An article in today's New York Times (free registration) talks about how academic libraries are developing as group learning environments.
If digital access pushed libraries to reinvent themselves, it was developments in educational theory that helped turn them into academic town squares. After all, technology has made it possible for students to plug into the world without ever leaving their rooms. This sort of isolated learning experience is not only antithetical to the college experience but has also been losing favor among educators. [The New York Times > Education > Education Life > Spaces for Social Study]