Policy on food and drink in the workplace

To:  Staff of Technical Services
From:  Rick Schulz
Subject: Policy on food and drink in the workplace
May 20, 2010

Food and drink are not permitted in any of the Libraries' public areas. The potential for damage to library materials and equipment by food, garbage and spilled liquids is obvious. In Technical Services, we also need to consider the fact that we work in very close proximity to one another and that our work areas are difficult to keep clean due to the copious amount of furniture, equipment and wiring needed for our work. We want to permit "snacking" within reasonable limits to help make the work day a more pleasant experience. However, it is necessary to balance that amenity against the need to promote conditions that are protective of the Library's property, solicitous of the rights of co-workers and conducive to maintaining a clean working environment. To achieve this, it is required that staff observe the following guidelines with respect to eating and drinking in the work place.

  • Prime directive : Eating and drinking in areas with direct contact with patrons or while working with library materials is prohibited.
  • Staff who work in non-public areas will generally be permitted to consume food and drink at their individual desks, in reasonable amounts, and of a type which would reasonably be considered in the "light snack" category, as long as they do not violate the prime directive. However, staff will be expected to accommodate, and supervisors will be expected to enforce, whatever restrictions on this permission are necessary to ensure the protection in the work place of rare materials and items of greater than usual value.
  • Staff are expected to be conscious of and considerate toward co-workers, and to exhibit common sense and exercise good judgment as to what is reasonable to consume in the workplace. Food/drink of a consistency which would promote conditions potentially hazardous to library materials even indirectly, are not permitted, and supervisors will be expected to have these removed. Staff who wish to partake of consumables in these categories in the Library are expected to do so on their break/lunch time in the Staff Lounge or similarly designated eating areas in facilities outside of Firestone.