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Q. Why can't we eat on the quiet floors?

Answered By: Ewan McCubbin
Last Updated: Dec 06, 2017     Views: 80

Thanks for filling in one of the Library’s comments card last week.

Unsurprisingly, you are not the first student to ask us about this and, as you might imagine, the rules around food and drink continue to be a hot topic in many university libraries.

At St Andrews we liberalised the rules in 2010, introducing the arrangements we have in place today – cold food on the ground floor of the Main Library and hot and cold lidded drinks everywhere.  Other arrangements are in place for our other libraries at Martyrs Kirk, St Mary’s and the JF Allen (North Haugh).  Prior to this change in 2010, the Library only permitted bottled water.

We have since considered further changes to the rules on food and drink, specifically providing for some allowance on at least one of the silent floors.  Not everyone of course would welcome the change that you are suggesting, for various reasons.  For example, it would generate more waste which we’d have to provide for, certain food can be noisy and you could argue that it’s healthier to take a break from your studying to go and eat than to do it at your desk.  Equally, there are probably other students who agree with your own view on this subject.

We are considering consulting with students in the New Year about what they think, providing a number of different options that we could potentially consider – e.g. status quo, food on one of the silent floors or food on both.

Best wishes

Ewan McCubbin

Assistant Director (Public Services & Communications)

December 2017

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