Planning and Implementation Considerations for the Information Commons in Academic Libraries

Planning and Implementation Considerations for the Information Commons in Academic Libraries

Marwin Britto
University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States

Library Student Journal,
December 2011

Abstract

The presence of the Information Commons has been growing steadily in academic libraries in the past decade primarily due to rapid technological changes in society and the need to meet evolving student demands and expectations. Ultimately, the idea of the Information Commons forces the reconceptualization of the traditional librarian roles, services, resources and physical space of the academic library. “Blended librarians” and “roving librarians” alter the traditional roles of public service and reference librarians. Flexible and modular learning spaces and digital and mobile access to resources and services are also important tenets of an Information Commons. A well-designed and student-centered Information Commons necessarily integrates a range of campus partners to offer students centralized access to all of their academic needs. Student input and involvement are essential in the planning stages to help inform the design of the Information Commons. Mechanisms for ongoing feedback and input are critical to ensuring the Information Commons continues to meet students’ needs.