Monroe library trading overdue fine forgiveness for canned food
MONROE — Town residents with both a pile of library fines and an interest in doing good around the holidays are in luck.
The Edith Wheeler Memorial Library is running its “Food for Fines” program through the month of December. For each canned good patrons bring in, they’ll get 50 cents deducted from their overdue fines. The food will be given to the Monroe Food Pantry.
It’s the fourth year in a row the library has run the program, and it’s a way to help give back to the community, said library director Lorna Rhyins.
“We are concerned about the people in Monroe, and know that this can be a difficult time of year for some people,” she said. “The food pantry is a very important organization that provides a lot of help.”
Rhyins stressed that “Food for Fines” discounts do not count toward items that are still checked out or are lost or damaged. She also asked patrons to make sure the canned food they are contributing isn’t expired. For a full set of rules, visit the library’s website.
Those who don’t have fines can still benefit from donating food, Rhyins said. For every donation they make, they will be entered to win a $25 gift certificate to Terra Cafe, 150 Main St., Monroe.
Library fines have been in the national news lately. Earlier this year, the American Library Association issued a resolution stating that fines can create a “barrier” against some people using the library.
The statement asked libraries to re-examine their overdue fine policies and requested that “governing bodies of libraries” strengthen their funding so that “they are not dependent on monetary fines as a necessary source of revenue.”
Rhyins said she was aware of the ALA’s statement, but that abolishing fines isn’t something the Edith Wheeler library is planning to do at this time.