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Libraries in the USA as Traditional and Virtual ‘Third Places’
New Library World
  • Karen G. Lawson, Iowa State University
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Traditional “third places” provide physical places for human contact and social experience outside of the home or workplace/school. Institutions as disparate as fitness centers, libraries, and beauty salons are examples of third places: locations where people gather and often talk about things that are important to them. Libraries have a long tradition of connectedness and community that has put them in the forefront of traditional third places. As library Web sites are created and evolve, the sense of place provided by physical third places will become increasingly important online. Much about connectedness and community online can be learned from the concept of third places and their importance in real life and in cyberspace. The traditions inherent in libraries as physical third places provide predictions, projections, and inspirations for continued good service in the online presence of libraries.

This article is from New Library World 105, no. 3/4 (2004): 125–130, doi:10.1108/03074800410526758.

This article is © Emerald Group Publishing and permission has been granted for this version to appear here ( Emerald does not grant permission for this article to be further copied/distributed or hosted elsewhere without the express permission from Emerald Group Publishing Limited.
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Emerald Group Publishing Limited
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Karen G. Lawson. "Libraries in the USA as Traditional and Virtual ‘Third Places’" New Library World Vol. 105 Iss. 3/4 (2004) p. 125 - 130
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