EP Editorial Staff | June 1, 2009
Welcome to Bannister’s Bookshelf, the new Maintenance Technology literary review column! As you may already know, each profession relies on a “Body of Knowledge” that acts not only as a blueprint for recalling previously learned methods and practices, but more importantly, as a tool to stimulate new learning and understanding. In my maintenance management consulting practice, I typically have found that most maintainers do not possess a personal technical library. Instead, they tend to rely on their companies’ technical libraries for their reference materials—if such libraries and actually materials exist at their sites! Unfortunately, most maintenance technical libraries tend to be heavily stocked with catalogs and proprietary vendor information, and are rather “thin” on good maintenance practitioner and management books.
The past 25 years have witnessed major changes in the maintenance profession, with a higher focus on diagnostics, failure understanding and failure prevention than on repairs. During this time, there has been a literary explosion of first-rate maintenance publications that most maintainers are unaware of. In today’s maintenance world, if maintainers are not updating and refreshing their knowledge by reading current maintenance books and periodicals, they run the real risk of becoming isolated and stagnant within their profession.
When asked about their reluctance to personally invest in a maintenance library, most say that they would like to do so, but are hesitant to lay out what might be a considerable amount for a maintenance book. The reason, they admit, is that they doubt their ability to choose a book that will deliver value for the money spent.
That’s where Bannister’s Bookshelf comes in. It will focus on reviews of books that relate directly and indirectly to the maintenance function and allow you, the maintainer, to “try before you buy!”
Read the reviews that you will be finding here. If a book appears to interest you, ask your local library to obtain it for you. Then, carve out the time to read it and decide if you would like to buy it for your personal “Body of Knowledge.” Although most of the reviewed titles will be recent publications, you also can count on me to slip in an occasional must-have “oldie but goodie.”
The goal of Bannister’s Bookshelf is to make the maintainer—and the maintenance department—aware of books specifically published for and aimed at the maintenance profession. Over time, this column will review a number of books and categorize each as follows:
- Title: the book’s name
- Audience: answers the question “is the book directly targeting maintenance as the primary audience or indirectly targeting maintenance as the secondary target audience?”
- Maintenance Classification: four classifications – 1) Management; 2) Technology; 3) Practical; 4) Reference
- Author: the writer’s name
- Publisher: the company that publishes and prints the book
- Internet: the Web address of the publisher for more information on the book
- ISBN Number: the book’s Library of Congress unique ID number
- Price: the book cost
- Year: year the book is published
- Index: indicating if the book has an index
- Bibliography: indicating if the book has a bibliography
- Review Outline: the section where I, the reviewer, get to say a few words about the book
Now, take a look at our reviews…