Monday, February 12, 2007

Library 2.0

Is Barnes & Noble the library 2.0? I spent the day in the B&N cafe with Jenna. We chose B&N because of the ever-flowing coffee and the free, perusable, steal-and-take-back-to-your-table books and magazines. We sat amongst roughly 70 other patrons, who too had similarly "checked out" books and mags from the four floors worth of B&N stacks, and were spending their Sunday reading books they didnt buy, and buying drinks they didn't want. Every half hour the manager would announce over the loudspeaker that cafe tables were for cafe patrons only. We were reprimanded several times for not having purchased items visible on our table, and made sure to make our starbucks drinks last the entire day. (my choice: Eliotts Amazing Reduced Calorie Cranberry juice. I'm a sucker for new fruit drinks, and it came complete with a print on demand advertisement, so relevant to my line of work you would think google placed it there). The situation got me thinking, why don’t libraries have cafes? why don't publishing companies (i.e Conde Naste) have cafes? Why aren't there more places where you can sit and read and eat for "free"? Starbucks is getting there. But they are charging for the NY Times and Mitch Albom books. I think free newspapers and magazines would lure anyone to a cafe. Even without a strict seating policy like the cafe @ B&N, the volluntartilly-bought, overpriced cups of coffee on a Sunday afternoon would cover the costs of the complementary magazines.

This might be a nice feature for the embryonic café bricolage to implement. I really like the idea that Nate has introduced to the nextNY community. For more info read the manifesto. I cant wait to get on board and get the ball rolling on this venture.