Want to Check Out a Community?  Go to the Public Library

Whenever my parents traveled, to get to a feel for the local community ” cultural, historical, religious (they’re Jewish), architecture, etc. ” they would always visit the local synagogue(s).


I go to the local library.

I head there not just to check email and draft blog posts (like this one), but to get a sense of the local community.

Rorschach Test

At least to me, places with new(er), inviting public libraries have their priorities right.

That is, they value (and can pay for) education, and value public spaces** where anyone interested in learning can feel at home (note:  strong public schools are an even better sign.  But, determining that takes more than a quick, 30 minute visit).

Scoring high on this scale:  Carbondale, Colorado, where I briefly visited earlier this past Summer with son #2.

Framed in the wall of windows in the photo above: almost 13,000 foot Mount Sopris, about 20 miles south.

**Those same public spaces can also tell you if the community has a homelessness problem . . .

See also, “Where Libraries are the Tourist Attractions”; The NYT (8/10/2019).

About the author

Ross Kaplan has 19+ years experience selling real estate all over the Twin Cities. He is also a 12-time consecutive "Super Real Estate Agent," as determined by Mpls. - St. Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business Magazine. Prior to becoming a Realtor, Ross was an attorney (corporate law), CPA, and entrepreneur. He holds an economics degree from Stanford.

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