Free Community Bookshelf spotted at Caribou

I was at a St. Louis Park Caribou Coffee last week whenI spotted this.  Brilliant!

Free books at a coffee shop is not itself revolutionary – plenty of independents do this.  But Caribou’s experience is about consistency, to the point that each bathroom has the same mural (it’s a series of outhouses).  This suggests more of a local focus.

Last year the Linden Hills neighborhood of Minneapolis started creating similar lending libraries out in the community.  The idea has been a big hit – presumably this was the inspiration for this idea.

It’s an interesting addition to Caribou’s experience.  We’ll see if other locations are doing it, and how well they are maintained.  But I like the community connection inherent to this lending library!

Your takeaway:  Are there small things you can do to create more of a sense of community?  Minneapolis-area customers are familiar with this concept, as it has been featured in the local news.  By adding it to their stores, Caribou not only provides a service to their customers, but also a connection to the community.  Watch the local news:  Is there something similar you can do to build a connection?

One note: We’re joining the Technorati family, but that requires this code: X4WHAUNTSJRD. You can safely ignore it!

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