I was at a St. Louis Park Caribou Coffee last week when I 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!