What Librarians Think About: Food in the Library

Is it OK to have food in the library? Frankly, librarians disagree. Some libraries have moved to allow almost any food in the library, including having cafes and coffee shops located inside the library. On the other hand, many libraries do not allow any food or liquids.

The official policy of the Macdonald Kelce Library is that food is not allowed in the library.

“No food of any kind is allowed in the study rooms, computer labs, study/reading areas, or other areas designated by members of the Library staff.

“Consume only non-alcoholic beverages in spill proof and closed lid containers, e.g., sports bottles or other containers, which are made of hard plastic and which, have a screw-on or hard plastic cap to prevent spillage. Hot and cold cups from fast-food restaurants or vending machines, juice boxes, and canned soft drinks are NOT allowed.”

One of the jobs liked least by librarians and library staff is playing the role of food cop. We all understand that a student’s schedule can be hectic and sometimes studying and snacking go hand in hand.

However, when we have to clean up someone’s mess we become much more stringent in enforcing the rules. Also, if we can smell it in our offices we’ll probably ask you to take it outside.

The reason we object to food in the library is because food remains attracts pests. And pests destroy books. So, please, help us keep our books healthy and keep the food out of the library. Just because you’ve eaten here before, or seen others do it, does not mean that you won’t be asked to leave if we see you eating.

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