Despite online, people still gather in physical spaces
We are fans of the library. Specifically, the Ramsey County Library. We order constantly and compulsively. If the Ramsey County Library doesn’t have it, there is the MnLink Gateway, which has access to most everything printed, or so it seems (books printed in Australia are hard to get, but otherwise…).
A year ago, maybe two, the library moved to a more sustainable location and this old building (built in 1969) overlooking a wetland, was sold. It had been a low-slung structure with a 60’s vibe and lots of hard brick surfaces for our kids to bump into. It sort of resembled a mushroom from the outside, but the inside skylights brought in lots of light on sunny days. It was a cheery place where you came to know the librarians by name.
Library archives via Lillie News
Even though much of what I use the library for today is online (that is, ordering books), there is still the showing up to pick up books and the dropping off of (sometimes overdue) books. And the picking up of more books. And in this picking up and dropping off, we see the same librarians and many of the same patrons, again and again. The local library is an honest point of connection.
Though the Arden Hills branch has now been reduced to a pile of rubble, it is hard for me to imagine the local, physical library going away or even dropping in importance as a community meeting point.
Images: Kirk Livingston, LillieNews.com