Library coffee bars and snack services

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The following is a list of libraries in Michigan who provide coffee or snack services for their patrons. Please feel free to add your library's information to this list.

Albion College Stockwell-Mudd Libraries has a lounge area with vending machines for snacks, soft drinks, and coffee/hot chocolate/cappuccino. It is provided by an outside company that handles other campus vending machines.

Albion Public Library has a small self serve coffee spot. Patrons pay at the circulation desk.

Alma College Library has a small, student-run cafe. The idea came from a student organization (Students in Free Enterprise). During the summer of 2006, a section of the library was renovated, and building a small cafe was part of that renovation. The cafe is open seven hours a day, less on the weekends. They serve coffee drinks (lattes, mochas, etc.), tea, juice, and bakery items.

Ann Arbor District Library has vending in three of their five locations and will add it in all new buildings. They have space for tables and chairs for 20-24 people. They don't charge the vending company for space, and they don't receive any proceeds from the sales. These are VERY popular spaces in the library’s buildings. In addition, drinks are allowed in all of the buildings no matter where they were purchased, and food is allowed in all of the vending/casual study areas no matter where it was purchased. Library staff has seen pizza delivered to one of the branches.

Bad Axe Public Library has a cappuccino machine that makes espresso, cappuccino, hot chocolate, etc. It's in a tiny little cafe area with bar stools and a game table for chess and checkers.

Canton Public Library The Library Cafe features hot and cold drinks, soups, salads, sandwiches, pastries and desserts. There is seating for around 20 people, a plasma screen TV and magazine and newspaper rack. The cafe is staffed and managed by contract with a local food service company.

Central Michigan University Libraries has Java City run by an outside vendor. They offer coffee, latte, ices, lunch sandwiches/salads, general snacks and vending machines for snacks, juices/water with seating for about 50 people. They are located just inside the front doors to the building, but outside of the library proper. During their closed hours, the vendor locks down the part with the food and drinks they sell via the cash register with a track wall of glass & metal. The vending machines, seating, and restrooms are always accessible during library hours.

Clinton-Macomb Public Library offers vending machine snack areas at the North Branch and Main Library. The North Branch space is about 400 square feet and includes a magazine collection. They have a long counter that looks out the windows into the back parking lot - not exciting, but residential and well-landscaped. The Main Library space is larger, probably 900 square feet. It has several table and chair sets, a glass wall looking into the sortation system area and is adjacent to a copy room. We also have a TV set in the ceiling. There is a snack machine, pop machine and multipurpose coffee machine. Vending is provided under contract, and the library receives a commission. The branch opened in 2001 and the Main Library in 2003. They have had no problem with people keeping the spaces clean. They occasionally see people bring a pizza in and as long as they don't trash the place, the library lets them go about their business. A franchise operation was considered, but there were issues with hours of operation, signage, health department regulations, etc., and the snack area seemed much more manageable. It also keeps the space more generic so that if the library needs to capture it later on for another purpose, it would be easy to convert.

Detroit Public Library had a coffee shop at Main and contracted with an outside vendor. Volume was not there and the relationship died. They are planning to open another coffee shop or a high-end vending machine service.

Eastern Michigan University Halle Library has the Paradox Cafe which is located on the Ground Floor (basement). It is run by the University and not the Library. It has a wide variety of cold and fresh foods including fruit, sandwiches, desserts, lattes, coffee, snacks, etc. The eating area seats about 50 people and looks out onto the Power Plant for a pleasant view (this is true!). There are a variety of vending machines available when the cafe itself is closed providing beverages, sandwiches, snacks. The cafe is open when the nearby computing lab is open.

Ferris State University library currently has a vending machine room with sandwiches, microwaveable items, yogurt, and snack foods. They plan to expand their current food offerings to a full-service Starbucks that will be slated to begin operations by fall semester 2007.

Herrick District Library has a café in the lower level of the building. It is contracted out to a local vendor. Vendor provides prep equipment (refrigeration, freezer, counter, coffee makers) we provide sinks and order counter with pull down curtain to secure the space. The library provides trash and garbage pickup, as well as tables and chairs for diners. Vendor pays $200/month fee.

Howell Carnegie District Library has two vending machines in a public area (about 250 square feet). One has hot drinks, the other has cold. Vend Tek owns the machines and gives the library a small percentage of the profits over a certain minimum.

Kalamazoo College Library, has a Beaner's café franchise (owned by the College) on the first level of the building called "The Book Club." It serves hot and cold drinks (coffee, cider, hot chocolate, etc.) as well as some snacks (muffins, scones, cookies, and more). The café has its own comfortable seating area.

Kent District Library, Grandville Branch, has a coffee vending machine (stand-alone which requires no plumbing) and a pop machine in the lobby area. People are welcome to bring drinks in. The coffee machine is from Fresh Brew 4U with Jeff Maatman, who operates in a limited area in western Michigan. The cold drinks are from Tom's Vending. The coffee machine is very compact, and the cold drinks machine is the standard public space variety - huge. Both machines are maintained by vendors and require no staff intervention other than to contact the vendor when a problem arises. Service is free to the library, and they do not receive any cash profit. The public is welcome to bring drinks into the library. The library is thinking of adding a snack machine.

Kent District Library,Plainfield Branch, has a small room (approx. 10 x 16) with three vending machines provided by J. Bos Vending Company in Grand Rapids. One machine is for hot beverages (the library provides lids), one is cold beverages (bottles with screw on caps) and snacks. They have two café tables and four stools along with another table and two chairs. The room is located in the adult wing and has a neon sign indicating "café".

Kent District Library, Wyoming Branch, has an 815 square foot café located off the library’s lobby. It is operated by a private vendor and offers coffee, soda, sandwiches, and snacks. There is seating for about 20-25. The library building was designed so that there are separate utilities for the café, to keep them separate from those of the library. The café is called the Bookworm Café and is operated during all open hours of the library. The café has first right of refusal for the provision of drinks and food for groups using any of the library’s meeting rooms. Covered drinks are allowed in the library, and there has been no problem with this. There is a small collection of art prints hanging on the walls of the café, done by a local artists’ group’s members. The pictures are for sale, and the artists take on any liability (to date there’s been none.) This gives the artists’ works exposure and nicely complements the café décor.

Loutit District Library has vending machines – Coke, snacks and (very poor) coffee in a small area with two tables and about eight chairs. In spite of its size, it is well-used including those people with laptops using our wi-fi. When the library added this area they had hoped to have an actual café, but due to the size and anticipated traffic they could not get a vendor. They even had difficulty finding a vendor that would place a coffee machine. They have an old refurbished machine that only works part of the time. They are working on a building project for renovation and expansion of our building and plan to continue to have vending machines -- but this time with a better coffee machine which the library may have to purchase.

The Main Library of the Michigan State University Libraries has a CyberCafe on the first floor with comfy seating, table seating, Macs and PCs, printers, WiFi, newspapers, all overlooking MSU's beautiful W. J. Beal Botanical Garden. Open the same hours as the Main Library (24 hours from Sunday at 10am until Friday at midnight during Fall and Spring semesters), the cafe offers Fair Trade Certified coffee and made-to-order espresso drinks, fountain and bottled drinks, soup and chili, grilled and cold sandwiches, salads, selected items from Woody's Oasis Mediterranean Deli, pastries (including Zingerman's Bakehouse treats), and a large variety of chips and candy. Pizza will soon be added to the menu. The CyberCafe is operated by MSU's Housing and Food Services; the Libraries split the cost of furnishings and share the profits. Campus Sparty's Coffeehouses are also available close to these MSU branch libraries: Biomedical and Physical Sciences, Business, Engineering, Law and Math.

The Peter White Public Library has two vending machines: one soda/water and one snack/candy. They are maintained by Northern Michigan Vending of Marquette. The company provides the machines and products and sends the library a check each month. The library generally makes about $60.00 to $70.00 per month on the machines. They also lease out a small coffee shop to a local vendor. The library collects 3% of the sales as lease. They provide a space for food preparation, including a sink, refrigerator, and dishwasher and a small seating area for 12. The vendor has a menu of coffees, sandwiches, soups, salads and cookies/treats. The library receives an average of $200 per month from the vendor. Note: the current vendor is the third vendor since 2000 and works well with the library. The first two vendors did not work as well for the library.

Portage District Library has a self-service coffee vending system. It sits on the counter at the end of the circulation desk and has a very small foot-print, not much larger than a home coffee brewing machine. The Keurig System brews fresh coffee in each cup; the library charges $1.00 per cup to cover the cost of supplies and leasing the unit. As long as you have a lid on your drink, you can take beverages anywhere in our building, although the library discourages drinking beverages at public internet stations. The service has been very well-received and seems to be self-sustaining, which the Library Board stipulated before agreeing to allow the service. As the library continues to refresh the interior spaces of the library, they are thinking of adding more vending machines for water and snacks, as well as create a café-like space for patrons (something that has been requested by patrons over the past several years). They might utilize a small space, probably 100-150 sq. ft. near the entrance.

Redford Township District Library’s new library has been open 2+ years and has a café. The space is 650 square feet which includes a small storage space and is off of the lobby. The library has a lease with Mrs. B's Café. The cafe offers soup, sandwiches, coffee drinks, candy, munchies, ice cream. They now have wireless access and a large screen tv. The café equipment belongs to the library, and equipment service is the responsibility of Mrs. B's Café.

Royal Oak Public Library was renovated and re-opened in February of 2006. There are three vending machines and a table provided nearby for people to have their snacks in the library. The people making most use of the machines are library employees, but the vending machines are on a five-year contract with no opt-out, so there is no possibility of removing them. We are considering moving one to the staff lounge.

Southfield Public Library The Bookends Café is located in the Lobby of the Southfield Public Library. The Café offers sandwiches, snacks and beverages in a delightful setting. Step out on to the Patio for a beautiful view of our fountain and the stunning Southfield skyline!

Spring Arbor University, Hugh A. & Edna C. White Library, has about 120 square feet dedicated to Sacred Grounds, the university café. It is adjacent to the Reference Computer Lab (and after hours study room), an area which is supervised by both the library and IT. They participate in the Starbuck's "We proudly Brew" program. The café serves hot and cold drinks, muffins, cookies, etc. Another 120 square feet is used for storage of coffee and paper products. The café is run by the university communications office. They originally contracted out the service, but it did not work well. They coordinate general library hours with both café hours and lab hours.

Traverse Area District Library Friends have coffee and tea available for patrons at $1/cup whenever the Gift Shop is open. Volunteers staff the Gift Shop.

The University of Detroit Mercy Law Library is in the same area as the snack bar and cafeteria.

The University of Michigan-Dearborn library has a coffee bar/cafe that offers coffee, sandwiches, pizza slices, bagels, soft drinks, etc. It is open generally weekdays from 9:00 a.m. until 11:00 p.m. The facility is housed in a room off the main floor lobby in a space that is roughly 500 sq ft. They also provide a small storage space nearby in addition to the room that houses the cafe. The library does not run the service. The facility is run by an outside contractor. Campus auxiliary services has managerial oversight of the operation (contract negotiation, compliance, etc.).

Western Michigan University Libraries has cordoned off an area (1,350 square feet) called the "Designated Food and Drink Area.” They provide comfortable seating: bean bag chairs, rocking chairs and ottomans. They have a flat panel television and recently purchased an activity table for guests to use. They have a Maui Wowi franchise (privately owned and staffed) that offers fresh fruit smoothies, Hawaiian Coffees and Konoa Espressos. See for information. They have vending machines for Coke, pop, juice, energy drinks, crackers, candy bars, chips, and healthy snacks. They recently added a hot and cold food vending machine which offers a variety of breakfast, lunch, and dinner foods: sandwiches, fresh fruit, yogurt, bagels, and many other items. The vendor provides a microwave oven and condiments for foods purchased from this machine, along with a service area for food preparation and hand sanitizer. Adjacent to this designated area are large tables and chairs. Groups were moving the furniture around, pushing the tables and chairs together, so the library set it up for them so that they could enjoy their food as well.