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Building a Reference Library

by Alaina Alexander

Q. Who needs books when you've got the Internet? 

A. We all do.


Bookstores and Libraries

Research the leading books in your field and read them in the library before you buy anything. Used bookstores are a great source for a business library. Get on the email or mailing list for your favorite used bookstore.

Magazine subscriptions

Magazines subscriptions are tricky, because they have a tendency to  pile up in the corner or go largely unread when you hit a busy season. A more economical tactic is to start a publication swap with other creative artists. 

Online newsletters and publications

Many of the online newsletters are free or very low cost. Set up a separate email address for online publications. This will free up space in your business email address.

 Business library essentials:

  1. A specialized dictionary for your artistic medium
  2. A regular vocabulary dictionary
  3. Biographies of  folks working in your artistic medium
  4. Software operation manuals
  5. Books on résumé writing, cover letters and job interviewing techniques
  6. National and local directories
  7. A couple of books written by experts in your field
  8. Keep your business library updated
  9. Books on English grammar, style books and Internet etiquette

Check out these reference sites:,,, and