The Information Commons: a model for (physical) digital resource centers

J M Duncan
Bulletin of the Medical Library Association 1998, 86 (4): 576-82
Since its planning, construction, and opening in 1996, the Information Commons, located in The University of Iowa's Hardin Library for the Health Sciences, has served as a common ground for self-directed learning, information research, hands-on class sessions, and multimedia development. Initiatives launched from the Information Commons not only have helped increase the visibility of Hardin Library as an environment well equipped to support traditional research and education needs, but have promoted the library as a campus leader and viable partner in planning and delivering digital technologies effectively. Ongoing initiatives have focused on better integrating the library's services and resources with the curricula and research needs of the university's health sciences units. This paper describes the facility, its programmatic elements, and its impact on education, communication, and technology trends in an academic health sciences setting. Particular attention is paid to initiatives launched during the first two years of operation. This paper also discusses plans for expansion of the facility.

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