The library as third space: how our rural library is leaping into this concept [slides]

ALIA Library

Marrow, Elisabeth

Asia-Pacific Library and Information Conference 2018, 30 July - 2 August 2018 Gold Coast: Roar Leap Dare
This conference presentation (PowerPoint slides) discusses the idea of the 3rd space, first raised by ay Oldenberg in his book ‘The Great Good Place’ (1989). In the 21st Century the places where a person may have no expectations placed upon them, where they may enter into a world of social acceptance and feel instantly ‘at home’ are rare. For some the library is the one place where they can guarantee they will have a conversation or at least some kind of interaction with another human being.  Many are lonely, elderly, restricted in some manner and have very small or non-existent social circles. The library is therefore becoming the ‘coal face’ for the disenfranchised, the lonely and the unaware.  ‘You should expect your library to be a community space – a place for the interchange of ideas and the creation of whole new concepts.’ (R.D.Lankes, 2012)

In this Pecha Kucha session I will demonstrate how the Eltham Library is demonstrating the use of the community as the 3rd space. I will show photographic evidence and provide testimony from our members – relating their stories and their reasons for regular participation in our weekly sessions. The common link is the need for social interaction and companionship. ‘The individual with a 3rd place has a host of friends that are not limited by the narrowness of personal choice.’ (Oldenberg, 1989).

Deakin, ACT: Australian Library and Information Association
South Taranaki District Council
New Zealand