I have a terrible history racking up overdue books at the library, losing them for months at a time in our messy car, or under stacks of papers I really should get to, but never do. So, I love this item about a north Jersey program at 3 libraries. They don’t call it an library fine amnesty program, but I would bet a lot of the locals think of it that way.
This month, library patrons in Woodland Park, Little Falls & Totowa can bring in food in place of overdue book fines they owe. Food for Fines collected a ton of food last year for local food pantries. What a great way to deepen the libraries’ relationship with their towns, keeping the needs of hungry neighbors on the civic front burners at the same time.
Takes just one non-perishable food item to “pay off” the fine. That’s where the amnesty comes in. It’s both sacrifice and commitment for those libraries; they give up revenues to help feed their neighbors. Woodland Park, for example, takes in around $500/month in fines; they do without that for a month to make it possible for people to eat better all year. NJ food pantries are struggling to feed the people who need them.
Libraries are already be such quietly progressive places – shhhhh don’t tell anyone. Maybe your library should be doing this. Find your library here. I’m asking mine about it today.