Hello, fellow librarians!

I am looking for church libraries that are planning to feature a coffee house/cafe or a bookstore (or both) within their space, or adjoining their space.  Or if any already exist, I'd love to know about those as well.
Our church is looking at this possibility down the road, and getting the contact info about existing ministries or those in the planning stages would be extremely helpful.
You might not have this situation yourselves, but if you know of a church which does, please fill me in.
Thanks so much!!

Deanna King

Santa Clarita, CA

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  • Hi Deanna - you wrote your question several years ago and I would love to know if your cafe/library went ahead. We are in the planning stages of the very same thing so would benefit from hearing your story

    • We didn't get the go-ahead from our leadership team to do it.  We sure would have liked to, though!

      I wish you the best in your endeavors!

      • Thanks for your prompt reply - sometimes the seed that is planted sits for a while before sprouting! Maybe your church will re-visit the idea in the future. I am excited about how our idea which has been 'brewing' for a year will take off in 2017 - or maybe it will need to brew a while longer - only God knows at this stage.

  • We are remodeling our church facility and relocating the library.  We have had a request to provide  a space for free wireless internet and  a cappuccino machine, for those who want to plug in a lap top and drink coffee in the library.  We are considering setting up an area just outside of the library entrance for this purpose and calling it "The Library Cafe".  I would love to hear some ideas about how to set up and run a cafe--on a shoestring budget, mind you!   We have a vacated kitchen nearby that we could probably use as well.  Thanks for any advice on what works and what doesn't!  

    • Might it be possible to use those individual serving coffee makers that are so popular now? (Keurig?) I've seen lots of beverage selections including cider. You would need someone staffing the kitchen to sell them and hand out the cups/mugs, etc. I think you can now get the variery packs at places like Sam's or Costco.

      Or, if your library is close, they could purchase in the library and take to the kitchen cafe which could be fitted up with tables and chairs or something cozier, to brew and socialize. It could be a fundraiser for the library and you would get more folks into the library too.

      • Deanna & Joanne, thanks for your ideas.  It will be a while yet before we are able to try anything, but if we are able to generate funds from a cafe, maybe we could start saving for an eBook collection!  I would imagine that customers who frequent a cafe for Wi-Fi would probably be the same ones interested in eBooks.

    • Please keep us updated, Janice, on how the relocation goes.

      I have begun researching libraries with cafes, and so far the librarians of public libraries which have coffee carts or nooks or whatever say that spills are not much of a problem.

  • Deanna, we also have a bookstore and coffee shop in our church atrium that see TONS of traffic.  We unfortunately are not located in the same area to benefit from the foot traffic, and those entities are separate ministries that support our missions efforts.  Still, if you are looking for info or advice I can give you the email address of the wonderful lady that runs those ministries.  Blessings!

    • Yes, please!

      And I hope that your leadership sees the importance of the library being right there in the traffic flow as well!

      • Deanna, our ministry for the bookstore and coffee shop is lead by Cathy Julian.  You can reach her at CJulian@wbcc.net.  Blessings in your new endeavor.

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