What is the "third place" or "third space" in your community? No, I'm not talking about a bronze medal or trophy. The first place is your home, and the second place is your work...so what is your third space? The third place is that space outside of work & home that helps drive community discussions, civic engagement, and building a sense of place in your community. Often you will see this romanticized as a Parisian café, but this can be the Monterey Sports Center, bookstore, hair stylist, local club, church, park, farmers market, coffeeshop, or the library!
Ray Oldeburg created the term of "third place" and wrote about the needs for informal community gathering places, and the value of these places in his book The Great Good Place. Eric Klinenberg writes about the way that libraries and community spaces can transform a divisive country in his book Palaces for the People: How Social Infrastructure Can Help Fight Inequality, Polarization, and the Decline of Civic Life. I've seen Eric speak, and I can say he's an ardent supporter of libraries!
This is why I'm looking forward to re-opening our community meeting room and Solarium conference room for public booking soon. Providing free meeting spaces for the public helps to provide the "third place" in our community to plant new ideas, grow our learners, and cultivate new friendships. Our community spaces here in Monterey are great assets to help build a stronger and more engaged community. Libraries are not always quiet places - they are also a "third place" that foster a connected, informed, and prosperous community. Where is your "third place" or "third space" here in Monterey?
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