James H. Thomason Library


Food, Drink, and Tobacco Policy



Foods, drinks, and tobacco products pose risks to our valuable collections, the most serious problems occurring when unauthorized food residues attract pests or create harmful conditions, such as mold. Such problems are highly damaging to books and sometimes difficult to eradicate.

Drinks in open containers can be spilled, harming carpets, electronic equipment and library materials. On the other hand, drinks in spill-proof containers pose little risk to the collection, while making the hard work of research and study a bit more refreshing!

Public Areas

Public areas of the Library include book stack areas, classrooms, and study tables and carrels. Light snacks, such as vending machine items, are permitted in the public areas of the Library. DRINKS are permitted only in approved spill-proof containers.

Acceptable spill-proof containers are: plastic mugs or cups with tight-fitting lids, screw-top bottles (replace top between sips), and squeeze bottles with pull-up tops (including sports bottles).

Unacceptable containers include: Styrofoam or paper cups, with or without lids; soda cans; open mugs; sports bottles with straws; and any other container similar in type, including any cups without lids.

Reference Computers & Lab 39

NO DRINKS are to be placed or consumed near library computers, printers, copy machines, microfilm readers, or other mechanical devices.

24 Hour Study

Vending machines providing light snacks and beverages with screw tops are located in this area. Patrons bringing unacceptable beverage containers or food items into the Library will be sent to the 24 Hour Study.

Meeting Rooms

Refreshments for groups meeting in the Library will be permitted ONLY with the express permission of the Library Director. In general, refreshments will be limited to those rooms that do not contain Library materials (24 Hour Study, group study rooms or flex-classrooms).

Staff Areas

Food and drink will be permitted in the Technical Services area. Drinks will be allowed in Technical Services and staff offices. Care should be taken near staff computerss and library materials. Staff carrying drinks into public areas should use acceptable containers.

Tobacco Products

Consumption of tobacco products in any form is prohibited in the Library.


Those individuals bringing food or beverages into the Library in inappropriate containers will be asked to finish them in the 24 Hour Study. Failure to comply may result in loss of Library privileges.


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