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The Thomas Memorial Library strives to create a welcoming, clean and comfortable environment for all to enjoy. Consistent with this goal, food and beverages are allowed in the library on a limited basis and should be consumed in a considerate and responsible manner. Food and beverages pose a potential risk to library collections, equipment, and furnishings, in addition to presenting a burden to custodial staff when they are not properly disposed of. In order to protect our resources and facilities from damage, we ask that visitors act responsibly when consuming food and beverages in the library. To meet this goal, the library has adopted the following specific guidelines for the consumption of food and beverages inside of the building.

  • Library visitors must:
    • Immediately report spills to staff
    • Discard food and beverages refuse in trash containers
    • Leave all areas clean for use by others
  • Consumption of food is limited to pre-packaged snacks or wrapped items that are consumed by an individual. Inside the library is not an appropriate place to enjoy full meals. Hot, smelly or messy foods such as pizza, burgers, and fries, are not allowed.
  • Please be courteous to fellow visitors and avoid eating foods with common allergens and/or strong odors.
  • Beverages are allowed if they are in a spill-proof cup, container with a secure lid, a can, or plastic bottle with a screw top. Open containers are not allowed.
  • No alcoholic beverages are allowed in the library.
  • If visitors’ food or beverage consumption is disruptive to others, they will be asked to remove it from the library.
  • No take-out meals or food deliveries are allowed, unless part of an official library-sponsored event. 
  • Food and beverages are permissible for special functions in library meeting rooms as authorized by the Library Director. Rules for food and beverages are detailed under the library’s Meeting Room Policy.
  • Certain areas of the library may be designated as “No Food or Beverages” zones.
  • Food and beverages are not permitted while using library computers, printers, photocopiers, or other electrical equipment.
  • Unattended food and beverages openly displayed in public areas will be discarded by staff.
  • Library visitors are liable for any damage to library materials or equipment caused by their food or beverages.
  • Visitors violating this policy will be asked to remove their food and beverages from the library.


Food and beverages are allowed in staff areas and staff offices; cooked food with a strong odor should be consumed in the staff kitchen only. Beverages in closed containers are allowed when not left in public view at the public service desks. Snacks are not allowed at the public service desks. 

Public Health Situations 

In the event of a public health situation that impacts safe use of the Library building by the public, food and beverages may be temporarily banned in accordance with protocols issued by appropriate governing authorities (municipalities and/or governing boards) with the health and safety of library staff and visitors as the primary objective. 

Revised: March, 2021
Voted for recommendation of approval by the TML Committee on: April 29, 2021
Adopted by the Town Council Effective Date: July 12, 2021
Policy Review: This policy shall be reviewed at least every 2 years