Libraries as Learning Commons

Not only are librarians debating about what they should call themselves, they are also debating about what they should call the buildings in which they work, especially in academia. Some libraries are dropping the library from their name and replacing it with “Information Commons” or “Learning Commons.” Many others are keeping the name library, but adding commons spaces – generally at the expense of stacks, but in response to student needs. I think that this trend is having a great impact on our notions of what information actually is and what libraries need in order to disseminate information.

Today, I saw a news piece about the fact that Georgia State University is currently transforming its libraries. To learn more go to The library has a web site devoted to the transformation at There is also an INFOCOMMONS web site and listserv – details can be found at There isn’t much traffic on the listserv as of yet, but I have learned some interesting information from it.I suspect that academic libraries 20 years hence will look quite a bit different than they do today – probably a bit more like Borders bookstores!!!


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