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Jefferson County Library Offers Book Fine Amnesty Sept. 28

Food For Fines program deducts $1 from book fines for every canned good donated.

Jefferson County Library continues to offer its popular “Food for Fines” amnesty on the final Friday of each month during 2012. The next amnesty date is Friday, Sept. 28. Customers with outstanding fines for overdue materials may have their fines erased by donating canned food items.The library will forgive up to one dollar in fines for each can of food donated.

            On August 31 the library collected 793 canned food items and waived $744 in overdue fines. For the first eight months of 2012 the library has collected a total of 4,204 canned food items and waived $3,967 in overdue fines.

            JCL Director Pam Klipsch noted that the canned food items the library has collected to date are lagging 30% behind the total collected by this point in 2011. “Donations have picked up a bit in the last few months, but we are still behind, and the food pantries report that the need continues to grow,” she said in a ness release from the library.

            Klipsch said people who want to help could donate food even if they don’t have overdue library materials.

“If it’s more convenient to drop your donated canned goods at the library, we will be happy to take them,” she said.

            Jefferson County Library’s “Food for Fines” program was featured recently in an article http://www.ilovelibraries.org/jefferson-county-mo-library-uses-food-fines-program-support-local-community on I Love Libraries.org, a public advocacy web site sponsored by the American Library Association. In the process of answering the interviewer’s questions, Klipsch said she went back to total up the number of food items donated to local food pantries by library patrons since the program began seven and a half years ago. 

“The total came to over 46,000 canned goods,” Klipsch said. “That’s just amazing and I think it’s a tribute to the long tradition of neighbors helping neighbors here in Jefferson County.”

All the food collected is donated to local food pantries. There is no limit on the number or amount of fines that can be cleared, but bills for lost or damaged library items, or fines or bills for items that have been borrowed from other libraries outside Jefferson County, are not eligible for the “Food for Fines” program.

            The library does not accept home-canned items, cans that are past their expiration dates or are dented or damaged, or cans with bar codes that have been lined or scratched through.

            For more information contact your local branch of the Jefferson County Library: Arnold Branch, 1701 Missouri State Road, Arnold (636-296-2204); Northwest Branch, 5680 State Road PP, High Ridge (636-677-8186); Windsor Branch, 7479 Metropolitan Boulevard, Barnhart (636-461-1914).

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