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University Library

Food and Drink Policy

From October 2017 a revised Food and drink policy will operate following the evaluation of the Food and Drink pilot. Details will follow.

Food and Drink Pilot 27 February - 2 June 2017
Durham Students Union and the University Library are pleased to announce that there will be a trial eating space in the Bill Bryson Library and Queen's campus Library, running from Monday 27 February to Friday 2 June. For details follow the Eating space pilot link.

Our priority is to provide a clean environment for all Library users and we are working to create a pleasant environment that is conducive to study. In order to achieve this, a No Food and Drink policy is in operation at the Bill Bryson Library, Queen's Campus Library, Leazes Road Library and Business School Library, with the exception of cold bottled drinks. Palace Green Library enforces a No Food and Drink policy with no exceptions, due to the unique and exceptional nature of collections in the Library.

We regularly receive comments about providing spaces for students to eat and drink at the Bill Bryson Library.

Please note: 

  • The Library’s management team are aware that the provision of space for the consumption of food on the Mountjoy site is limited.
  • The Library is unable to resolve this problem on its own but is working with other partners including University Catering and the DSU to find solutions.

  • The Library is unable to provide an area other than the entrance foyer for the consumption of food and drink.

  • The Library is neither a refectory nor a common room. Although staff are unable to monitor the use of facilities at all times, anyone seen consuming food and hot drinks in the Bill Bryson Library will be asked to move.

  • Staff on duty at the Help & Information desk reserve the right to refuse entry to anyone with hot drinks or food.

  • Security on duty overnight during 24/7 periods may check bags on entry.

  • Your cooperation is appreciated in working together to maintain a clean study environment.

In the 2010-2011 academic year, we relaxed the food and drink policy on Level 2 of the Bill Bryson Library in response to this feedback. The trial resulted in an unacceptable level of mess, litter and food waste. Allowing food and drink in the Library had a negative impact on those using the Library to study, as well as Library staff. At times the litter and food waste problem reached a point where it caused health and safety issues.

As well as the YUM Library Café, other eating facilities are available on the Lower Mountjoy Site. These include the Palatine Centre Café and Restaurant, The Calman Café and Technocafé in the Calman Learning Centre and the Chemistry Café in the Chemistry building. A space for you to consume your own food and drink is available in the Chemistry building close to the Security Office. Find out more at

No Food & Drink