Food & Drink Policy

Bellingham Library - Food & Drink Policy

The Bellingham Public Library’s food and drink policy seeks to find a balance between the preservation of the library’s collections, equipment, furnishings and the comfort and convenience of library patrons. By promoting responsible user behavior, this policy attempts to achieve a balance between our users' social needs and the need to preserve and protect our collections.

Our policy specifies areas where food and beverages are and are not permitted.

  • Food & Drink Prohibited in the Local History Room.
  • Covered beverages (see below for guidelines) are permitted in all areas except:  Computer workstations, near printers and photocopiers, near any media equipment.
  • Food (see below for guidelines) is permitted in the Café space, the Meeting Room and the Study Room. 
  • In addition, food is permitted in the Community Room and Children’s Program Room by groups that reserve the rooms ahead of time. 
  • Trash produced by all food and drink consumed in the library must be disposed of properly.  Trash bins are located throughout the building.  Rooms must be left in good condition when vacated.
  • It is the responsibility of the person signing out the room to make sure it is in good condition before leaving.

Beverages Guidelines:

Beverages in bottles that can be re-closed (screw top) or other spill resistant containers, such as travel mugs and sports bottles are permitted.  Beverages in  open containers are not permitted except in the Community Room.  Beverages in cans are discouraged, but permitted in the cafe area. 

Food Guidelines:
Light, pre-packaged snacks that are not damaging to the collections or distracting to others are permitted in the areas indicated above.   No outside delivery of food is permitted.

In order to protect our resources and facilities from damage, we ask that you adhere to the following guidelines: 

  • Please use sturdy, spill-proof (covered) containers for beverages.
  •  In the Community Room and Children’s Program Room -- food and drink are permissible for special functions authorized by the library. 
  • Absolutely no food or drink allowed in the Local History Room at any time. 
  • Please limit consumption to pre-packaged snacks, (examples would be granola bars, chips, pretzels, cookies, etc.) 
  • Avoid snacks that disturb those around you (i.e. aromatic foods) or could damage library materials.  Immediately dispose of any food and drink-related trash. 
  • Report any spills that may occur to library staff immediately. 
  • The Bellingham Public Library is not responsible for any food allergy reactions that may occur from an individual coming in contact with food items/residue consumed in the library.

Users violating this policy will be asked to remove the food and drink from the area. Unattended food and drink openly displayed in public areas may be confiscated and discarded. This policy will be modified if it is not effective in protecting our collections.

Approved by the Library Board of Trustees, on February 6, 2019