It is no secret that the eating habits of Osgoode students have recently fallen somewhat under the microscope. However, this focus has been largely limited to what students are snacking on in the classroom, and not in the library. The obvious reason for this is that food is strictly forbidden in the library – crunchy, smelly, or otherwise. This is not news, nor is it unique. Indeed, it is the rare library that permits, rather than forbids, food.
The reasons for this are both obvious and more subtle. It is not steeped in some puritan, punitive mindset, but rather altogether more practical reasons. Given that the library is a space that is intended for study, for reasons that have been elucidated elsewhere the consumption of food can prove to be a distraction to your fellow patrons. The sounds and smells of food, while they may be enticing to you, have the potential to be disruptive and even nauseating to your fellow travellers in the study of law. A no-food policy also helps to keep the library clean, and therefore more appealing our patrons.
In addition to these reasons, no matter how clean and tidy you may think you are being, crumbs and food debris can find its way into the carpet, crevices, and other spots that might be at first glance be otherwise clean. When this happens, it can attract pests such as bugs and even rodents (not that we have them, of course, but we’d like to keep it that way). If this happens, in addition to the broader sanitary concerns that they raise, it can also lead to the destruction of library materials, as they can and will be attracted by such delicacies as the glue in book bindings and very pages that make up books. Many of our materials are very expensive and, in some cases, irreplaceable, so we want to ensure that they are kept in the very best condition for the continued use of our patrons.
So that, in a nutshell, is why we don’t allow food in the library. Please respect these rules! If you’re hungry, the Goodmans Bistro and JCR are just down the hall.