Get to know your neighbors

Some people think the library is just about checking out books. It is also an amazing place to meet interesting people, or just spend time being in a space filled with chatter and good vibes. I used to think that the best libraries were like Jewish delis, filled with stories and friendly people who made you feel welcome.

That’s how I am thinking about our block parties that kick off this Saturday at Anythink Bennett and will be held throughout our communities. These gatherings are low key ways to have a snack or a cup of coffee, listen to some music and have a chat with one of your neighbors. Block parties are small ways to get to know your community. They can give us all a sense of belonging and security. Sometimes people live in a neighborhood for years, but they don’t really get a chance to get to know the people in the community. When I lived in Denver years ago, I didn’t really meet our neighbors until we got our first puppy, a golden retriever. Walking Cody through the neighborhood was the first time I met the people on our block. And then we got to know all of the dog owners – we know the dogs’ names, but maybe not the owners’, and that is ok. We have something we share – our love of our wonderful canine companions.

The Anythink Block Parties are part of an international initiative, Outside the Lines: Libraries Reintroduced. Over 250 libraries throughout the world are hosting community events to reintroduce libraries to their communities in creative ways – some surprising, some traditional – because libraries are evolving, just like everything else in our world.

Over the next week, Anythink is hosting block parties in neighborhoods throughout our community: a tailgate party, a dog party, an old-fashioned cookout with our local firefighters. I hope you’ll join us in meeting some of your neighbors and maybe making some new friends. Maybe chat about gardening, share a recipe or a favorite joke or story. Communities where people know each other tend to be safer communities and happier ones. Our quality of life is richer when we take time to get to know each other, maybe find something in common, or just past the time with a glass of lemonade.