Libraries at University of Nebraska-Lincoln


Date of this Version


Document Type



Published in Library Philosophy and Practice (2011) 12 p.


This article responds to William T. Caniano's recent article in Library Philosophy and Practice criticizing the Commons model as causing a "labization" of the library, where a focus on high gate count creates noise problems inimical to the traditional scholarly ideal of the library. Caniano further asserts that increased use of laptops and mobile devices in the future will drive down demand for desktops, thus drastically reducing gate count and causing our Commons to become deserted. Lastly, Caniano advocates replacing it with what he calls the "Athenaeum" model. This article describes a number of sections of the Commons literature not mentioned by Caniano, and examines several counter-examples that support a broader and deeper description of the Commons than he provides, as well as a richer context for its implementation and assessment than his article acknowledges.