$1 in fines will be waived for each item of food donated in September.
The 39 Public Libraries of Jefferson County will accept donations of canned or boxed food during September 1-30. One dollar in fines will be waived for each item of food donated for up to $10 per library card holder. Expiration dates must be visible on the food containers and the waived fees apply to fines only. The food drive is open to anyone, even if they do not have overdue materials.
“Our goal is to encourage users to return overdue materials, while at the same time giving back to our communities, especially in the aftermath of the tornadoes,” said Pat Ryan, Executive Director of the Jefferson County Library Cooperative. “We’d rather have overdue items back than the fines because of the costs associated with reordering and processing new materials. And some items cannot be replaced.”
Public libraries want to do something for their communities and also provide an incentive for library users with overdue fines to return to the library. At this time of year, food pantries are getting low and need to be replenished with the holidays just around the corner. Libraries will be collaborating with the United Way Food Bank, Greater Birmingham Ministries, and Magic City Harvest.
“Food for Fines” is held in conjunction with the annual National Library Card Sign-up Month. In September, cardholders can trade in their old wallet card for a keychain card, or receive a replacement for a worn out card free, without paying the usual $3.00 fee.