Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Containers, Approving

Place arbitrary restrictions on the types of drinking containers your library patrons can use.

Patrons need rules, restrictive signage, and librarian "cup cops" to keep them from making a mockery of our profession.


Ask the Readers: Cup cops? Beverage bobbies? Who enforces your library's "approved container" rules?

20 comments:

berkeleylibrarian said...

We make the security guards do it because even though we have the rule, most staff don't have the cajones to enforce it.

Anonymous said...

no one!

Kate said...

a further comment...
while visiting another academic library in our state, we found out that they completely revoked the "no food or drink in the library rule". the only difference they found (since this rule never makes anyone quit eating/drinking in the library) was that when people spilled something, they didn't have to hide the fact that they had food in the library at all, and would ask for something with which to clean up their spill.

kinda shatters your world, doesn't it?

Oleg K. said...

Whoever feels like it at that particular moment. Mostly nobody.

Agapetospaidiske said...

Our enforcement varies vastly between staff members. I am much more lenient and as long as its covered, I trust that they will at least try not to spill.
In an age of coffee shops in libraries it seems out of date to not allow patrons to bring water or coffee in with them.

Anonymous said...

Our library can't seem to even decide whether food and drink are actually allowed, much less enforce any possible prohibition against them. For example, we have a "NO FOOD OR DRINKS" sign on the wall--directly above the glass/aluminum recycling container. My other favorite ridiculous sign was the "NO SMOKING WITHIN 25 FEET OF ENTRANCE" sign that was above a giant ash-n-butt receptacle right outside the back door (until I complained).

Suzanne said...

Like Kate, we have a published "no food or drink" rule but it is ignored by us all--on purpose. It never stops the food and drinks, and does make students hide it.

We let the calories out of the closet in the library.

Anonymous said...

No one here either. It's impossible even though it's a rule. But people sure are just pigs . But then, so are the patrons.

librarianwoes said...

We generally look the other way, or we would be policing all day long instead of librarianing like we're supposed to. That said, when someone walks up to us at Ref. with a Box O Joe and asks for a PC, we tell them about our policy.

Anonymous said...

I'm special collections, so I will be screaming about food and drinks forever. It's a losing battle, of course. The students know me as the "crazy person who keeps putting out those 'No Food or Drinks' signs," so that's nice.

3goodrats said...

Whoever is feeling particularly cranky.

We have NO approved beverage containers. No food or drinks at all. After all, they might spill on our disgusting carpet that should have been replaced 20 years ago.

University Student Aid said...

We just revamped our who library, it's brand spanking new and already disgusting.

There's no rules about disallowing food and drink, though students still spill things and don't say anything about it. One person spilled a drink at a computer and rather than "sweep it under the carpet" they decided that the keyboard was a good paper towel and left it there on top of the spill.

There's a Saxby's Coffee Shop that's due to come in on our first floor sometime soon. I don't even want to think about what is going to happen once they open....

Anonymous said...

I always wondered who decided putting a Starbucks at the entrance to a freakin' library was a good idea.

Bibliophage said...

Of course, once those pesky users actually take a book out of the library, they won't be using approved ANYthing near the book. There's gonna be food, drink, drugs, dust, dogs, cats, birds, rain, sweat and all kinds of other stuff in, on, and under the book.

Why do we fuss about food and drink in the library when as soon as they step outside the front door, they can pop open a beer or soda, plop the book on the edge of that industrial-sized cigarette ashtray, set the opened can on the book, light up a smoke, pick up the can, wedge the book up in their sweaty armpit with the empty cigarette pack inside the book as a bookmark, step off the library porch into the snow .... You get the idea. So why do any of us freak over a little food or drink in the building?

Anonymous said...

I was totally against beverage restrictions until someone spilled fruit punch on a keyboard the other day. eew :(

(But even that is not as bad as the old man who comes in and pees on the fabric covered chairs.)

We let the guards (oops I mean "security officers") enforce that - how will I get the teens to come to anything if I have to be the nag.

Kevin Musgrove said...

We draw the line at people drinking metal polish drained through an old sock.

Especially if they're doing it in work time.

Anonymous said...

I like mine with lettuce and tomato, Heinz 57 and french fried potatoes.

Anonymous said...

We spend a staff meeting every few months discussing this. It pops up in cycles.

The most recently adopted "policy" is no hot food or drinks. So bottled water, coke cans etc are allowed.

But with the addendum, not in the IT areas.

But we're not allowed to put up signs, coz we have recently refurbed and rebranded and we don't wanna clutter the place w useful signage.

Some will enforce if they're having a shitty day. Others always, coz their lives suck??

Anonymous said...

Every once in a while a listserv will jolt awake with urgent missives about library food/drink policies. Oh mg God, some of the policies are ridiculous in their specificity. Librarians are annoying!

Anonymous said...

i work in a highschool library. we had an 'anything goes' policy until someone poured coke on the floor. we now have a nothing at all policy, and still find sandwiches stuffed in the non-fiction, chocolate wrappers in the picture books and orange juice cartons on the floor. The other day someone put their flavoured milk carton (not quite empty either) on the floor and stomped on it. git.