Change and Challenge: Redefine the Future of Academic Libraries
First established in the United States in the 1990’s, the information commons (IC) has become a common way to provide users of academic libraries with a variety of both library and technology services in the 21st century. Now a worldwide phenomenon, the information commons offers, in a centralized location, research and writing assistance, access to computers and other technology, high-speed Internet and wireless communication, loans of laptops and tablet devices, tutoring, both quiet and noisy work study areas, collaborative spaces, classrooms, digital media services, coffee and food items, and more. From the smallest to the largest institutions, the IC has become almost a necessity if the academic library is to be successful in attracting and serving users, primarily undergraduates. Focused heavily on the use of technology and sometimes known as the learning commons, the IC seeks to both meet user needs and to more fully integrate the library into the academic programs of the university. The effective implementation of an information commons adds value to traditional services and embraces the idea that innovation and knowledge creation are at the center of a modern academic library. This paper describes the features and goals of this innovative service model and presents a description of the very successful implementation of the Information Commons at Loyola University Chicago.
Seal, Robert A.. Information Commons: The Future is Now. Change and Challenge: Redefine the Future of Academic Libraries, November 4, 2012, Beijing, China.
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