An Information Commons is a physical facility “specifically designed to organize workspace and service delivery around the integrated digital environment.” (Beagle, 1999) Normally situated within academic libraries, Information Commons began to appear in colleges and universities in the early 1990’s in response to the ever-increasing need of students to have access and support for technology and electronic information resources. They started out as computer-based facilities but many are now transformed to collaborative service facilities and campus centres in response to perceived user needs and priorities of the academy. The present iterations of the Commons often reflect the particular culture of each academy, and the array of collaborators possible.
This article discusses some of the current models of Information Commons facilities in North America and elsewhere, and considers how collaboration is changing the outcomes of the library and the academy. It also speculates on what might be future trends of these collaborations