Library's food and drink policyPublished by Dipa Barua
Q. I'm a frequent user of the Bennett Library, and I appreciate the resources available here for research and study. I know that the library has a policy on allowing food in certain areas, as long as it does not disturb others. I frequently use the Research Commons, and it's not uncommon for people here to eat strong-smelling or crunchy foods at their computers. Sometimes, I find crumbs or food stains on the desks left by previous users, making it impossible to use the desks for work or study. I do not feel that this behavior is consistent with the library policy. I'm writing to bring this to your attention and to ask if it might be possible to enforce the food policy more consistently across the library. Finally, if there's anything I can do as a library user to make this space more comfortable and welcoming to others, I'd welcome any tips.
A. Thank you for your question, and for bringing these concerns to us. We're very happy to hear you value the Research Commons space.
From your question, I think you may already be aware of the Library's Food and Drink Policy:
In order to ensure a welcoming environment, Library users are expected to consume food and/or drink without disturbing others or damaging library materials, equipment or facilities, and to respect designated "no eating" areas. ... Help keep the Library clean by depositing your empty beverage containers and garbage in waste receptacles provided and reporting any spills or damage to library staff.
If library users around you are eating or drinking and disturbing others, we encourage you to gently remind them about this policy; you can also always let staff know about the issue if you feel more comfortable doing so.
Thank you for bringing up the issue of accidental spills and crumbs. In the coming term, we will provide cleaning wipes in the Research Commons so that users can more easily clean up their workstations after they are done working. We will also look into other ways to ensure the Research Commons space is clean and welcoming for everyone.
Research Commons Librarian