Over the last few months I’ve been trying to work out how I can make technical books available within my small team; both for general information as well as technical self-learning & certification.
Traditionally, printed books would be purchased and a support ticket would be created to keep tabs on who had which book. With the increasing popularity of eBooks, however, it isn’t quite so straight-forward anymore.
While eReaders such as the Kindle and Nook are quite popular, they are really focused on providing content to a single person and lack the controls required for an IT Department. Common tablet devices also have a variety of apps that can be used to read material, but again the lack of a centralised facility to share and control access to licensed items makes them problematic.
I think for now the best compromise is a mix of both old and new methods; Physical books for certification-related study (so you can focus just on the material along with high-quality diagrams), and eBooks for everything else (with new books added to the device monthly).
Couple this with the support ticket method of keeping track of who has what and it should allow the best of both worlds.