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Food for Fines at Heterick Library

Nov 28, 2010

We’ve all done it at some point. We either forget about a book we’ve checked out from the library, or we hold onto one past its due date because we convince ourselves we’ll finish it only to have it sit there on the nightstand for weeks accruing more and more overdue fines.

Beginning this week, ONU’s Heterick Memorial Library is offering those of us with overdue library materials a way to clear our accounts of late fees, while helping those in need with its Food for Fines campaign.

The concept is simple. For each food item brought to the library on December 1 – 7, $1.00 is waived from the participant's library account. The program doesn’t provide relief for lost or damaged items, but for those with hefty fines, it’s a great alternative for cash-strapped students. All collected food will be donated locally to the Ada Food Bank.

“We just thought it would be a nice thing to do for the ONU community and Ada and felt strongly we should support the local food pantry,” said Traci Moritz, public services librarian at Heterick Memorial Library.

Here is how it works:
1. Bring your overdue items to the circulation desk at Heterick Memorial Library. Outstanding fines may be paid as well.
2. Fill out a form and fines will be waived by the next day. Each item donated will cancel up to $1 in fines during the "Food for Fines" campaign.
3. An email confirmation of fines waived will be sent.

Food for Fines is a common holiday philanthropy event for libraries, and here at ONU it seems to get larger each year it’s offered.

“We don't set official goals but we usually have a number in mind [that we’d like to reach,]” said Moritz. “Each time we've done Food for Fines, the generosity of the ONU community surpasses what we expect.”  

The Ada Food Pantry has asked that we avoid donating canned vegetables, but all other non-perishable food items are needed. Among the food bank's most needed personal care items are razors, shaving cream, bar soap, shampoo, conditioner, toothbrushes, toothpaste, mouthwash, toilet paper, bottled water and hand lotion. First aid items such as band-aids are also needed. All must be in the original, unopened packaging.

For more information, contact the circulation desk at ext. 2181 or Traci Welch Moritz, Public Services Librarian at:

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