Library Cafe deemed unsuccessful

Posted by Gia Vaccarezza Nearly a semester after the Lucy Scribner Library Cafè opened on the first floor of the library, students say they are still not sold on its services.

After multiple requests for a place to get coffee in the library, Dining Services remodeled the old copier room on the first floor, moving the copiers to the basement. The room now has a small counter, bakery case and Keurig instant-coffee machine.

A major source of complaints about the library café is the overpriced coffee, according to students.

The library café uses "K-cups," small packets of coffee grounds inserted into a machine. "K-Cups" only brew 10 ounces of coffee, but are brewed into 12 ounce cups and cost $1.25. A full 12-ounce coffee at the Burgess Café costs the same price.

Student often ask employees at the Library Café for medium or large coffees, but find they can only choose the 10-ounce size.

"I know a lot of students would really like bigger sizes. I think Dining Services would bring in a lot more money and students would be more satisfied if they offered bigger sizes," one student employee said.

Other students have also said that the hours of the café aren't conducive to their needs. The library café is open from 8 a.m. to noon and 8 p.m. to midnight, Sunday through Thursday. On Friday, the café is only open for the morning hours, and it does not open at all on Saturdays.

Many students said they do not frequent the library during these hours and were hoping the café would be open during the afternoon. Some students have suggested Dining Services send out a poll to Skidmore students to find when the most beneficial hours of operation would be.

Student employees open the café at 7:30 a.m. and during their morning shifts they report seeing very few customers. This is also the trend with students working the night shifts.

"I get six customers during my two-hour shift. It gets really boring," one employee said.

Some students have come up with suggestions for Dining Services in addition to polling the student body. They said they would appreciate different hours of operation, as well as lower prices for the coffee. The general consensus is that, because the amount of coffee from the Library Café is less than a small at the Burgess Café, it should not cost the same price.

Another suggestion is offering constant specials, like the Burgess Café does. At Burgess, before 11 a.m., there are five different breakfast specials - one per weekday. They all include some type of pastry or bagel and a small hot beverage. The prices for these specials are noticeably less than buying the two items separately.

The opening week at the Library Café did offer a different special per day, including a two-for-one special. They were successful at generating customers, according to student employees, but now that business has slowed, students are calling for special incentives.

"They should make getting coffee at the café appealing, because going to Burgess offers so many other options and a nicer atmosphere," Amari Boyd '14 said.

Bill Canney, director of Dining Services, did not respond to questions about the financials of the Café. However, the empty room alludes to little or no business and leaves some students wondering, "Why not just put in vending machines?"

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