Contributed by Bronwyn Stewart
Coffee is an evolving culture that has become synonymous with academic life. When strolling through the Oviatt Library, the Freudian Sip logo and the aroma of freshly brewed coffee is everywhere. Libraries are welcoming this burgeoning culture with open arms. Food and drink restrictions are becoming more relaxed, and cafés continue to enter the basic floor plans of academic libraries. Across CSU campuses, this culture is becoming commonplace. In the past three years alone, four campuses (Bakersfield, Fullerton, San Diego State, and Sacramento State) have added coffeehouses to their library schematic. Now 18 of the 23 CSU campuses have embraced this coffee culture, and CSUN is no exception.
The Freudian Sip coffeehouse in the Oviatt lobby was constructed as part of the 2013 remodeling project that created the Library Learning Commons. The library, however, was no stranger to the presence of coffee. In 2010 the University Corporation added a Freudian Sip modular cart to the Library lobby. Unfortunately, the cart posed a number of problems. There was no source of water or easy means for waste disposal, and the patron lines began to block entrance into the main reference room. A more permanent coffeehouse would resolve these issues, and the remodeling of the Learning Commons provided the perfect opportunity. “We looked at different locations for the coffee house,” said Marianne Afifi, former Associate Dean of the Library, “one of them being the ASRS viewing room.” Finally, after much consideration, those involved in the planning process settled on the Library lobby.
Artist's Concept Art for the Learning Commons
Although the coffeehouse was almost universally accepted, there were a few skeptics. Some feared overcrowding, while others believed the coffeehouse would undermine the intellectual environment. Of course, these concerns were resolved during the planning process, making the Freudian Sip a welcome and effective presence. “We’ve won over our critics through the elegant design of the coffee house and the functionality of the space,” says Dean Mark Stover, “and despite the skeptics who thought it would detract from the ‘academics’ of the library, the Freudian Sip instead is a reminder of the coffee houses throughout Europe in the 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries where the intellectual elite would gather to discuss philosophy, politics, and other cutting edge ideas.”
The Freudian Sip coffeehouse now stands in the Library as a permanent feature. It has received the acceptance and acclaim of both students and faculty. “The campus community loves this place,” says Afifi, “the convenience of having a place to buy food and drink in the Library really works for the students.” The coffeehouse is extremely popular, making it the biggest and most successful partnership between the Oviatt Library and the University Corporation to date. In fact, according to the Freudian Sip Food Service Manager Jocelyn Allison, “With five - soon to be six - Freud’s on campus, the Library Freud is the sales leader.”
Aside from offering a great cup of coffee, Freudian Sip has joined in the University Corporation’s sustainability efforts. In doing so, Freudian Sip has switched to double lined cups, removing the need for a sleeve. “This decreases environmental waste substantially, and because the cup lining is plant-based, they are completely eco-friendly,” says Allison. The coffeehouse also provides products that have passed the Real Food Challenge. This guarantees fresh coffee from Groundworks, which is a local, organic whole bean. Coffee labeled organic comes from farms certified by the U.S. Department of Agriculture that use no synthetic pesticides or fertilizer. This can dramatically improve health. Freudian Sip also receives their delicious baked goods from Susina Bakery, a local business that promises the freshest and finest ingredients.
The Freudian Sip’s commitment to the wellbeing of CSUN’s campus and community does not stop there. The coffeehouses provide job opportunities for many students, who flourish in the environment. There are also a number of special promotions offered to further enhance the customer experience, and many of these deals are scarcely known: on Wednesday evenings, drinks are half price; from 4:00 to 5:30 p.m., Freudian Sip hosts their Happy Hour at all locations; day-old, Grab and Go Sandwiches are offered at half-price; and they provide discounts on all pastries sold the hour before closing. And now, there is an additional promotion specifically for our loyal eNews readers. Starting with this issue, every Library eNews will have a hidden Freud with a special password in one of the articles. The first 50 readers who find the Freud and bring the password to the Freudian Sip in the Oviatt Library will receive a coupon for one free drip coffee.
The password for Spring 2015 is Sustainability.
So, stop by the Oviatt’s Freudian Sip and join the Library’s evolving coffee culture. The Oviatt Library Freudian Sip is open Monday – Thursday from 8:00 a.m. – 9 p.m., Friday from 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m., and Sunday from 3:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. Please visit the University Corporation website for complete campus Dining Information and Hours of Operation.