Updated COVID-19 Guidelines in Libraries Facilities (February 2021)

Posted on: February 23, 2021

As part of our commitment to protecting the health and safety of the campus and community, we are continually updating our safety-minded operations plan

As of March 1, the Libraries’ “no food or drink” policy no longer makes any exceptions. No food or drink are permitted in JMU Libraries spaces. This policy is consistent with the current “no food or drink” policy for JMU classrooms and labs.

Thanks to all of you who are doing your part to Stop the Spread. Please plan your visits to the library with our policies in mind, and be sure to thank your Libraries, facilities, and Starbucks staff as they carry out the safety measures the university has put in place to protect all of us. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is this policy necessary?

After continuing to observe issues with consistent mask-wearing in the Libraries, we are returning to our original “no food or drink” COVID-19 policy (which makes no exceptions) in order to promote mask wearing at all times. Mask-wearing is important not only to prevent an outbreak at JMU that could interrupt the semester again, but also to protect the health of library users and staff members.

What if I’m carrying a water bottle or food for later?  

Everyone must wear their masks properly 100% of the time in the Libraries, even if others are not nearby. This means you’ll need to step outside or visit a dining location on campus to eat or drink. Please keep any food or drink (including water bottles) in your bag. 

Why can I eat or drink in other buildings on campus, but not in the library?

Dining Services sets the guidelines for their spaces. Because we do not have the same cleaning protocol as the spaces designated for the consumption of food and drink, maskless use of our spaces is not possible or allowed. You can find dedicated spaces on campus for eating and drinking, but these activities are not permitted in Libraries’ facilities. The Libraries’ safety guidelines in response to COVID-19 are aligned with academic spaces (classroom spaces and labs), not with dining halls or other gathering spaces.

What if I order something at Starbucks in Carrier? 

You can still order food and drinks to go at the Starbucks in Carrier Library. Starbucks is not an exception to the “no food or drink” policy.

Is this going to last forever? 

This policy is in direct response to the COVID-19 pandemic. We look forward to allowing food and drink in the buildings again as soon as it is safe to do so.


Please contact the Libraries Emergency Response Team at libraries@jmu.edu if you have questions about our operations plan or related policies.

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