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Food and Drink Policy
Traditionally, food and beverages have not been allowed in library facilities. They are easily spilled on books, furniture, and equipment, causing damage. Particles of food left behind on books, furniture, or floors attract rodents, cockroaches, silverfish, and other unwanted pests. However, while concerned with maintaining a clean and attractive facility, the Schertz Public Library also strives to create a welcoming and comfortable environment for those who spend time studying or who make extended visits. To meet both these goals, the Library has adapted the Leave No Trace principles to its food and beverage policy. Leave No Trace guidelines include:
- Plan ahead and prepare: When possible, plan to eat your meals before you come to the library. If you do carry in snacks or drinks, avoid messy foods that may damage library material and facilities. Bring drinks in appropriate containers and try to avoid bringing red or other brightly colored beverages. Be aware of the food and drink guidelines.
- Dispose of waste properly: Make sure to place any trash in appropriate containers and empty liquids in the bathroom sinks before throwing away the container.
- Leave what you find: Leave library resources, furnishings, and equipment as you found them, or in better condition than you found them.
- Be considerate of other visitors: Respect the next library user and the next generation of library users.
This policy was established with the following goals in mind:
- To provide all library users with a clean, safe and healthy environment
- To preserve and protect library materials, furnishings and equipment
- To provide opportunity for patrons to consume food and drink
- To prevent disruption to others’ use of the library
- To respect our custodial staff by taking responsibility for personal behavior
- To allow us to direct library funds to purchasing new library materials rather than to replacing resources, furnishings, and equipment damaged by food and drink
Snacks and drinks are allowed in the library subject to the following guidelines:
- Snacks and drinks are permitted in the foyer, vending area, sitting areas, meeting and program rooms, study rooms and courtyard area. Snacks and drinks are prohibited from all library computer stations, scanners, copiers or other library equipment. Snacks and drinks are not permitted in the Genealogy Room or in the book stacks.
- All drinks must be in closed containers. No glass containers are permitted.
- Snacks are defined as packaged foods which can easily be eaten dry and with the hands. Examples of snack foods include candy, chips, nuts, dried cereal or fruit, granola bars, and cookies. Messy or greasy foods that may damage library materials and facilities or aromatic or noisy foods that may be distracting to others are not permitted. Examples of messy or aromatic foods include pizza, sandwiches, salads, yogurt, fresh fruit, ice cream, foods with dipping sauces, etc.
- Food delivery is not permitted unless it is for a library-sponsored program or event.
- No alcoholic beverages or tobacco products are permitted (alcoholic beverages may be served and consumed at authorized library events only).
- Patrons are expected to “leave no trace” and take responsibility for maintaining a clean environment by removing crumbs, wiping off sticky surfaces, and cleaning up after themselves. All trash must be deposited in the receptacles located throughout the library.
- If you must dispose of beverages, pour liquids into the bathroom sink before throwing away the containers.
- Report accidental spills to library staff as soon as possible.
- Patrons may eat and drink while using their own equipment as long as all other guidelines are met.
- Unattended food and drink may be removed and discarded.
- The Library may provide food and drinks in designated areas during library-sponsored programs and events.
- Library staff reserves the right to ask anyone who disregards the above guidelines to remove the food or drink from the building immediately or to leave the building.
Revision endorsed by Schertz Library Advisory Board February 1, 2016
Policy revised December 2015
Date of original policy unknown