The Library’s Food Policy


Jillian Truesdale

Students eat in the library during block lunch. Dishes are cluttered nearby.

Jillian Truesdale, Staff Reporter

During fourth, fifth and sixth periods, students are scattered all over the school, snacking on a microwaved meal or a tray of hot lunch. With so many students, it can be hard to find a place to sit, especially because Fairview no longer has a traditional cafeteria. One place that students often end up is in the library.

Librarian Maura Rhodes describes how the privilege of eating in the library came about.

“When I started here in 2015,” said Rhodes, “there was no food in the library, so I asked the principal that spring if the kids could eat in the library, and I was told that they could as long as I could maintain it.”

This, as it turned out, was a task easier said than done. Although most students are respectful of the space and always pick up after themselves, many are not as responsible. Wrappers, plastic bags and even unfinished food is often found scattered throughout the library at the end of the day.

On average, the librarians spend about two hours each day cleaning up after the students, but this number increased last fall when the school was short several custodians.

Rhodes said, “I think we had three custodians at night for the whole building, and the only thing that was picked up in the library for three weeks was the trash from the trash cans. There was no vacuuming, wiping down all the tables, etc.”

When she asked her administrators what to do about the food, their only suggestion was for her to stop allowing food in the library. The librarians created the “No Food Policy” for the library, which will be implemented starting next school year. The policy itself is pretty self-explanatory: no food will be allowed in the library at all, at any time of the day.

Junior Julia Ditomas, who normally eats in the library, understood the problem and the reasoning behind the new policy.

“I’ve come in here looking for a book, or looking for a place to sit, and I’ve seen the messes too, and I don’t think the librarians should have to deal with that,” she said.

Other students have also noticed the food left around the library, and understand the reasons for the change.

Sophomore Marissa Sorlie said, “It makes sense because I always see a lot of messes in here.”

Although they understand the reason for the new policy, students who eat in the library are concerned about where they will sit.

Sophia Hrywnak, a sophomore who often eats in the library, said, “It’s a mess to clean up, but they will also need to compensate for seating elsewhere instead of just in the student center, or else no one will have a place to sit.”

Although students may be annoyed at the lack of places to sit, it’s important to remember the reason for the change in the first place.

Mrs. Rhodes said, “Many times, I feel like a manager of mess instead of the library.”