Arizona High School Students Open Coffee Shop To Fund School Library

On the Rincon/University High School campus in Tucson, concerned students have opened a coffee shop to fund their school library. Due to budget cuts, the library has gone almost a decade without new books. Now, members of the school library club are fighting back — with caffeine.

At the student-run coffee shop — dubbed Common Grounds — coffees, teas, and other beverages are all available for $2 or less. On Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays, students who would normally make Starbucks runs can simply pop into the library to get their caffeine fixes. Club members also transformed the library into a more welcoming hangout, with space for meetings, art displays, and student performances.

The library club expected backlash from school administrators, but sophomore Cole Sohn noted that "[b]ecause it benefited the school there really was not much opposition."

The proceeds from Common Grounds go toward new book purchases, but the coffee shop had to be built before it could make a profit. With little money to fund their startup, students turned to family members and adults in the community for support. Through fundraising and crowdsourcing, the library club bought the building supplies they needed, and much of the barista equipment came from community donations.

There's no word yet as to whether Common Grounds has bought its first batch of books for the Rincon/University High School library. From one book nerd to many, here's wishing them all best of luck.

Image: david pacey/flickr