IOE Library – food survey results


In April we asked users of the IOE Library if they thought cold food should be allowed in the IOE library.


Traditionally food and drink have not been allowed in academic libraries. However, more and more libraries are beginning to allow them in – though many still do not. As you might expect this is a highly contentious issue which raises passions on both sides of the debate. The IOE Library currently allows drinks in lidded containers but no food.

In April, we conducted a survey of our users to find out if they thought the consumIMG_20170628_150243981ption of cold food should be allowed in the IOE Library. We listed three possible policies: that cold food be allowed everywhere, that it be allowed in restricted areas, or that food should continue to be banned, and we invited library users to choose the policy they would like to see the IOE Library adopt.

We put paper survey forms on desks and opened a Twitter survey to try to encourage as many people to vote as possible. In total there were 466 votes – the high number of votes, and the very extensive comments we received, shows how IOE Library users really engaged with the survey and the issue of food in the IOE Library. We would like to thank everyone who took the time to complete the survey.

The results of the survey were:

  1. No food – 25%
  2. Food allowed in restricted areas – 37%
  3. Food allowed anywhere – 38%

The overall message we have taken from the results of our survey is that 75% of the IOE Library users who filled in the survey want cold food to be allowed into the IOE Library. In light of this we will make some changes to our policies before the next academic year begins and we will begin to communicate the specific changes over the Summer vacation.

Once again – a big thank you to everyone who took part in the survey.

About Bryan Johnson

Resource Discovery Librarian
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