The Information Cafés are the centerpiece of the University Electronic Information Center, inserted into the Homer D. Babbidge Library. Each is laid out in an open plan cluster of several hexagonal workstations. The effect of the clusters is of a sociable café, a far cry from the typical academic reading room where quiet reigns. The intent of the Cafés is to encourage students to be at ease in the library and to interact freely in small learning groups.

Designed according to black box theater principles, the Cafés are wired flexibly from below by means of raised floors and lit from above by track lighting. Integrated up-lighting under each umbrella provides non-glare illumination for computer screens. The co-mingling of technology, theater, and retail paradigms puts the Cafés at the forefront of library innovation.

Photography © Robert Benson