Last month, the Santa Clarita Public Library managed its first-ever Food for Fines program, accepting non-perishable food items and hygiene products as payment for overdue fines. With individuals prohibited from using their library cards because of fines, the library saw an opportunity to simultaneously help their library patrons and the Santa Clarita Valley Food Pantry.
Every week during the month of September, the Food Pantry received barrels overflowing with items from each of the library branches thanks to the donations made by people with and without library fines.
In total, $15,000 in fines were waived. Food For Fines offered library card holders the opportunity to cancel up to $20 in debt, and after doing many people were motivated to pay off the remainder of their fines. Individuals were also able to replace lost library cards by giving a donation.
The library appreciated the opportunity to dialogue with guests about ways to avoid overdue fines and the purpose of charging fines in the first place. They explained that fines are necessary to ensure items are returned and available for others to borrow.
While the library enjoyed all of the tangible benefits that came from this event, they were most pleased with the opportunity to spread good will. To learn more about the Santa Clarita Public Library and other Library events, please visit SantaClaritaLibrary.com