Athenaeums, after all, are social libraries, cornerstones of a community where you don’t just borrow books – you can visit cherished antiquities, hold talks, attend parties – and even bring your dog.
“Fundamentally, the Athenaeum is about community,” he says. “The salons are about fostering that interaction within the community and creating that exchange of ideas that you can’t have listening to a podcast, and you can’t have blogging and Twittering and Facebooking online. It’s not your grandfather’s library.”
It’s nice, though, that it looks that way. On a recent quiet Saturday, the Ath filled up with visitors old and new.