Saturday, January 7, 2023

King of the Library: The fifteenth decree


I am slightly taken aback that it has been almost two years since I last wrote a new "King of the Library" decree.

As a refresher, these decrees are where I am in an imagined library, probably one somewhat like my own (but I'm adaptable), and there I hold a Kingly power to change any part of its operation or design through kingly decrees. These decrees can be mundane (we clean our own toilets), dramatic (we redecorate the entire library on a yearly basis according to grand or whimsical themes), democratic (everybody shelves), and rebellious (a secret pirate library of illegal and stolen work). I could pontificate on the virtue of me being given unbridled power to make these silly, revolutionary, and or whimsical policies, but that's not what we're here for.

We're here for a treat!

And by treat, I mean a new decree, the fifteenth decree!

The library shall open a high quality espresso bar operated by staff and...

wait for it...

charge nothing!


Won't that be expensive? You ask.

Maybe. I don't object to a jar on the counter for donations to 'support your library espresso bar'. I also see keeping a high quality, but very narrow menu- maybe organic espresso, one organic dairy, one non dairy milk, a few organic loose leaf teas, and that's it. Also we will keep costs down slightly by keeping to the spirit of the thing and providing absolutely nothing "To go", thus preventing abuse of the system.

Further prepared for the question of cost, probably because this issue is what, as a proper American, first sprang into my mind, I mapped out some rough costs. Without going into detail, I decided that a hundred and twenty thousand dollars a year should be able to handle our provisions for this project.

"A hundred and twenty thousand dollars!" You cry out. 

Why, that is the cost of the annual salary of a County higher level manager!

I'm glad we were able to so easily resolve the issue of cost.

And beyond firing a higher level manager, which I believe can be done on a near random basis, the whole thing is pretty simple. Any properly trained staff can put in a shift at the espresso bar as they like, which may offer a pleasant alteration from normal library duties (or, honestly, might just be more of the same). The drink list can be ironed out, but I see no sugar anywhere, just Tea, herbal tea, espresso, and cappuccino. Anyone is welcome to a drink without question. And... that's it.

It doesn't have to be that complicated. It simply needs to be freakishly generous and humane for pretty much any public Institution in the world. Which is what libraries kind of already are. And so, as King, I propose building on that.

The drinks are on the house!

And so it is decreed, this day, etc. etc.,

The King


  1. Hey, King... I totally support your plan but with one change: Gotta have hot chocolate. I don't drink any of that other stuff.
    Actually, I mostly drink ice water. Iced tap water. Provide a source of water and ice and I'll let you have your other stuff.

    So, you never got the coffee shop back after Covid? [Is there such a thing as "after covid?" My BIL and sister were stricken this week; I'g getting a test tomorrow, but I think I'm fine.

    1. I hope you are okay, and your family.

      I think ice should be available, and then any iced drinks, and filtered water, making your ice water a possible drink. Hot chocolate at the standard I would look to meet seems like it might be too expensive on a per drink basis, so I'm inclined to say no without some sort of bequest. I see other problems with it as well (like children with open drinks in the library) that I would be leery of launching in to, so I hope the glass of nice ice water will be okay.


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