Since Jazzman’s is closing soon, the library is opening a new café for students to study and eat. The new eatery is expected to be bigger and have a larger menu than Jazzman’s, according to Dennis Swanson, the dean of the library.
“More along the lines of Panera Bread,” Swanson said. “Soup, bread, sandwiches and coffee. You know, you’re studying and you have to get up and get a snack or something, you’re going to have to pack up all your stuff and books and go get something to eat.”
Having a café in the library is not a new idea.
“Virtually all other universities in the system have something,” Swanson said.
Photo by Brendaly Vega – Photo Editor
Students that have classes in Oxendine, Old Main and Moore, do not have many food options. Most are in the center and west end of campus, leaving the east end bare. The need is there and the library is attempting to update and move with the times.
Last semester during finals week, there were people sitting on the floor of the library because that was the only place open to sit and study.
Swanson believes that the new café is good for the library because it will give the students a bigger, quieter place for group projects, homework or mingling.
The new café requires space that the library does not currently have, so adjustments are necessary. The movie rental shelves were emptied, the study rooms were painted and the furniture and tables were rearranged to open up the floor plan.
Swanson wants to open the back door again and add another entrance for commuter students to access. The reference desk will move back to the double doors on Faculty Row.
Dean Swanson removed the DVDs last semester.
“There’s a reason Blockbuster went out of business,” he said. “For what we were paying for movies over a couple of years we probably could have bought every student on campus a Netflix account.”
For the future, he is researching companies that do Netflix, Hulu and other streaming services for college campuses. Sodexo will own the café, according to their contract.
Dean Swanson is working to create something appealing to the students and that helps binds the space he envisions.
The name of the new café will be released at a later date.
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