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Coffee bar proposed at library

A coffee bar with an accompanying water fountain could be in the works for the Houston Public Library
The Houston Public Library is planning to re-open with limited hours as of July 2. (Angelique Houlihan photo)

A coffee bar with an accompanying water fountain could be in the works for the Houston Public Library.

The proposal is pending the approval of the District of Houston as it is the owner of the building, reports library director Sara Lewis.

Space for the above will come from removing one of the library's three washrooms.

Lewis said the possibility of a coffee bar has been talked about for years and is now possible thanks to a provincial grant.

"It won’t be anything really fancy. Just a Keurig and some pods so it doesn’t take staff a lot to maintain it," she said.

"The water fountain is something that has been requested a lot by patrons, particularly one that can fill up water bottles," Lewis added.

Provincial grants have totalled more than $135,000 to be spent over three years.

In other library news, the library's total catalogued collection rose from 19,758 items in 2022 to 20,891 items in 2023.

Total circulation also grew, from 20,879 items in 2022 to 22,221 items last year.

The number of registered borrows increased to 2,077 users in 2023 compared to 2,071 in 2022.

While the number of adult withdrawals increase slightly from 5,296 items in 2022 to 5,593 in 2023, juvenile borrowings increased more, from 7,408 items in 2022 to 8,589 borrowings in 2023.

But by far the largest increase in library services came from public use of computers. In 2022 there were 4,243 users, a number doubling to 8,697 in 2023.

The current organizational structure of the library dates back to a board being formed in 1964 followed by the Houston Public Library Association coming under the Public Libraries Act in January 1965.







About the Author: Rod Link

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