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2 Responses

  1. Yukie

    Sam-I was literally JUST (an hour ago) thinking about the concept of “third place” and wishing that I had a place that served that function for me (it would actually be a “second place” in my case, as I am a stay-at-home mom). Back before there were public libraries (the first of which opened in your fair city in 1859!), there were “social libraries” that were a refuge from the responsibilities (and pressures) of work and home, where people could read and also socialize and relax. A kind of private, personal library on a grand public scale. A combination of B&N and Starbucks with all of the commerce involved removed. Storefront Library has brought back the social library, a concept that came about as young men of the 19th century moved to big cities and lived in cramped quarters and thus needed a “third place” to call their own. Things haven’t changed too much in a century and a half- I live in cramped quarters in a big city. The need for a third place lives on.

  2. Astird

    Sam,
    Great piece, I never thought about it in quite that way– but after spending time in the library in Chinatown, I definitely saw how patron’s were using it as their “third place”. I love that you’ll be looking for a winning formula so that the concept of “third places” can be made into realities across many cities.
    Astrid