“Bibliotheksflirt,” published in German by Jonas Fansa in 2008, uses qualitative interviews of academic library patrons to show why patrons gravitate toward library spaces in their own right, not just to use the resources contained therein. Patrons mentioned the unique quality of the “library concentration” which they achieve when working there, the mysterious attraction of the books and shelves, the thrill of seeing and being seen, being motivated by the hushed concentration around them. Being able to interact with strangers and friends in a low-pressure manner because all are in agreement that they are primarily there to study, and thus even flirting or asking someone to take a lunch break together is low-key.
I’d like to come back to this book and consider what questions it brings to mind for public library spaces. I’d like to find out what’s been written on public library spaces in this vein.