Oklahoma State University

Food & Drink Policy

We, the staff of the Edmon Low Library, want this to be a place that is comfortable for you. We are always working on ways to serve you better. We now allow eating and drinking in the library with a few exceptions. We count on all of you to handle food and drink carefully and to properly dispose of the resulting trash, so the books and the computers remain safe.

Current Food and Drink Policy

  • Drinks must have a secure lid.
  • Small snack food only. No deliveries, please.
  • Please take your trash with you or dispose of it before you leave.
  • If you spill or see a mess left behind, let a staff member know right away.
  • Food and drinks are still not allowed in Special Collections and University Archives, the Peggy V. Helmerich Browsing Room and the computer-training room.

What's so wrong with food in the Library?

Libraries have unique concerns about food and drink.

  • Food and drink attract vermin.
    Where there is food, rodents and insects follow. These pests literally chew up books, or discolor, stain and loosen pages and destroy bindings. Some cockroaches are suspected of being disease carriers, and can cause allergic reactions in humans.
  • Mold is "Death on Books"
    No matter how careful you are, accidents can still occur. Spills can cause stains, but more importantly moisture is a breeding ground for molds and mildews. Fungal growth is highly contagious; one wet book can seed mildew growth through an entire collection in a short period of time. Spills aren't even the main problem; empty cups, cans and wrappers provide an ideal environment for mold spores, as well as attracting pests.
  • Cleanup is costly
    Stains that have set take extra effort and time to remove. Please let us know if you see a spill, so we can work on it as soon as possible. The Library has purchased larger trash cans and increased the number of rounds our custodial staff make to help keep trash under control.