‘Information environment’ is a vague term, vague enough to be usable in a variety of contexts. For me, as I worked for JISC before coming to OCLC, it will always be associated with the JISC agenda to advance an integrated network of information resources in support of UK research and learning.
I was very interested to come across the Information Environment Research Unit at the London University of the Arts earlier. The description of its scope is tantalisingly suggestive …
The Research Unit for Information Environments proposes to be at the forefront of research about and for the information industry. ‘Information Environments’ are defined as any physical or virtual spaces where information is generated, received and experienced. The Unit is particularly interested in spaces which are populated by communities such as those found in common areas of urban spaces, museums, the Internet and learning environments, and where the exchange of ideas. Concepts and knowledge is communicated.
This is potentially very broad but it is interesting to see mention of museums and learning environments (although I didn’t see the library explicitly discussed). They suggest that this marks a new field of enquiry. Unfortunately, the Unit does not make a lot of published material available on the website and I have not yet tracked it down elsewhere. Certainly something to keep an eye on though.