Libraries in the USA as Traditional and Virtual ‘Third Places’

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2004-01-01
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Library Information Technology Services
We provide and support all of the library’s technology needs. We provide technical assistance and training to library staff, manage the library website, our integrated library management system, and the Tech Lending program for students. Some employees of the State Library of Iowa's SILO Project, which coordinates a statewide catalog and interlibrary loan system for public libraries, work in our department.
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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.

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

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Thu Jan 01 00:00:00 UTC 2004
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