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Food and beverage policy

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 & Special Collections, or in the Limited Access Reading Room in Rotch Library.
  • Food is not allowed near computer terminals or other equipment. Be careful with beverages in these areas.
  • Food that is messy, noisy or aromatic (e.g., potato chips, pizza, sandwiches) is not permitted.
  • Alcoholic beverages are not permitted.
  • Food waste, beverage containers, and wrappers must be removed from study areas and disposed of in trash or recycling bins in a timely manner. 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.
  • Interpretation of these guidelines is at the discretion of Libraries’ staff.
  • See the Library use policy for more information on using the MIT Libraries.