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(Mar 22/09) This is in response to a comment from February 13 2009 re: misuse of the quiet and silent study areas. I fully agree with this comment and even worse is the fact that students insist on eating full meals in the quiet and silent study areas. Not only is this noisy and distracting but they also get their greasy mitts all over the place making the study rooms even less attractive to those of us there to actually work. I dont understand why library staff do not enforce restrictions against eating in the libraries and information commons. I routinely see coffee, etc spilled on to keyboards and tables. Eating in the library also threatens the libraries collection of print materials, which Im sure you are aware of. On many occassions I have seen staff turn a blind eye to this sort of thing--why?

Library response:

Thanks for taking the time to send in your comment. The main reason we have designated Silent Study rooms as no eating and no laptop zones is because of the noise people make while eating and keyboarding and our users have said this can be quite distracting. As you will know our library regulations were changed quite some time ago to permit eating in most other parts of the library so staff are not being asked to monitor this behaviour elsewhere.

Unfortunately we do not have enough staff to patrol this space on a regular basis, but we will respond to complaints about eating or noise, if you bring these to our attention at the time. We do remind people they are in a room which does not permit either and ask them to stop or to move elsewhere.  You are welcome to take any complaints to the main service desk on the 1st floor, where they will ask a staff person to come to the room to enforce the regulation.

(Mar 23/09)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Follow-up Comments:

okay, but what about the damage food and beverages cause to expensive equiptment such as computers (this is why food and drink are not permitted in other computing facilities on campus)and the print collection? Were the librarians lying to us years ago when policies against eating were in place and the library actually provided a pleasent work environment? (2009-03-24)

Categories: Study Space, Mills  |  Permalink