by Melanie Jongsma
LANSING, Ill. (January 11, 2020) – When Lansing Public Library Director Debbie Albrecht was ready to launch a new type of digital library, she chose Troost (rhymes with “host”) as the host location.
It was a natural partnership. Not only is Albrecht at the coffee shop every morning for her own caffeine fix, but she recognizes that people often come there to read while they sip one of Troost’s signature beverages. “Coffee and books just go together,” said Albrecht.
The community coffee shop
“I like that Troost is offering the community more than just coffee,” agreed Troost owner Renae Fentress. She built that sense of community into the very brand of her establishment even before she opened in 2017—using a local bank for financing, a local shirt shop for Troost wear, and the local hardware store for building materials during the remodeling. In fact, Troost’s partnership with the Lansing Public Library began before the coffee shop opened—some of the seating is old library furniture that was restored and repurposed.
Fentress has found a variety of ways to continue supporting a variety of community ventures. A La Venderie vending machine offers small wares from local businesses, and La Venderie itself is a new small business, started by Alyssa Keene. “She asked if she could try it here,” and Fentress’s answer was yes. Paintings by local artists are available for purchase throughout the shop. And the meeting room is filled with creations by The Elim Entrepreneurs, an organization that “equips people with disabilities to realize and pursue their God-given potential.”
Coffee and books
But Friday, December 13, 2019, was all about the Pop Up Library, and library staff were on hand to answer questions and help people access the digital books.
The Pop Up Library is powered by a network device that gives people instant access to the Lansing Public Library’s collection of digital materials. No library card is needed, and no app is needed—readers can read their selections right in their browser.
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