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Pilot: Food to be permitted in limited areas of the library

08 July 2019

Why are we doing this?

An increasing number of you have been asking for this over the last couple of years, so last semester we asked lots of you for more detailed thoughts and opinions on whether we should allow food at all, what kinds of food, and where in the library spaces.

We heard strong and diverse views from you on this - some people want to be able to eat anything anywhere, others were very keen for us to maintain a no-food policy. The most common view though was to be allowed to snack in designated areas. Many of you felt this would allow you to concentrate better on your studies, without having to leave the library regularly to eat.

The reasons we have limited the kind of food and the spaces it can be eaten in for our pilot are:

  • A number of people noted their food allergies and a need to feel that a space is safe for them to use without worrying about what others near them are eating.
  • There was a strong view that our silent spaces should be food-free as well as silent. Users of these spaces tend to prefer to keep any distraction to a minimum, and this includes any noise or smell from eating. There were similar views for our quiet areas.
  • A lot of people commented that hot and smelly food would be both distracting and likely to cause mess, and wanted us to continue to encourage the use of alternative spaces for eating meals and hot snacks.

Tell us what you think

We’ll be reviewing our pilot in August to decide whether to continue into next semester, and whether to make any changes if we do. You can give us your views by:
Commenting on our padlet at
Telling us your feedback through our blog at
Or just tell us in person or by email through any of our contact routes:

Topics: Feedback