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New Lenox Library Adds New Snack Option

After a potential tenant backed out of its deal, the public library turned to a short-term solution before something before

The  indeed is a place for study and research, but it's also a place that the board of trustees and director Kate Hall want to make comfortable for readers.

While several attempts at filling the front of the building with a café have failed, the library is still working to offer a spot where people can take a break from research or study without having to leave the building.

Last month, the Library Board of Trustees learned that the Bookworm Café would not be fulfilling its contract for the café space in the library. The board charged Hall to look at different options for the space.  A survey for community residents asked for input on what residents would like to see in the space. 

The library received more than 500 responses and the two most popular responses were to have a typical café or to partner with a local organization to have them run the café. At its Aug. 20 meeting, the board discussed the results. 

After determining that getting another tenant or working in partnership with an organization would take considerable time, the board voted to install vending machines in the space until a more permanent solution can be found. 

The vending machines will not cost the library anything, but will provide food and drink options for library users. 

Meanwhile, Hall will work on a more long-term solution that meets the needs of the community. In the survey, a number of residents offered to assist in finding a permanent solution for the space. Hall will be in contact with these residents and is grateful for their generosity.

“While the vending machines are not the ideal solution, they will provide some refreshment and a place for library users to have food until the library can come up with a permanent solution for the space," Hall said.

The machines will have a variety of pop, juice, water, snacks and candy.  The library hopes to have the machines installed and operational by mid-September. 

Kimberly August 23, 2012 at 11:37 AM
Considering the history of that spot within the Library, with every single business failing, I think the vending machines are a perfect choice. My guess is, the machines will be used far more then any of the past failing businesses. I hope that Director Hall will reconsider looking for another business to fill the spot, it would just be setting someone else up for failure. The residents of New Lenox don't seem to support local business and the reason people are flocking to the Library is because its free to use. Watch how many are willing to put a $1 in a vending machine, compared to spending $5 for a muffin or coffee. If done properly, the area could be another bonus for the patrons of the Library.
Leslie Williams August 23, 2012 at 01:26 PM
Mmmmm. Stale donuts. Stay classy NL Library.
John Petrosky August 24, 2012 at 02:07 AM
At the risk of offending some, maybe those that are of a certain intellect to use the library are too smart to pay the premium for a product whose difference many people can't discern, anyhow? In other words, I *do* use the library, but a $4 coffee doesn't taste three times as good as the one I can get for $1.25 elsewhere and I'm too smart to not do that math. No offense to the previous operators intended here, of course. I know at least one was smart and had a good product, just not the right location -- and she has since figured that one out.... There IS a place to sell many a $4 coffee, the only real "town square" in New Lenox (and the library especially) just isn't it.

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