Food and Drink

The Bluffton University community is encouraged to use the Musselman Library as a place for research, study, reflection, gathering, and leisure. To promote a welcoming environment, the library permits the consumption of food and drink, within specified guidelines.

Some restrictions are necessary because food and drink pose a potential risk to library collections, equipment, and furnishings. Also, food and drink not discarded appropriately invite pest infestation that can lead to widespread damage to the print collections.

To avoid abuse and in keeping with courtesy to other users of the library, food is defined as snacks, not a meal. Some foods are not appropriate for the library setting, including anything messy or aromatic. Users and guests of the Musselman Library are expected to act responsibly when consuming food and drink in the library.

Covered beverages and snacks are permitted EXCEPT:

  • in the Archives and Special Collections (ASC), lower level.
  • for class sessions and tours, beverages only permitted
  • in specific areas as posted NO FOOD or DRINK


Beverages are permitted in COVERED containers only, e.g., a secure lid or cap to prevent spillage. Acceptable containers include:

  • Spill-proof mugs with secure lids and a drinking hole that can be closed
  • Sports bottles with a drinking spout that can be closed
  • Water or soda in capped plastic or stainless steel water bottles
  • Hot beverage containers with lids


Non-acceptable containers include but are not limited to

  • Open cups or mugs of any kind
  • Soda cans
  • Glass bottles


Snacks are permitted, but NOT meals or messy, aromatic foods. Snacks are for individual, NOT group consumption. Acceptable foods include:

  • Pre-packaged 'snack size' containers of chips, cookies, candy, and other snack foods
  • Candy bars, granola bars, power bars, etc.
  • Other non-messy, non-smelly individual snack foods


Non-acceptable foods include but are not limited to

  • Hot entrees, burgers, fries, pizza, sub sandwiches, tacos, and other hot, aromatic, or messy items
  • Large size bags or packages of chips, crackers, cookies, donuts, salads, etc


Anyone with food or drink must clean up after him/herself with courtesy to other patrons and use trash receptacles and recycling containers for discards. Spilled food or drink must be cleaned up immediately and spills/food-related mishaps reported to the Circulation Desk.

Library staff will remind patrons and guests of this policy and the responsibilities associated with it.

Users violating this policy will be asked to remove the food and drink from the area.

Note: There may be special events sponsored by the library or arrangements made as part of space reservations where there will be meals or limited use of open beverage containers, notably in the Reading Room.

Questions on the Food and Drink Policy can be forwarded to the library director ( or the librarian at the research and information desk (

Updated August 2009