Food and beverage guidelines

Balancing the comfort of the MIT community with the need to protect collections and resources from damage can be challenging. The availability of food and beverages can make studying in the library more comfortable, yet food and beverages can stain books and carpets, and encourage rodents and other pests. Noisy and smelly foods are not appreciated by others studying and working in the Libraries, and soiled tables and chairs are offensive to all.

To create a more pleasant environment for all library users, please follow these guidelines:

  • Small snacks and covered beverages are permitted in most library study areas but are not permitted in the stacks when browsing or retrieving items.
  • No food or beverages are allowed in the Institute Archives and Special Collections, or in the Limited Access Reading Room in the Rotch Library.
  • Use extra caution when bringing food and beverages near computers or other equipment.
  • Food in open containers that is messy, noisy or aromatic (e.g., potato chips, pizza, subs) is not permitted.
  • Alcoholic beverages are not permitted.
  • Food attracts pests. Food waste, beverage containers, and wrappers must be removed from study areas and disposed of outside the library when you leave. Study areas should be left clean. Alert library staff to spills.
  • Users not complying with these guidelines will be reminded of the policy and then asked to relocate if they are unwilling to comply. Further general guidelines for library use can be found at Guidelines for the use of the MIT Libraries.