Libraries are known for their restrictive nature: No snacks, beverages, or loud talking, lots of “Sssssh!” notices. Some don’t even allow ink pens.
The Lincoln Library in Springfield, Illinois, however, is attempting to change all that. The State Journal-Register reports that “Lincoln Library patrons will now be allowed to eat odor-free, non-sticky foods and drink beverages from a covered container in designated areas of the library, according to a new food policy approved Wednesday night” by members of the Library’s board of trustees.
The policy is very specific about those covered containers and odor-free foods, as indicated by the policy flyer (just ignore that “draft” stamp that’s scratched out), which spells out pre-packaged options like granola bars, nuts, and pretzels, as well as water bottles and sippy cups. Wisely, these substances are not allowed in computer areas, and pizza, burgers, and fries are on the “no” list. From the flyer, it looks like librarians will be both policing and advising what food/drink items are appropriate—like they don’t have enough to do? But the new policy should be more appealing to families, as library board trustee told the SJR that “she could see parents with small kids and groups who meet at the library benefiting from the new food policy.”
Either the Lincoln Library is on to something, helping to loosen traditional library restrictions—or a precious volume is about to be destroyed by a Capri Sun and some Funyons.