by Samantha Maddox
Ever wish you had a warm, fresh cup of coffee sitting by you while you read a book? Fortunately, you can now do so at the Walnut Creek Library’s new café. Patrons can now enjoy some much needed caffeine or food to keep them fueled throughout their library visit.
The owner of the café, Mark Wekt, is excited about the soft opening, which means that the logistics of the café are still being worked out. The grand opening will not have a set date until everyone involved feels it is ready.
“It’s like going to a new home—you don’t know where the things are, where everything goes—so that what the soft opening is all about,” said Wekt. “You get rid of all the problems that you envision from your operation.”
Wekt is pleased with the results thus far. He, along with many others, thinks that the café is a great addition to the library and makes for a better experience for the average library goer.
“During a hot day they can get inside the building, to go grab a sandwich or water or coffee,” said Wekt. “In addition, we co-brand with Peet’s coffee. So if you are a Peet’s drinker, you don’t have to go far.”
Not only is the owner happy, but so are the librarians. One might think that a librarian would be hesitant about mixing food and drink with books, but it’s actually the opposite, according to librarian Noelle Burch.
“Personally, as a library assistant, it’s fun for us because we have coffee right nearby,” said Burch. “But it’s also great for students that come here and anyone that’s here working. If they’re working for the whole day, they can come, get their coffee, refuel, get a sandwich, get a salad, and … do their studies. I feel like it makes the experience better for the patrons.”
Not only does the café have to work alongside the library, it must keep in mind the rules of their new home. When asked if people are allowed to bring books into the cafe, Burch responded that it has yet be decided.
“ … It’s a work in progress, but we’re flexible. We’ve never had this before, so we’re still trying to figure out what works and what doesn’t,” Burch said.
According to Burch, as long as you don’t bring food in and your drinks are covered, whether from the café or not, then you are free to go into the library as you please.
Now, the library is not only a place for studying and reading. It has become a place where one can also enjoy a nice meal and a cup of coffee in a warm and exciting cafe environment.
“It’s a beautiful café … it’s done with such great taste. It’s an addition to an already exciting library. This is a beautiful library the way it is, even without the café. I think this adds to what is all ready been here,” said Wekt.