published Saturday, February 16th, 2013

Shush — something's brewing at the Chattanooga Public Library


by Cliff Hightower


The Chattanooga Public Library is at 1001 Broad St.
The Chattanooga Public Library is at 1001 Broad St.
Photo by John Rawlston /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

The Chattanooga Public Library wants to brew up some more interest in what it has to offer.

In about a month, the library will open a coffee shop on the first floor. Patrons will have a choice among coffees, cappuccinos and lattes at the Shush cafe.

William Sundquist, board member of Friends of the Library, said the library is modernizing and adapting to the needs of users, and there's "nothing quiet about it."

The Friends group paid for the Shush branding. Sundquist said adding the coffee shop is an out-of-the-box strategy for the library.

"They've never done anything like this before," he said.

Libraries across the country, including those operated by cities, colleges and high schools, have added coffee shops in hopes of becoming more attractive and inviting to customers.

Library Director Corinne Hill said coffee tables will be set up at the front of the library where the bookstore used to be. She wants to put some cafe tables outside an entrance to the library on 11th Street when the weather warms up.

The library will rely on library workers to serve as baristas. They will make the coffees to order behind the circulation desk.

Hill said the goal is to offer patrons a quiet place to enjoy a cup of coffee and read.

"It's not our goal to compete with Chattz or Starbucks," she said. "We're not going to have a million different flavors."

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