Ask A Librarian

Library to Perk Up with Eliza Grand Opening

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
February 16th, 2006

WVU New and information Services
New Release
February 16, 2006

West Virginia University faculty, staff and students are invited to relax with a steaming cup of Starbucks coffee at the grand opening of Eliza’s at 3 p.m. Monday, Feb. 20, on the fourth floor of the WVU Downtown Campus Library.

D.J. Casto, student body president, will join University officials to unveil the sign and hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony. There will also be free giveaways.

coffee shop customer
John Cuthbert, curator of the WVRHC, enjoys the first cup of java during Eliza’s soft opening.

Eliza’s will offer espresso drinks, fresh-brewed Starbucks coffee, tea, hot chocolate, blended drinks to order, Italian sodas, bottled soft drinks, juice and water. Food items – jumbo-size muffins, bagels, biscotti and oversized cookies plus a variety of healthy snacks – will also be available for purchase.

Beverages in Eliza’s containers will be permitted in other areas of the library. Hours will be Sunday-Wednesday 3 p.m.-midnight and Thursday 3-9 p.m. Eliza’s will be closed Friday and Saturday.

The library coffee shop run by WVU Dining Services is among a handful of campus facility improvement projects requested by the Student Government Association, Casto said. Other projects include a Burger King slated to open next month in the Mountainlair and a ’Lair Vandalia Lounge makeover scheduled to begin in July.

The coffee shop is named after WVU’s first professionally trained librarian, Eliza J. Skinner, who served as library director from 1897-1902. Prior to her appointment, librarians were either unmarried women looking for acceptable “genteel” employment or professors who tended the library in their spare time, according to WVU Libraries.

Skinner is credited with, among other things, classifying the University’s library books according to the Dewey Decimal System, starting a dictionary catalog, abolishing a $2 deposit previously charged to borrow a book, instituting open shelves for books and establishing a faculty library committee.

In 1902, she resigned to accept a position in the cataloging department of the Library of Congress.


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