“A” is for Audrey at Geisel Library Café, Slated to Open in Spring 2016

Posted On: February 18, 2016

The long-awaited Geisel Library café won’t open its doors until spring 2016, but, already, it’s  earned an “A.” But, this A is not the coveted grade, it’s for Audrey, specifically Audrey Geisel, the generous benefactor of the University of California, San Diego Library for whom the new café will be named.


A working draft of what the café space will look like as of February 2016.

Audrey’s is expected to be completed in mid to late spring, with a grand opening planned for the campus and community supporters in May 2016. The café, which has been under construction since last December, is located on the 2nd (main) floor in the East Wing of Geisel Library, conveniently situated on the north end of the building’s most heavily used study area, which also houses the overnight study commons.

“I’m truly touched that so many of my friends at the UC San Diego Library have decided to name this new café after me,” said Audrey Geisel. “Even before we established the Dr. Seuss Collection here at the Library many years ago, I felt that this was a very special place, and certainly worthy of my continuing support. I know that Ted (Dr. Seuss) felt the same way, so I’m very pleased to know that our support will help to provide the resources and the services—not to mention caffeine— that today’s library patrons need to stay on the cutting edge.”

The café is one of the many enhancements planned for the university’s flagship building over the next several years, thanks to a $3 million gift made by Audrey Geisel in July 2015, which is the lead gift in the Geisel Library Revitalization Initiative, a major endeavor aimed at transforming and rejuvenating the interior public spaces of the Library to meet the evolving needs of students, faculty, and other Library users in an increasingly digital environment.

“We are thrilled to be nearing completion of our new café, and are especially pleased that we are naming it for Audrey Geisel, someone who has done so much for the Library and the campus,” said Brian E. C. Schottlaender, The Audrey Geisel University Librarian for UC San Diego. “Opening a café in Geisel Library has been a longtime wish of mine, and it’s something our students have long wanted as well. I’m happy that we are at last able to make this wish come true.”

The café will be operated by the university’s Sports Facilities, which manages Peet’s near RIMAC in the north part of campus. Coffee and tea will be supplied by Café Virtuoso, an independent local roaster, known for its environmentally sustainable products, including certified organic and fair trade coffee and tea. San Diego’s Bread & Cie will provide pastries and other breakfast items; salads and sandwiches will also be provided.

“We are excited about our partnership with the Geisel Library and we look forward to assisting in their efforts to enhance an already outstanding learning environment,” said Don Chadwick, Director of Sports Facilities in Student Affairs at UC San Diego.

Last year, the Barrio Logan-based Café Virtuoso entered its second straight year of impressive growth, both adding space and tripling its production capacity. Its certified organic coffees have scored in the low- to mid-90s from coffee assessor CoffeeReview.com—placing them among the best independent coffee roasters in the nation.

Members of the Library’s Student Advisory Committee were unanimous in their enthusiasm for the new café. Among other things, students will no longer be required to leave the building to “refuel.”

“The Geisel Library is already a great place to study; adding coffee is a huge bonus,” said Lorraine Lopez, a 3rd year Revelle student, majoring in Political Science. “Think of it as: Library + Coffee = Perk of Exponential Study Success.”

Audrey’s will occupy approximately 3,000 square feet, including an adjoining lounge. The café is expected to provide seating for between 50 and 75 patrons, and will also feature a to-go counter. While café hours are subject to change, Audrey’s will initially be open daily, from 7:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. from Monday to Thursday, with shorter hours over the weekend. The café will stay open until midnight during Finals week and other crunch times.

Audrey’s color palette will reflect the colors—shades of yellow, orange, and blue—depicted in the bold and much admired Read, Write, Think, Dream art installation created by artist John Baldessari, in the lobby of Geisel Library. The installation is part of the university’s renowned collection of public art, the Stuart Collection.

In addition to the café, the Geisel Library Revitalization Initiative will include a wide range of new technology enhancements, as well as new furniture, carpeting and finishes. While Audrey Geisel’s generous gift will support the revitalization of the main floor public spaces, additional funds are needed to support renovation efforts in the public spaces on the 1st and 8th floors of the building. For further information about the Geisel Library Revitalization Initiative, click here or contact Julie Sully, Director of Development for the Library, at jsully@ucsd.edu or 858-822-4554.

12 comments for ““A” is for Audrey at Geisel Library Café, Slated to Open in Spring 2016”

On February 18, 2016, 11:16 AM Ruth Montouri said:


Very progressive idea, and it will also give me the excuse I need to visit.

On February 18, 2016, 1:11 PM Triton Tony said:

Do y’all take dining dollars for this Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahah

On February 18, 2016, 2:46 PM Mollie said:

Such good news. Unfortunately I don’t work close enough to the library to stop by for coffee and a pastry on a regular basis, but I LOVE Bread & Cie’s pastries so will definitely make an effort. And kudos for employing Café Virtuoso.

All my best for a successful cafe!


On February 22, 2016, 2:43 PM Bill Pfender said:

…and what happened to the Library’s long standing policy of “No Food or Drink” in the Library? Will “Audrey’s” be physically separated from the Library or have an entrance directly into the Library itself?

On March 3, 2016, 4:11 PM Kolupailo, Nicole said:

Bill – The Library permits the consumption of beverages carried in covered containers and individual snack-size food items, except in designated areas. Audrey’s will not be separated from the Library; the wall you currently see is a temporary wall for construction and the cafe will flow into the 24 hour study commons.

On February 24, 2016, 10:21 AM Yvette said:

Can’t wait for the cafe to open! I’m so glad it is named after Audrey Geisel, she deserves it!

On February 29, 2016, 9:06 AM Craig said:

Already have to tolerate people bringing hot food from the Price Center. Now have to tolerate patrons sneaking food in from the Cafe. Even though you may post a notice, you know it will still happen as it is not enforced. Why couldn’t Audrey’s be a reading room with couches????

On March 3, 2016, 4:09 PM Kolupailo, Nicole said:

Craig – We always ask that patrons be considerate of other library users when eating and drinking in the Library. If this is ever an issue for you, please notify a Library employee. I think you’ll be pleased to find that Audrey’s will have a large lounge area with lots of couches and chairs for reading and studying.

On March 6, 2016, 9:45 PM Carlos Estrada said:

Looking forward to my first cup of coffee @Audrey’s!

On March 8, 2016, 9:03 AM Craig said:

Nicole – Thank you for the response. Do you know any staff members that actually brought up the food policy to the attention to any patrons? The FAQ board at the library stated due to limited staff, they cannot enforce the policy. That is, everyone is on the honor system. I’ve seen staffers that shelves books do nothing. I’ve seen library security that patrol the floors do nothing. I’ve seen reference desk personnel do nothing. They don’t have to look for violators — just follow their nose. To compound the issue, during finals week, the custodian staff will deploy disposable garbage cans to accommodate additional trash coming from the Price Center. This wouldn’t be necessary if individuals were consuming snack-size foods. The reality of the situation is no staffer wants to confront a patron, therefore, no enforcement.

On March 10, 2016, 4:00 PM Kolupailo, Nicole said:

Hi Craig, we understand your concerns. Enforcement is an issue the Library continues to work on, but there are no simple solutions. Students like to have food around them when they study and the Library is here to provide good, academic study space. But you should know that this problem should not be compounded by the addition of Audrey’s. The café will not be serving any hot food; all food, besides pastries, will be packaged sandwiches and salads. Thanks again for sharing your views with us.

On March 11, 2016, 1:09 AM Daphne Galang said:

I look forward to the grand opening of Audrey’s. Please also allocate funds for better remote access for UCSD alumni to the library’s digital collection, especially since alumni access is not stated on the website as part of the campus population.

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