New amenities spruce up Walla Walla Public Library

The library now has coffee for sale and a reading garden.

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Stacks of library books line the walls leading to the Walla Walla Public Library's renovated reading garden just off to the east side of the building.

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Minutes before closing, library staff prop open an east-side door to bring in the patio furniture that is part of the Walla Walla Public Library's renovated reading garden.

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A new coffee machine sits just inside the entrance to the Walla Walla Public Library with instructions on how to purchase a cup hung above. The library is gauging interest in the service with the machine as a temporary experiment.

WALLA WALLA - A cup of coffee and a garden reading area two new additions to the Walla Walla Public Library.

Last weeks, library officials installed a Kreuig single-serve coffee maker, which is a test to see if a full espresso bar might be merited for the future, library Director Beth Hudson said.

The entire setup cost less than $500 and was paid for by the Friends of the Library, a group that raises money for projects not covered by the regular library budget, Hudson said.

Adult patrons can buy a cup of coffee at the library desk for $1.50; the system was modeled after coffee setups in other libraries.

"We have allowed covered cups in the library for at least 10 years. We don't stop anymore as long as it is covered. Food is still not allowed," Hudson said.

Also new at the east end of the library, landscaping on a reading garden was finished late last month.

"They were popular back during the Depression, back when there were people unemployed and they didn't want to come in the library," Hudson said.

She added that the garden is often used after hours by people who just want a free wi-fi spot to surf the net with their laptop.

The plan is to put a library-material detector at the garden door, so patrons can check out books and take them out to the reading garden.

Hudson said the detector will cost roughly $8,000, and at this point would need to be paid for through donations.

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