A municipal library in Takeo, Saga Prefecture, run by the operator of the Tsutaya video rental chain logged around 73,800 visitors in about three weeks, from April 1 to 23.
The number of visitors is roughly five times more than the same period last year, according to the local mayor Keisuke Hiwatashi.
“It is an unexpected feedback. The library has become an engine for rebuilding our town,” the mayor said referring to how the private-sector know-how is producing positive results at the public building that also features a Starbucks coffee shop, according to Kyodo news agency.
The library’s opening hours could be extended, according to Hiwatashi. The place is now open from 9 a.m. until 9 p.m., in response to requests from citizens.
The library is mixing the passion for reading with the love for coffee. While checking through the 200,000 titles, bookworms can also try a cup of coffee at the Starbucks coffeehouse.
Aside from the Starbucks, inside the library the readers can also find a 50-meter-long open bookshelf and a Tsutaya outlet where they can buy books and rent music and video software. Customers are allowed to drink their coffee while browsing through the books.