Magazine article Library Administrator's Digest

Sweet Small of Success

Magazine article Library Administrator's Digest

Sweet Small of Success

Article excerpt

Just imagine: a new angle for selling a time-tested product, exclusive right to a prime location, the highest quality merchandise available and an 80 percent profit margin.

Yes, it's the American dream, Pikesville Library style, and coffee with muffins is the name of the game.

In just five weeks, sales of Seattle's Best Coffee and assorted goodies at Pikesville have tripled, providing customers and staff alike the pause that refreshes. Meanwhile, the cash register is ringing, branch enhancements are on the horizon and virtually all agree a plan has come together.

The big "ah-ha!" that started everything apparently occurred during a conversation between Diane Gillespie and Michelle Hamiel, both relatively new to the Pikesville staff having been transferred within the past year.

"We were talking about how to make the library more inviting," says Diane, "about how to attract customers and keep them coming in."

Michelle, who attends library school at the University of Maryland, was at the time working on a paper about the dozen or so library systems nationwide that offer cof fee and allow their customers to enjoy it while browsing the collection.

Enter Stephanie Murphy, manager of the Seattle's Best Coffee shop across the street from Pikesville. Approached by Diane and Michelle, she immediately bought into the idea, citing the success of similar collaboration between her company and the Seattle Library.

Ensuing staff meetings at Pikesville resulted in a. …

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