Philosophical Ranting of an Engineer

Not a lot of thought provoking content in this post, mostly summarizing things I already know like Constance Steinkuehler thinks MMOGs are the new third place and she uses “The Great Good Place” as an argument for that. But the author is a librarian and argues that libraries are becoming less and less of a third place. What? Since when were libraries a third place? After reading part of “The Great Good Place” and seeing Oldenburg’s defining traits I’m not sure I see libraries matching those. Where is the cameraderie in a library? Where are the familiar faces? Continuing with this line of thought “The only thing wrong with the third place concept is that it’s being utterly co-opted by corporate America.” How is Starbucks at all like a third place described by Oldenburg? Oldenburg describes a place where people know you and you are all members of a community, but none of that exists at Starbucks. People come to Starbucks (and coffee shops in general) to be around other people and drink their coffee and read their book and won’t ever talk to anyone else. Yes, this points to people needing proximity to others in a public place, but none of the community that is so vital to Oldenburg exists.

Of course libraries today are not what they used to be. Perhaps there were more book clubs in libraries I don’t know. The libraries I go to seem very detached from the “community” around them, but that could just be me.


Sorry, comments are closed for this article.