Why is Eating and Drinking in the Library Discouraged?
or, No, we don't allow pizza parties in the stacks. Why do you ask?
- Food and drink attract vermin.
- Where there is food, then rats, mice, cockroaches, and silverfish may follow. These
pests can literally chew up books. Their feces can even pose a health hazard to library
users and staff.
Food and drink are accidents waiting to
- Spills cause permanent stains, and moisture on coated (shiny) pages can cause them to
stick together irreparably. One wet book can introduce mold into an entire collection, and
the clean-up costs can be horrendous. Mold and mildew are known to be significant health
hazards to some people.
- Cleanup is costly.
- Most libraries are experiencing significant budgetary shortfalls these days, and
custodial service is not high on the list of priorities. With fewer staff, trash pickup
may occur less frequently and housekeeping may be minimal. Thus, vermin have more time to
settle in and wreak havoc before they are discovered. Extermination can be expensive and
may require chemical treatment. Removing a damaged book from circulation, temporarily or
permanently, can be an inconvenience for library users.
Prevention is the most effective and least toxic method of
Wouldn't you rather have your library spend its money on books and
Please respect our mission and assist us in pursuing it.
Take care of library materials while they are in your possession.
Return to Preserving Library Materials.