Coffee bar returns in the University Center library

Written By Cassandra Harris, News Editor

The library coffee bar reopened on Wednesday, February 8 as an amenity to university staff and students. The currently unnamed snack, tea and coffee bar is located in the lobby of the library behind the front desk return desk. Right now the it sells cookies, Rice Crispy Treats, Pop Tarts, coffee and a variety of teas at non-profit prices. The staff hope to expand the bar as time progresses.

Brenton Wilson, associate library director, helps run the coffee bar. He said that it’s operated by “all staff” at the library along with student workers. Although there is a sign advertising beer, Wilson joked that they don’t serve it because they’re “sold out.”

“It’s a nonprofit thing,” Wilson said. “Everything rolls right back in. It’s something that we’ve had permission to do for years. Whatever we make, we just buy more Pop Tarts with, more coffee with.”

Students can purchase a small coffee for one dollar and a large coffee for 25 cents more. 

Wilson hinted that the goal of the bar is to provide students with a proximal on-campus location in the University Center that is going to reduce the necessity for them to leave that way they can continuing to study.

According to Wilson, the last time it was open was on March 12, 2020, just before COVID-19 moved the university to online learning.

“It’s something that we had years ago before the pandemic,” Wilson said. “We decided to bring it back, students have requested it, it’s a nice amenity to have.”

Juan Fernandez is a business and administration graduate student who studies in the University Center. He saw the signs advertising the bar but didn’t look into it.

“I haven’t checked them myself or even bought anything, but I mean the prices don’t sound too bad for what they’re offering,” Fernandez said.

Larger snacks like Pop Tarts cost 75 cents at the bar, while smaller snacks like Rice Krispies cost 50 cents.  

According to a university-wide email sent by Librarian Elizabeth Evans, “The coffee is basic, no lattes, etc. but we have a variety of tea bags.”

Workers make the coffee from a coffee pot, and other necessities are kept inside a mini-fridge.

The library is currently requesting name suggestions for the bar. The student with the best suggestion gets to name the bar and wins the naming contest.

Photography major and Senior Lucas Myers didn’t know about the snack bar until they sent out an email. The subject line was, “Pop Tarts are back in the library,” announcing the grand opening. 

“I haven’t really looked into it completely,” Myers said. “Honestly I mean, they’re cheap and I would definitely [look into it] for sure because I always get hungry for a snack or something.” 

As a Senior Myers reflected on his time as a COVID-19 college student. The pandemic not only gave him an inability to utilize the coffee bar but an inability to experience half his college life in a classroom.

It’s not something I would really seek out,” Myers said. “I’m not a coffee person I mean, the unfortunate thing is I’ve had 9 hours a day at class on zoom. But I guess now that I know about it I’ll have to hit it up.

According to Evans’s email, this month the library will also be celebrating Black History this month by displaying items from their Archives.

“We’re celebrating Point Park’s history with items from the Archives in the display case on the First Floor,” Evans said. “Also, there’s a display of ‘featured books’ for Black History month on a stand close to the entrance to the DVDs/study rooms on the Lower Level.  They are available for check out.”