The Information Commons: New Pathways to Digital Resources and Knowledge Management
No longer an innovation, the information commons has become a mainstream approach in U.S. academic libraries for providing convenient access to technology and online resources, the first step for many university students in their own knowledge management. From the very basic model of a well-equipped computer lab to more elaborate projects involving multiple campus departments, extensive digital resources, and spaces for knowledge creation, the information commons can facilitate the integration of the college and university library into the academic learning process. After a brief overview of the changing library environment, the paper provides a look at the various models and characteristics of the information commons and then focuses on the integrated model involving partnerships with computer centers and other information units. Successful implementation and operation present a number of challenges and the author makes a case for careful planning, the involvement of stakeholders, regular assessment, and periodic revision of format, organization and services. The author concludes with an examination of the information commons' role in knowledge management and a look to the future.
Seal, Robert A. “The Information Commons: New Pathways to Digital Resources and Knowledge Management.” In Proceedings of the 3rd China-U.S. Library Conference, 67-75. Shanghai, China, 2005.