The Onondaga Free Library in Syracuse, New York has launched a Food for Fines program this month, letting patrons pay down library fines by donating food to a local charity.
While a number of libraries have found success with similar programs, this kind of work is particularly important in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. This ALA Connect discussion thread discusses how other libraries can run this program, sharing best practices that librarians can follow.
Here’s more about the Syracuse Food for Fines program: “For each food item you bring in, $1.00 will be waived from your overdue fees, with a maximum waiver of $10.00 per library card. Only overdue fees will be waived- Fines for lost/damaged items or collection agency fees will NOT be waived. Patrons who don’t have fines are also encouraged to make donations of non-perishable food items. Credits, though, will NOT be made to those accounts … This food drive will end on November 30th at 5 p.m.”