Konosu Central Library (a bright, colourful, comfortable and modern library), is the only library I know of that has a coffee shop in it. Okay so it is not quite a shop in the typical sense and more like a coffee corner, but you can purchase and indulge in coffee while you are reading. There are plenty of bookstores that have caught onto this match made in heaven, but as far as I know Konosu is the only library in Saitama that has taken advantage of the natural pairing.
There are many reasons I like this particular library, including the presence of a Nescafe cafe. Furthermore, it is reasonably priced. The coffee is only a 100 yen for a blend coffee and 150 yen for a cafe latte. You can purchase either hot or cold. It is from one of the Nescafe machines, but there is a staff member there that serves it to you. You can then bring it to a seat of your choice in the dedicated area that permits drinking while reading.
The places you can sit and drink coffee within the library is surprisingly quite large. And apart from the drinking area, I find this library has more seats in general than a regular library. And not just seats, but seats with their own little tables. In the drinking area the tables facilitate your hot (or cold) cup of coffee, but also can be used for hand luggage or note taking or spreading out the newspaper to read. They also have some cushioned benches too and even poufs on which you can sit.
Another appeal of this library is that they have a lovely, albeit small, children’s section. The area is partitioned off to separate it from the rest of library so that children can make a bit of noise. However, the sound proofing isn’t great so you do have to be respectful of the students in the study section behind one side of the partition.
Within the children’s area there is a small room where you take off your shoes. They have yomikikase here; children’s stories read aloud by staff at particular times of the week. In the children’s area they also have low tables and chairs for the kids. Their English selection isn’t huge, but they have the classics and some recently published books too.
They also have some stuffed toys. The toys are characters from books such as the monsters from the very popular children’s book “Where the Wild Things Are”. And there is an information wall within the area with lots of flyers for children’s and other services and events in the area.
The following advertisement for “Where the Wild Things Are” is an Amazon Affiliate Link which enables bloggers to earn a very small percentage of Amazon sales through referrals. More information.
Bank book type loaning record
Another really cool and innovate service of this library is that they have a machine much like an ATM that will print off a list of all the books you’ve ever borrowed. And they print them in a book much like a bank book. As my town does not have a mutual lending agreement with the city of Konosu I can only admire this machine and not actually use it as I can’t get membership for Konosu Central library. Thankfully, like all the municipal libraries in Saitama, you don’t have to be a member of the library to enter it and read their books, drink their coffee and play with the Wild Things on site.
The library is located next to Elumi shopping center. Not the biggest or best mall around, but it has some nice shops and services, including a small but fun play center. Right now the mall has the largest doll pyramid display in Japan showcased in its center and it is open to and free for the public to view. But not only is the library located next to a mall, within its own building there are other useful services such as the citizen’s center, a family restaurant and even a cinema.
Konosu Central Library Information
Hours: the library is open seven days a week. It opens from 9.30 am to 8 pm on weekdays and from 9 am to 6 pm on weekends. Occasionally the library closes for maintenance, please check the website for up-to-date information on scheduled closing dates.
Address: 1 Chome-2-１ Honchō, Kōnosu-shi, Saitama-ken 365-0038
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