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The Journals are the premier publications for high-quality, hyperlocal news and advertising in Monmouth County, New Jersey

Apr 08, 2017

Food for Fines During National Library Week

By Lori Draz

As part of the celebration of National Library Week, which is being observed April 9 through April 15, all branches of the Monmouth County Library system are proud to host the return of the Food for Fines program. You can turn those delinquent library items into good works and wipe your debt clean. It’s a win-win for everyone.

The Food for Fines program is an amnesty program that allows library users to return all delinquent books and waive the fees in exchange for a donation of items for the library’s food program. Each donated canned or boxed product counts for $1 off any fines. Items can be dropped in the bins at Library Headquarters or any of its branches. Those items will then be delivered to the FoodBank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties. The library is asking that no glassware or perishable items be donated; instead, they will accept canned and boxed items, along with paper products. The amnesty program does not include lost items.

The Monmouth County Library has been running this popular program for more than a decade and even those without delinquent fines may donate. “Our patrons are very generous,” said Renee Swartz, chair of the Monmouth County Library Commission. “Many people who have incurred no fines donate items to those in need. Their generosity, and programs like these, is one more reason why people regard the county library as more than a library. We are proud to be a community center where people gather for education and enjoyment, and all types of entertainment and activities. Contributing to the Monmouth and Ocean Counties FoodBank is one more way our patrons show how involved they are in the community and the very important role the library plays. Our patrons epitomize the theme of this year’s Library Week celebrations, which is ‘Libraries Transform.’”

National Library Week began in 1958 as a national observance sponsored by the American Library Association and libraries across the country. Its purpose is to celebrate the contributions of libraries and librarians and to promote further library use and support. This year’s national celebration includes a report on Monday, April 10 on the Top Ten Frequently Challenged Books of 2016, National Libraries Workers Day on April 11 to recognize the contributions made by all library workers, and National Bookmobile Day on April 12, recognizing the contributions of bookmobiles and the professionals who work in that outreach.