Library to add café during renovation

The Santa Monica College library will soon offer coffee in addition to books and study space when it opens a main floor café during a renovation later this year. "No pun intended, the idea of a café in the library has been brewing for a couple of years now," said Mona Martin, dean of the library.

The library, which opened 10 years ago, has plans to replace the floor and furniture on the main floor. An information desk for general questions will be added near the front door, Martin said over e-mail.

“We are still in the design phase of the library café, so not everything has been determined," Martin said.

The opening date of the new café and the refurbishing of the main floor of the library is undecided, but has loose plans to open in the Fall of 2014. The administration has kept close watch on trends in libraries around the world that place cafés inside.

"Santa Monica College wants to serve the students the same way as other successful schools around the nation," Martin said. Many SMC students are at school all day and spend the majority of their time in the library.

“The café is a great opportunity to better meet the needs of the students and make the library a friendly place for our students,” Martin said.

However, some students don't agree with adding a café to the library environment.

"A café would only make the library loud, hectic, and busy. It will defeat the purpose of having a quiet place to study," said Deeana Buffa, 20, a Clinical Psychology major. Buffa said most of her time spent at SMC is in the library. "I think it would be a better idea to have a café close to the entrance of the library."

The new café will occupy the rear portion of the main floor and have a glass wall that separates it from the library. Food and drinks will be allowed everywhere on the main floor of the library only.

“This café will allow students to study in the library and also take breaks to eat and mingle in the comfort of the library," Martin said. "We would like the library to remain inviting to our students, and provide them with a place to eat and relax in between their study sessions.”

The cafe's menu is not finalized, but will be similar to Starbucks, serving drinks, sandwiches and baked goods.

“I don’t spend a lot of my time in the library, but if there was a café, I would," said Stephanie Lopez, an Early Childhood Education major. "I usually study in the cafeteria because I can eat and drink while studying."

They are also hoping to open up the patio that is located towards the end of the library making it accessible for students.

“I don’t have a cost estimate since we have not gotten that far into the project,” said Martin.

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