Café BiblioTech is a small coffee establishment inside Ohio University’s Alden Library. It caters to the student out for a late night caffeine rush to keep them focused during their all-nighter. The cramped little shop offers little in the way of seating, ostensibly because it is in fact surrounded by seven floors of tables, benches, and chairs. The coffee shop offers a decently large menu of drinks supplied by a Columbus-based beanery.
Café BiblioTech has many similar drinks to other coffee shops owned by Ohio University, but much of their approach is different. Unfortunately, different is not better. I’ve found on every visit to Café BiblioTech that it is dirty, crowded and has an unnecessarily long line thanks to slow service. Especially after 10:00 p.m. when it becomes the only coffee place open on campus, going to the Café should be avoided. There is never room to sit and the environment of the shop is consistently chaotic.
The drinks aren’t great or well-prepared. The coffee is strong and without any other redeeming quality. There are vending machines in the back selling various food items which I do not recommend. The drink shown above I actually had to return — it was mixed so poorly I literally fished ice cubes out of it for the barrista. To her credit, she gave me a new one, which is the only reason the Café got a second star. The rest of the experience with service was poor; the employees are overworked in too small a workspace and in a constant state of rush thanks to the never-ending crowd of students.
I have tried some of the pastries BiblioTech offers, and they aren’t bad. However they aren’t made in-house, and any other Ohio University eating location has the same thing. It’s really not worth a detour to BiblioTech when everywhere else is essentially the same. Actually, BiblioTech is worse because its chairs are uncomfortable and the lack of real space in the place means you have no semblance of privacy in your conversation. With nothing to look at, nowhere to avoid the crowd and a consistently dirty floor, this cafe is one of the least attractive places to spend your time. It’s no wonder next to no one stays in to enjoy their purchase.
The bad smell that greets you when you walk in should be a warning of what is to come. Café BiblioTech is, in my opinion, systematically flawed. It is confined to too small a space, and it must serve far too many people. This place is best reserved for that rush between the books — otherwise steer clear.
- BiblioTech has good hours since it’s designed for all nighters to get a quick dose of caffeine. It stays open after many other places close.
- Though it has no hot food, a number of vending machines offer something to eat at 5 a.m.
- The coffee here isn’t anything special. Frankly I would come here only as a last resort.