Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Information Commons

University of Minnesota
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

The information commons concept is popular in academic libraries throughout the nation. It involves transforming library spaces to meet the multifaceted needs of learners.  The libraries at UW-Milwaukee, the University of Minnesota, California State Polytechnic University, and Northwestern University have adopted the model.  The three year process to transform the Reference Area (1st Floor) into an Information Commons was completed this past summer.  Its goal is to support student collaboration and learning with unique and varied study spaces.  Changes include the addition of a new centralized Reference Desk, movable tablet-arm “soft” chair furniture groupings, new study tables providing varied student work spaces allowing for individual and group study, a wireless access upgrade, improved access to power outlets, computers loaded with campus software and located in pod-style arrangements, laptop stations, scanners, printing, all in an open arrangement. In response to learner preference of online reference resources, the Reference collection was reduced to allow for expansion of collaborative learning areas.

Loyola Univesity
John Peace Library

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