This month Educause looks at 7 Things You Should Know About the Modern Learning Commons.
The learning commons, sometimes called an “information commons,” has evolved from a combination library and computer lab into a full-service learning, research, and project space. As a place where students can meet, talk, study, and use “borrowed” equipment, the learning commons brings together the functions of libraries, labs, lounges, and seminar areas in a single community gathering place. The cost of a learning commons can be an obstacle, but for institutions that invest in a sophisticated learning commons, the new and expanded partnerships across disciplines facilitate and promote greater levels of collaboration. The commons invites students to devise their own approaches to their work and to transfer what they learn in one course to the work they do for another.
And as a special bonus, since the beginning of 2011 they're offering an ePub version alongside the PDF. That makes it a lot nicer to look at on an e-reader.