11 responses

  1. Lee
    February 8, 2009


  2. John Nebauer
    February 9, 2009

    We’re fortunate in that we have a very small library, so we’ve not felt it necessary to ban anything (because it’s easy to keep an eye on things). For me philosophically, I also feel that if as a staff member it’s good enough for me to eat lunch at my desk, our students should also be able to do likewise. I did my undergrad degree at UQ in the ’90s and the library was brilliant then, so I’m not surprised at how they responded :)

  3. Jennie
    February 9, 2009

    We have a similar policy, but their signage is superior (well, we don’t have any food/drink signs in most of our libraries). I like the positive language and the clear examples.

  4. The old codger
    February 9, 2009

    That may work well for a general library or in academia, but since I work in an archives we don’t allow any food for obvious reasons.

  5. Sue
    February 9, 2009

    You know of course some student will bring in a cold piece of pizza and say “well, you said cold food was okay.” So do you go by the words or the pictures?

  6. Jennie
    February 9, 2009

    I’d actually let in cold pizza (and would encourage students to bring it!). The general objection here is to the wafting aromas more than the actual food. Of course I was likely the lone dissenting opinion on our policy – I wanted it to be much less restrictive than it ended up being.

  7. Alan Unsworth
    February 9, 2009

    A simple “no food, please” policy is relatively easy to explain, and easy to enforce. Food policies that try to limit which kinds of food, or where, or if they are hot or cold, do nothing to protect libraries, or the social conventions that allow them to work. And every library that allows some food, in some locations, makes it more difficult for other libraries to keep it out. Not to mention some of the side effects…anybody seen cockroaches in a library, or mouse droppings? I have.

  8. Keith Webster
    February 9, 2009

    I have seen mouse droppings – and mice – in libraries – oddly in those where food was banned. The suspicion was that students were eating behind the stacks, leaving crumbs and other remnants which attracted vermin. Our hope here at UQ is that people will feel able to eat in a manner which encourages sensible hygiene. We have installed a fleet of bins designed to hold leftover food and drink in a safe manner. I can feel the requests for a trash can picture coming on!

    I must find out what the ruling on cold pizza is – to me it’s cold food, but I may be more permissive than those who have to manage the new policy.

  9. Mary Ellen Petrich
    February 9, 2009

    My local main library is a combined public and state university library. They allow covered drinks on all floors. “Snacks and wrapped foods consumed by an individual” are allowed on the public library floors. No food is allowed on the university floors. Food is allowed in meeting rooms. Food and drink is not allowed at computer terminals.


    To me ‘cold food’ is a lot easier to define than ‘snacks and wrapped foods’. But I can see how either policy can lead to a lot of questions. Same with the air travel requirements that we not bring liquids on an airplane. What about yogurt, cheese cake, mayonnaise, etc?

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