One thing I've been very interested in is the survival of academic libraries in the 1990s and 2000s, and the ways they've changed in the last decade. If you read academic library journals from a decade ago, you'd see a lot of pessimism: people were worried that libraries were going to disappear completely, as more publications went online. Of course, that hasn't happened: instead, many libraries have reconfigured themselves, devoting more space to group study, to campus academic functions, or to collaborative work.

If you think about it another way, libraries have followed the same path that the Web has: from thinking of themselves as places that are mainly about information storage, retrieval, and communication, to places that support groups, creative work, and (a particularly intellectual form of) social networking.

in other words, libraries that are self-described "information commons" are not unlike social software. They're libraries 2.0.

But if I'm not mistaken, librarians started talking about information commons around 2001– well before Friendster, LinkedIn, and all the rest of Web 2.0 happened. I wonder what librarians are talking about these days?

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