The Brookings Institution calls libraries vital “third places” within a community. After home and work, third places play a critical role in building community cohesiveness. Few enduringly American institutions have as much multigenerational appeal as the community library. Elementary school children gather for a story hour, high school and college students research term papers, and adults take continuing education classes or attend a community meeting.

As former CEO of Natixis Investment Managers and now President of Boston-based 1251 Asset Management, John Hailer spearheaded various philanthropic initiatives, including charitable giving centered around preserving local libraries.

He was drawn to the Boston Public Library by its ability to transcend boundaries and enrich the lives of those in need.

“The library cuts across the city. It’s a safe haven for a lot of children and a lot of adults, especially ones that may not be comfortable in other parts of the community,” he explains. “The pandemic really brought into focus the need to be able to connect into virtual learning.”

Then-mayor Thomas Menino appointed John Hailer to the Boston Public Library’s Board of Trustees in 2012 and he later served as Chairman.

Youth services were a key focus for Hailer, including the development of a teenage area where kids from all parts of the city can come after school and feel protected and safe and a new youth center for younger kids.

Read the full article about libraries by John Hailer at Medium.