Sometimes, we walk into the Library in the morning and see this:
I should probably feel grateful to find pizza boxes in the trash instead of left out on tables, but the sight still makes me cringe. As mentioned in a previous post, we do allow food in designated areas of the Library. In fact, we have a cafe on the first floor which sells sandwiches, salads, baked goods, pre-packaged snacks, and hot and cold beverages. The decision to offer only cold food in the Bookends Cafe was a deliberate choice on the part of Library administration, in an attempt to balance the comfort and needs of students with the protection of Library resources. Hot, greasy food like burgers and pizza are not sold at Bookends because hot grease leaves a more serious mess on study tables, computers, and collection materials than a few pastry crumbs.
It is not uncommon for students studying in the Library during the evening to order pizza, and the pizza shops deliver the pies right to the lobby of the Library. The student circulation staff works without adult supervision in the evening, so they turn a blind eye. However, the evidence is there to see (and smell) in the morning.
What are your feelings about pizza deliveries to the Library? Does your institution have a food and drink policy? Is it enforced?
I have so many images like this but a lot of our students don’t even bother putting their trash in a bin, even when it is mere steps away. Our policy is “pack it in, pack it out.” Well, they get the first part, just not the second. We do no enforcement (I do however regularly ask students not to use our exhibit cases as coffee tables).
I won’t go into how this policy was put into place, but I can say that I don’t think we have seen the amount of damage we expected to see. We’ve seen some food spills come to the lab, but the last one was from a staff member who had coffee at her desk. *sigh*
Since we have always had an insect problem, it’s been hard to determine if this policy does any more to encourage it.
Reading Beth’s thoughts reminded me that we let patrons check books out and take them to places where we have no control. When I think of it that way, it is pretty amazing that we don’t see more damage.
That occurred to me, too, but the bigger issue for the Library environment is that we don’t have the custodial staff to clean up shared study spaces and computer stations as if they were in a restaurant. Fortunately, in this northern climate, we don’t seem to have the same sort of insect issues that North Carolina may see.