Answered By: Judith Wells
Last Updated: Jul 03, 2019     Views: 37

Q: Why is there a pilot allowing snacks on the ground floor?

We’ve decided to make this change based on an increasing number of comments from students over the last couple of years. A certain number of users eat in the library spaces anyway.

You said …

… some people want to be able to eat anything anywhere,

… others are very keen for us to maintain a no-food policy.

… mostly you asked to be able to snack in designated areas in order to concentrate better on your studies, without having to leave the library to eat a snack.


Q: Why just the ground floor?

The key reasons we’ve limited the kind of food and the spaces it can be eaten in for our pilot are:

  • food allergies or diets, and so you feel that a space is safe to use without concerns about what others nearby are eating.

  • you strongly said that our silent spaces should be food-free as well as silent as there is less distraction. (There were similar views for our quiet areas, but more divergence between Cambridge and Chelmsford.)

  • Many of you commented that hot and smelly food would be both distracting and likely to cause mess, so we will continue to promote alternative spaces for eating meals and hot snacks.


Q: How long will the pilot be for?

This summer, from July to the end of August 2019, we’ll be piloting that cold snacks are allowed on the ground floors of our libraries in Cambridge and Chelmsford. There won’t be any change at Peterborough at this point.


Q: Can I still give feedback/comment on this pilot?

We will be gathering both user feedback over the summer so that we can decide whether to extend the pilot into next trimester, and any changes we might want to make.


Q: What is a snack?

Definition of a snack for the pilot in the Library is cold and not messy.

It is difficult to define a snack.

So we are focusing on how the study space is being used and left when you finish studying.

A snack is something to sustain study focus for a short period of time and a meal should still only be eaten outside of the library.

The primary use of the library is for study, if you are eating cold food and is not disturbing any other student, then the snack is acceptable.


Q: What happens if I want to eat elsewhere than the ground floor of the library?

We will ask you to put your food away and suggest you go to the ground floor to eat a snack or outside the library for a meal or take away.


Q: What about ground floor rooms and pods – can I snack there?

Yes, snacks are permitted on the Ground floor, even the rooms and pods.


Q: Can I just bring my food in and eat if I don’t want to study?

The library is a study space, there are other areas to eat. You may be asked to leave if you are not studying.


Q: What if someone has made a mess whilst eating?

Please do clean up after yourself, wipes will be available from the Helpdesk and there are bins around the ground floor.

Please leave the study space as you would wish to find it and let us know if others have not left the space clean enough for study. We can call a cleaner in if it’s needed.