Expanded McCormick Riverfront Library to feature book cafe

Paula Wolf//September 6, 2022

Expanded McCormick Riverfront Library to feature book cafe

Paula Wolf//September 6, 2022

Stefan Hawkins, owner of Good Brotha’s Book Café. PHOTO/PROVIDED

Good Brotha’s Book Café will open this fall as part of the McCormick Riverfront Library expansion, the first coffee shop in Dauphin County Library System’s eight locations.

Owner Stefan Hawkins said his current shop in midtown Harrisburg would close Sept. 10 because the building’s owner is selling the property.

“We’re looking at opening in McCormick on Oct. 17, and I’m excited to bring Good Brotha’s to everyone visiting the library,’’ Hawkins said in a release. “I opened my cafe with a mission of expanding access to titles in Black and African American literature, so this partnership with the library is perfect.’’

Library System Executive Director Karen Cullings said the arrangement is an example of how the library is partnering with businesses and organizations.

Cullings also announced Friday the chance for donors to the $3.5 million expansion project to have their gift showcased in a custom panel as part of an appreciation wall in McCormick’s new welcome center.

“We want to recognize everyone who helped make this project possible, and the donor recognition wall in the new T. Morris Chester Welcome Center is a beautiful way to commemorate their generosity for generations to come,’’ Cullings said.

She added that demand for the library’s resources has never been greater, with McCormick’s location in downtown Harrisburg making it easily accessible.

The expanded McCormick Riverfront Library will feature a 3,400-plus-square-foot family area that incorporates science, technology, reading, engineering, arts and math learning support, 950 square feet of public meeting space, added public computer resources and more.

State-of-the-art “zSpace” computers will allow learners to use “augmented reality” to explore nature, conduct science experiments, build digital models and virtually travel to the stars.

And the new M&T Bank Business Center will provide entrepreneurs, small business owners and job seekers access to computers and printers, mailing supplies, notary services and meeting space.

Also, the T. Morris Chester Research collection will curate resources focusing on the value of the vote, and the remodeled space will house the Pennsylvania Past Players, a troupe that showcases the region’s historical advocates for the rights of Blacks, women and others.

Paula Wolf is a freelance writer