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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

New café opens in Farber library

Published: September 21, 2012
Section: Featured, News

After months of construction over the summer, Java City has opened a new location in the Farber wing of Brandeis’ library. The plans existed since April, with an initial hope that it would open by the start of the fall semester. More recent estimates gave mid-September. The official opening is not until Oct. 2, but the café began serving this Wednesday.
“We have had generally great response,” said Library and Technology Services chief information officer John Unsworth. In a previous interview with The Hoot, he said that the Farber location was chosen because it has traditionally been a louder area of the library, and would not disturb studying students both during construction and after it opens. He hopes that the space will be used as a common meeting area for students and faculty; where groups can meet to discuss both classwork and extra-academics and make use of the space in a collaborative way.
Other renovations are in the works to make the library a more inclusive part of campus life, including initial plans to install docking screens for laptops, where students can display work in a more efficient way to large groups.
The Farber café was paid for largely by Java City, which funded the renovations and will take the profits from the sales. It provides much of the same fare as other locations on campus, including sandwiches and fruit cups from the P.O.D. store and the same roast varieties as Sherman and other locations on campus.
Java City has provided a wider variety of speciality coffee options than in their other campus locations. The Farber café boasts an espresso machine and the capability to serve flavored lattes and blended drinks. “I think the cafe is very legit. In fact, I think it’s nicer than Einstein’s, which often feels cramped and cluttered,” says Isaac Rabbani ’14. “And it has a better selection too—like smoothies, for one thing and “javalanches,” whatever those are.”
Associate Vice President of Communications Bill Burger assures that the wide floor space in front of the café will soon be filled with comfortable sofas and chairs.
Unsworth hopes that the rest of the furniture will arrive in time for the official opening on Oct. 2. He is also in talks with DeisBikes to create a rental station in front of Farber, and is in the process of getting tables and benches for the patio.
The response to the library has been largely positive. Unsworth and the rest of the LTS staff installed a message board by the doors to Farber and students and faculty have been leaving exuberant messages, praising the library and calling for increased hours or to make the café open whenever the library is.
Many students are excited about the prospect of using the café during finals, when the students spend hours in the library during some of the coldest months.
Other students, however, are disappointed with the change. “I’m not sure. I guess I’d rather have the extra space in the green room than save the two-minute trip to the C-store. I’ll still go, though,” said Ben Hirsch ’15 .