Monday, December 2, 2013

Public Libraries referred as 3rd place

Public libraries are often referred to as the “third place,” a term coined by Ray Oldenburg in his 1990 book, “The Great Good Place”. That reference is to “neutral social surroundings separate from
home and work/school.” A “third place” is typically inexpensive or free, provides a welcoming and comfortable environment, and makes it easy to enter into conversation. In this community, the public library aligns perfectly with that definition. According to Kevin Harris, author of a book about public libraries as a third place, “all societies need places that allow informal interaction without requiring it, places that are rich in the possibility of the safe, mundane encounter...” Third places make people feel at home, foster friendships, and create a sense of community. There certainly are some local venues that tend to be more “purely social” as third places, but they also tend not to be as inclusive as the public Library. People from all walks of life can meet and become acquainted with each other at the library. There are opportunities to make connections, relax, and discuss what is happening in the community and in your own life.

No comments: