services: Current awareness services involve the dissemination of information on new developments, trends, and innovations in the industry. Industrial libraries provide current awareness services through newsletters, bulletins, and alerts.
  5. Training and Outreach Services: Training and outreach services involve the provision of training to users on how to use library resources effectively. Industrial libraries offer training services through workshops, seminars, and online tutorials.

Challenges Facing Industrial Libraries:

Despite the importance of industrial libraries, they face several challenges that hinder their effectiveness. These challenges include:

  1. Funding: Industrial libraries require adequate funding to acquire and maintain their collections, but funding is often limited. Many industrial organizations may not prioritize library funding, leading to limited resources and inadequate services.
  2. Technology: Technology is essential for the efficient and effective operation of industrial libraries, but it also presents challenges. Industrial libraries must keep up with the latest technological advancements to provide their users with the best services. However, the cost of acquiring and maintaining technological infrastructure is often high.
  3. Information Overload: The amount of information available in the industry is overwhelming, making it challenging to manage and organize. Industrial libraries must implement efficient and effective information management strategies to provide their users with relevant information.
  4. Staffing: The staffing of industrial libraries is also a challenge, with many libraries facing a shortage of qualified staff. The recruitment and retention of qualified staff are essential to the success of industrial libraries.


Industrial libraries play a critical role in the success of industrial organizations by providing essential information and resources to workers. They help to improve the quality of work produced, reduce costs, and enhance productivity. The functions of industrial libraries include collection development, cataloging and classification, reference and information services, current awareness services, and training and outreach services. However, industrial libraries face challenges such as limited funding, technological advancements, information overload, and staffing shortages. To overcome these challenges, industrial libraries must adopt efficient and effective management strategies, implement new technological advancements, and prioritize staffing recruitment and retention.

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