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New Cafe Adds Comfort to Honnold-Mudd Library

New cafe in Honnold-Mudd Library
New cafe in Honnold-Mudd Library

Orange-cushioned seats flank spacious tables, widescreen televisions display photographs of the 5Cs, and couches and booths make up a quaint area known as “The Café.”

Such is the updated look of Honnold-Mudd Library’s first floor. New features include an open area where students can lounge and study, as well as the added café.

“[We wanted] to create a vibrant learning environment,” said Megan Worley, chair of the Advisory Board on Library Planning and assistant professor of English at Pomona College.

The Advisory Board on Library Planning is a 5C board comprised of faculty as well as two students.The Board conducted a survey two years ago asking students and faculty if they would prefer a café at the library. The survey came back with positive responses, summed up by Worley in the general idea, “We need more good coffee.”

On Sep. 14, the café in Honnold had a soft opening. The grand opening will occur some time in October.

Employee Kelsey Weber said in terms of what the cafe serves, “It’s basically a Starbucks.” She also said the café will “be serving soups, wraps, and nutritious food after the grand opening.”

So far, Weber said the effort to bring more patrons to the library appears to have worked, as she has served “a lot of people from the 5Cs” within the last two weeks.

She expects more to come when the café (and first floor lounge) extends its hours until 1 a.m., as opposed to its current 10 p.m. closing.

The café is not the only change to the library, however. Recently, Honnold-Mudd has moved a significant number of books and journals to the Records Center, an auxiliary library located on Central Avenue and 11th Street.

Worley said, “[This move is] due to tight space,” and is expected to free shelves at the library for materials that are in constant demand.

Due to the distance between Honnold-Mudd and the Records Center, plans have been made to run a shuttle between the libraries, to page books for students before they arrive, and even to bring books to students’ mailboxes. These plans aim to increase the Records Center’s accessibility to students, despite its distance from campus.

Worley said, “I applaud the efforts at making it more accessible,” recalling a slow, uncooperative library she used at Stanford University. She suggests, however, that students “continue to have books paged, use the shuttle, and the library” in order to “keep it going.”

Students have been appreciative of the changes so far. “It’s my new spot,” said Caroline Hayes SC ’11, a student who has used the first floor lounge repeatedly within the last week.

“[The first floor] is nice and offers a different, more relaxed vibe than the second floor,” said Hayes. “It’s not as quiet and serious [as the upper floors].”

This article was originally published in the October 2, 2009, edition of The Student Life.