Increasing use of technology as a means of accessing information and the recent shift towards cooperative learning and group study have brought changes in the way students use academic libraries and library resources. Academic libraries have experimented with new ways to combine information resources, technology, and research assistance. Some have reconfigured their physical space and redesigned services to meet the new challenges by adopting the idea of the information commons or a central location that provides computers, information resources in various formats, and staff assistance. Although they may share similar goals and some common features, academic institutions have taken a variety of approaches in designing, funding, and staffing their information commons. This article is an overview of several information commons in the United States and Canada and explores some of their missions, features, and strengths and weaknesses.


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pp. 241-257
Launched on MUSE
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