Library Policies - Reasoning

Frequently Asked Questions

Why are soft-sided coffee cups not approved?

Spill factor: While we want to allow you to have beverages in the library, some containers are more prone to spilling due to the lid design. If a soft-sided coffee cup is dropped, the lid is more likely to pop off than on other sealable containers.

Disposability: Soft-sided coffee cups, soda fountain cups, and aluminum cans are sometimes left on tables when students leave the library. This creates trash, but more importantly, eventually can invite pests into the library. These pests can cause long-term problems. Library mugs are not disposable and students do not normally leave these behind.

It's all in the content: While approved nalgene bottles could also cause large spills, they normally contain water, which is less damaging than sticky liquids like coffee and soda. We realize that even approved containers can cause spills, but we are attempting to limit damage by restricting some of the more spill-able containers while still allowing you some freedom to consume beverages.

What can happen if a beverage is spilled?

  • Keyboards can be damaged.
  • Laptops, loaned out by the library, can be damaged.
  • Wired study tables can be damaged if liquid runs over the lip of the table and into the electrical or cable outlet.
  • Carpet is stained and is costly to clean.
  • Liquid can seep down into the raised flooring, where
    the electrical and network cabling resides.

Can I drink coffee in the library then?

Yes! Please use a hard-sided, spill-resistant, secure coffee mug, like those you can purchase at Starbucks, the Golden Eagle, or other retail outlets.

Why is it important not to have food in the library?

Food results in crumbs and unclean surfaces for other students. The crumbs attract rodents and insects that can cause long-term problems.

If we are going to study in the library for several hours, shouldn't we be allowed to eat?

The bridge has been designed to accommodate eating food. The AMU cafeteria is also available for both eating and studying.

The library is unfortunately not a Barnes & Noble. Book stores allow messes because it results in greater sales of books! Their custodial staff can handle the extra cleaning needed for food and beverage clean up. The size of our custodial staff is appropriate for a library, not an eating establishment.

How can I voice my opinion about the policies?

The Dean of Libraries has met with MUSG representatives to discuss concerns of students who use the library. In addition, an Undergraduate Student Library Advisory Committee meets twice each semester with the Dean and other library staff to discuss issues and concerns. You may voice your thoughts by speaking with a library staff member or submitting a suggestions using a form on our web site.

Thank You

Thank you for reading this message and considering the factors that have led to the current policy.