This page outlines the Library's policy for the consumption of food and drink by visitors in the reading rooms and other public areas of the Library.

Medications are exempt and covered by the policy Visitor Access to and Use of Medications and Other Personal Medical Equipment in the Library.

Our aim is to balance the safety and security of the rare, unique and valuable collections of the Library with the wellbeing of readers and visitors.

This policy provides guidance to readers and visitors to the Library and to Library staff, including authorised officers of the Library, as to what food and drink may be consumed in the reading rooms and public areas.

Definitions

Food and drink Any substance that can be consumed, including (but not limited to) chewing gum, lollies, vegetables and all liquids and beverages other than bottled water as defined below
Bottled water Water in a bottle with a tightly secured lid
Permitted areas for bottled water Areas where bottled water may be brought and consumed. These include the Main Reading Room, Newspapers and Family History Zone, Petherick Reading Room, Theatre, Friends Lounge, Central Foyer and other areas as signed in the Library building
Prohibited areas for bottled water Areas where bottled water may not be brought or consumed. These are the Special Collections Reading Room and exhibition galleries
Permitted areas for food and drink Areas that are designated for food and drink consumption and safe to take food and drink into. These are the cafes on the ground floor and lower ground floor, the lower ground public areas, the foyer, the Friends Lounge, the Library podium and surrounds, or elsewhere as allowed by special events
Prohibited areas for food and drink Areas that are not designated for food and drink consumption and are not safe to take food and drink into. These are the Main Reading Room, Newspapers and Family History zone,  Special Collections Reading Room, Petherick Reading Room, Central Foyer, exhibition galleries, Bookshop and Theatre

Policy statement

The National Library of Australia is committed to providing a respectful, safe, and peaceful environment for research, study and learning balanced with ensuring the care and security of Australia’s national collections. In order to protect the Library’s collections and in accordance with the National Library Regulations 2018 (Regulations) (see section 29), readers and visitors are not permitted to bring or consume food and drink to or in the Library building except in defined areas (see ‘Definitions’). Further, this policy requires that bottled water is also only permitted in defined areas (see ‘Definitions’).

Adherence to this policy ensures the ongoing care of the Library’s collections safeguarding them for future use. Spillages should be reported to Library staff immediately.

Key roles and responsibilities

Authorised officer Any Library staff member or contractor, including security officers, who are appointed by the Library's Director-General as an Authorised Officer in accordance with section 12 of the National Library Regulations 2018
Staff Any ongoing or non-ongoing employee of the Library
Director, Reader Services Policy owner
Assistant Director-General, Engagement Responsible for policy

Review

This policy will be reviewed in 2024.

References and related documents