Breakout Session IC: Focusing on Information Commons

Is the 21st century college library still the heart of the institution? Can it serve as an integrated learning center essential to campus intellectual and social life?

What kinds of new and renovated spaces can leverage the library’s unique mixture of content (print, multi media, and digital), services, and physical environment? Many libraries are developing information commons or learning commons in new or renovated spaces to create active places where information is not just stored and retrieved but where it is exchanged and created. Some libraries want to implement this model throughout the facility while others limit it to a particular area or floor of the library. This session will explore variations of this new model for libraries, discuss the importance of services to support these spaces (trained staff, computing software and technical support), and describe design features (architecture, layouts and aesthetics) that facilitate and celebrate the learning experience in libraries.

Libraries are evolving to fit a changing world. Current technology and work habits allow 24/7 access and interaction from anywhere. Students work and socialize in groups with mixed media, whether print and digital, still and moving. They tend to browse the internet more than the book stacks. To remain relevant, libraries are becoming places less about storing and retrieving information and more about exchanging and creating information.

Information Commons -Part I
Joan Lippincott

Information Commons -Part II
Henry Myerberg