Library ground rulesFirst and foremost, as a student I always thought that the whole idea of not bringing food and drink into a library made sense. However, students never really understood what the big deal was with water. After all, it will dry, right? Not much damage done but a few rippled pages but still perfectly readable, right? I suppose quite a lot of students think this way, especially when studying for exams and not wanting to leave the one reference copy for idle eyes to see, so the only opinion was to sneek a quick sip or bite. Oh, just how naive!
Eating food in the library is a huge problem for conservationists as grease and leftover food can stick pages together and create marks. This is not only expensive and difficult to remove but also not very aesthetically pleasing to the next user. Drinks when spilt can immediate stain books but water can also be an issue as some illustrations can be water soluble and therefore completely destroy it. A lot of libraries also let users have pens but ink can be detrimental because of the fact that they smudge, then spread and cover materials. How annoyed would you be if the item you requested ions ago, has a ink smudge over the only page of value to you? Truly pissed I would say.
Much of the damage that books, archives and artworks sustain is due to bad handlings. For example, when retrieving books from the shelves it is fundamental that you do not remove the book from the spine as (contrary to thought) it is the weakest part of the book. I bet a number of you have seen broken spines, missing covers etc and this is the reason why.