MONROE, La. — Students who think they can’t eat in the University of Louisiana Monroe library are in for a real treat.
Last week, the ULM library opened a food market known as a P.O.D., or Provisions on Demand. The P.O.D., which is located on the first floor of the library near the computer lounge, offers grab ‘n go dining options, including: freshly made sandwiches, wraps, salads, fresh produce, yogurts, parfaits, chips, fresh gourmet coffee, juices, a variety of soft drinks, and candy bars.
In addition to food and drink items, students may take advantage of the P.O.D. market’s “Everyday Supplies on Demand” stand, which is stocked with items such as lip balm, Tylenol, toothbrushes and tooth paste, batteries, and much more.
According to the company’s website, P.O.D. “reinvents the campus store experience by blending the features of ‘corner store’ quick convenience with modern market style and service.” Owned by Aramark Higher Education, these convenience stores are operated on over 250 college campuses. The first P.O.D. market stores opened in 2008.
“I think the P.O.D. will be greatly appreciated by our students, particularly in the late evenings when there is a lack of other things opened at this time,” said Donald Smith, Dean of the library.
Prior to the opening of the P.O.D., eating and drinking were not allowed in the library. A “no food or drinks” sign still greets students when they enter the library. Similar signs can be found on doors to offices in the library, such as Admissions and Recruitment, located on the second floor. Such signs are scheduled to be taken down in the coming days.
There is currently no designated eating and drinking area in the library; students may eat or drink anywhere in the building, except in the Special Collections on the fifth floor. However, Smith did express a desire for students to keep food and drinks away from one area: “We won’t ban it, but we do hope that students will refrain from eating in and around the stacks.” He also indicated that students should always try to keep lids and covers on their drinks to prevent spills.
So, what do students think of the new campus addition?
According to Ethan Chandler, a junior Biology major, the P.O.D. market makes a whole lot of sense. “I like the idea of having it close to where we study,” said Chandler. “Now, we don’t have to leave the library anymore to get food or drinks; we can just grab it right here. From my perspective, the P.O.D. is actually an incentive to use the library more.”
Other students are quickly learning to appreciate the convenience of having a food market in the library, where classes are held daily. “I don’t get a lunch break in between classes here, so having a place where I can just grab and go is so nice,” said Sydney Davis, a junior Music Education major.
The famous British novelist C. S. Lewis once said, “Eating and reading are two pleasures that combine admirably.” Now, students at ULM just might begin to understand what Lewis meant.
Payment methods include cash, personal check (with valid I.D.), debit and credit cards, Warhawk Express and Flex dollars. The hours of operation are Monday – Thursday from 7:30 a.m. to 1 a.m., Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., Sunday from 7 p.m. to 1 a.m.; the store is closed on Saturday.
Images of the P.O.D. are available here.