They’re one of the neatest features of Windows 7. They’re in your face, all clickable, and …useful? What do you DO with them? Is it just a fancy name for My Documents and My Music? How do I make Windows 7 Libraries do something new? I was right there with you when I started using Windows 7.
First, however… They are not new!
Believe it or not, the core functionality of a library (known as a virtual folder) first entered the Windows environment with Vista, where they were known as Search Folders. They operated a little differently, and were less in your face. Couple that with the fact that next to no one used Vista, and you have all you need to know about why they feel all fresh and new.
Libraries are virtual folders that don’t actually exist in the folder tree on the hard disk. Their job is to run a constant search, index the results, and display them to you inside the virtual folder. So… what do you do with them?
Give your C:\ some room to breathe!
The simplest and best use for libraries is to allow you to store data on another drive without having to look elsewhere to find it later. I’ll use the Music library as an example.