Category Archives: food and drink

Keeping the libraries clean

You wrote:

I know it’s finals right now and it’s definitely majorly the fault of student using the facility, but there is so much trash on the floor and tables and stains on the tables. There should be stricter food and drink rules so that the cleaning staff can actually manage this. Thanks.

Thank you for your comments.  It is definitely more difficult during finals.  We have forwarded your concerns to the Custodial department.

The Libraries have specific policies outlined in the Library Code of Conduct, regarding food and drink and our facilities:

FOOD and BEVERAGES Beverages are permitted if they are in spill proof containers only.

Food is prohibited except for designated snacking areas.

RESPECT LIBRARY RESOURCES, SPACES and FACILITIES Users are responsible for the careful handling of Library materials. Defacing or damaging Library materials (such as through marking, highlighting, underlining, writing notes, attaching post-it notes, folding corners, removing pages, or removing security devices) is forbidden.

Users are responsible for using Library spaces, equipment, furnishings and facilities in a responsible and respectful way. This helps to preserve facilities and ensure a welcoming and clean environment. Users must not place their feet on chairs, window sills or tables and must keep spaces neat and tidy.

Everyone using the libraries spaces should be abiding by the Library Code of Conduct and we need participation from all patrons to keep the library spaces clean and usable for the next person(s).

Coffee machine at the Vanier Library

You wrote:


I would like to suggest the implementation of a coffee machine at the Vanier library as it is a 24-hour facility and as the cafeteria hours are limited and often restricted to those wanting to partake in the buffet.


I agree with you that it would be great to have a coffee machine at the Vanier Library.  Unfortunately, at this time, we do not have the optimum space for that (noise, ventilation, cleaning issues).  It also would be difficult for us to control students coming into the study space with paper cups.

Thank you for taking the time to write.

Eat and run

You wrote: 

It was a great idea to add ”dining tables” section at each floor of the Vanier library. It was annoying to have to leave the library only to eat a sandwich.  However, I noticed several students use those tables to do school related work (and stay there for long hours!), instead of just eating and then leave. Is it possible to a) Make it clear for everyone that the purpose of the tables is to have a quick lunch b) add a second table to every floor?

Thank you!

Thank you for your comment and suggestions.  It’s nice to know that students appreciate having that space.  There should be a sign at each table with a message that these tables are to be used for eating. Maybe the signs have disappeared or they do not convey the message clearly.  We will look into it. Also, the Director of the Vanier Library is looking to find some new furniture that will make the space comfortable enough to have a quick snack but not so comfortable for studying.  Hopefully these actions will make a difference.

Hot Chocolate Nixed

You wrote:

I was recently stopped for bringing an unopened hot chocolate into the library and asked to leave until it was finished. While sitting just outside the entrance I watched another 7 people walk in with coffee cups and none of these people were stopped! Have you heard of consistency? But besides that what is the world coming to that adults can’t be trusted to have a drink with them in the library. In my country we are only restricted from carrying drinks into the collections and I’ve heard of there being a problem with that. I was only going to the third floor to study with my laptop.

Thanks for your comment.  I can see why this experience might well have felt unfair to you.  If the seven people with coffee were using spill-roof mugs, however, then there was actually no inconsistency.

As outlined in our code of conduct, only drinks in spill-proof mugs are permitted in the library.  Food residue and spilled drinks cause insect infestation and damage to library collections and furnishings. Unfortunately, experience has shown us that despite the best of intentions, accidents and spills do happen.   We have recently posted slides on our plasma screen alerting students to the drink restrictions, and we hope these will help make our policy more clear.

Noisy times

As we are all heading into the busiest time of the semester, we have received a number of complaints regarding food and noise.  Here is some of what you wrote:

When students walk into the library holding a cardboard tray with 4 large cups of Tim Horton’s coffee and a paper bag full greasy doughnuts, they show a lack of respect for what a library is supposed to be.… Why not hire a student enforcement body who will give out noise and food fines. The fines will fund their pay….


Would it be possible to completely eliminate the so called orange zone from the third floor of the library building? This may sound like a radical approach, but people are not studying there, they come to chat and are a major disruption for those sitting the blue zone. …


The third floor of the library is absolutely horrible. Apparently people using this space have zero respect for others; I don’t even understand why do they come here in the first place, because all I hear is laughing and talking on the phone, does not seem that studying is their main objective here. …

Would it be possible to have some stickers and attention notes put in these areas?  Also I think that it would be a good idea to have someone from the library staff walk once in a while and ask people to be more quite or perhaps a short recorded voice message aired once in a while to remind those who do not know how to behave?


…I want to say that your signs for a quiet environment in the library was a good iniative and students like myself have seen some improvement. The degree of noise is not as high as it used to be.  However, there is still room for improvement ….  My suggestion to you is the following: please put giant signs on the glass windows that are clearly visible with images indicating that talking in cellphones or among each other is forbidden, or students will be asked to leave the premises.  Thank you for your time.

Many thanks to all of you for suggesting ways to encourage silence.  Over the last year, since we have instituted the blue and orange zones and increased staff and security guard presence across the libraries, we have noticed an improvement. Students have responded to the zoning and signage.  However, some students persist in talking and we are aware of this. 

Most of the comments posted above came in over the weekend when we have less staff working.  However, security agents work around the clock, including weekends.  If you have anything to report, please do so and we will address the problem.  Some have suggested clearer signs and we are considering more effective signage.  Finally, several users have suggested noise and food fines.  We would rather not have to go to that extreme.  Please, we encourage you to let us know when someone is being too loud.

Finally, we encourage everyone to monitor themselves as well.  It happens to all of us that we get carried away and our voices get loud.  Let’s continue to work together to make the Libraries a comfortable place to study in.

Orwellian signs?

You wrote:

I’ve noticed the Enviro-nagging-orwell signs flashing on the plasma TVs that depict a reusable coffee mug, versus a paper one. You should know that the stainless steel coffee mugs which are so popular with the enviro-crowd actually contain NICKEL, which is mined at a huge environmental cost.…

Thank you for your comment. The images used in the slide show are selected simply to convey the idea of using spill-proof mugs, regardless of what they are made of.  We hope that this will prevent spills and keep our collection and study spaces clean.

Study Room a Mess

You wrote

Today, we used a study room downtown and frankly, it was very dirty and not fun to use for that reason. I think it would be important to add cleaning staff during the weekend especially since the library is opened 24hours. I can understand not having the place cleaned at night during the week but going from friday night to monday morning without proper care…..not
sure it’s the best way to go to keep the place in good shape.

Thanks for your comment. We investigated and found out that there was unfortunately a missed cleaning shift on the weekend due to illness. This may in part account for the state of the study room you used.  Hopefully the next time you will have a better experience, but do alert us if this happens again.

I wonder if the “very dirty” relates to food or drink containers left in the room by some of your fellow students?  If so, your post offers a good opportunity to remind or alert everyone that though we allow drinks in spill proof mugs, we have a ‘no food’ policy in the library (see “Keep the Environment Clean” in our Library  Code of Conduct).  There are many reasons for this policy; the right to  a comfortable work environment for all users is just one of them.  Thanks again for keeping us informed.

Coffee & Study

You  wrote:

I was wondering what are the other study areas on campus, besides the library? The library system, and buildings are wonderful, but it is a major hindrance to not be able to have a coffee while studying. I understand not wanting liquids or food in the stacks areas, but I can’t see the detriment to have a coffee while doing work at one of the large tables. I often study in coffee shops in the downtown area, but they don’t provide the large tables, quiet and environment of the library. Clearly these tables are meant for studying and doing work, but its a bit ridiculous to think that someone can dig in for a big study session (which for many can be upwards of four hours) without a little caffeine boost. Coffee and studying/writing papers go hand in hand for students.

Is there any chance that this “no food” rule can change in the future?  In the mean time, could you please let me know if there is anywhere on campus that combines my love of quiet, large tables and coffee?

Here is something that might help:  like water bottles, spillproof mugs are allowed in the library.  All other food and drink are prohibited, including disposable coffee cups, since there is always a danger of spills and stains. 

 As for alternate study locations which allow coffee in any kind of container  (but don’t guarantee a quiet environment), here is a list of group study spaces that includes local Concordia buildings as well as cafes and public places.

Eating and chatting in the library

You wrote:

Lots of times when I was studying at library, I could find someone eating or chatting around me, from 2nd floor to 4th floor. That’s really distracting especially when I need to concentrate on my studies. Some of my friends have encountered the same problem at least once. We do wish this situation can be changed very soon.

Thanks for writing. If you encounter someone eating in the library, you can let them know it is not allowed, or you can always let a library staff member know, and we can approach the student. Food and drink cause a lot of damage to library materials and furniture.

Regarding chatting in the library, you may know that this is something we are very concerned about. Recently, a survey was given to students about the study environment at Webster Library. The results of the survey are helping us understand how best to arrange the library and which areas should be quiet and how quiet should be encouraged.

In the meantime, I hope we can all cooperate so people can get the quiet study they need during the exam period.

The Coffee Question

You wrote:


So, it would be nice if you would allow coffee in the library…


Whenever coffee has been allowed in the library (for special events around exam time) we found many spills that required us to hire cleaners to remove stains from  furniture and carpeting. This is a big cost to the library and we are not able to absorb it at this moment. Feel free to bring in your water bottle, though, and we hope you will take a well deserved break to get a coffee nearby.