[Libs-Or] Beverages in the library: Summary
jefoster at lib-gw.tamu.edu
Tue Jan 16 20:33:03 PST 2007
Many thanks to all who responded to request for information about
whether or not you allow beverages in the library. I had responses from
45 people representing 41 libraries.
Of these, there were 18 public libraries, 21 academic libraries and 2
special libraries. I heard from the largest and some pretty small ones,
all over the state and from a couple out of state.
27 libraries allow beverages (a small few allow food, too, but I wasn't
specifically looking for that); 14 do not allow beverages. Of the 14, 4
actually allow water only in covered containers. It was a judgment call
to put these with the NOs; I was really more interested in coffee,
though I don't think I was specific in that regard.
Some suggested allowing beverages in specific areas; if comment was
included about this, almost all exclude beverages from computer areas.
Those who commented about this - primarily in the academic libraries -
seemed to think that allowing beverages makes the library friendlier.
One librarian said that they had recently re-carpeted with carpet tiles
so that stains could be dealt with more easily than having to replace
the entire carpet. Another suggested peer pressure as a motivator,
asking students to police themselves. One library only allows a
SPECIFIC cup. One library makes it clear that individuals are
responsible for any damage they may cause; this library also has signs
indicating that bringing in beverages is a privilege, not a right, and
that if they are not self-policing the privilege may be rescinded. One
said they are like the Sierra Club, telling patrons that if they pack it
in, they must pack it out.
No one whose library allowed beverages indicated that they wished it
At A & M, one of the issues I am aghast that they/we must deal with is
the use of cups for spitting chewing tobacco, which have then been left
for the staff to remove. Ugh! And tobacco products of all kinds are
illegal (yes, against the law) in all state buildings, even here in
Again, I sincerely appreciate the responses. This will be very helpful
at my library!...jen
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