Making a Difference

In just the first week of Food for Fines / Fine Forgiveness, we’re already hearing many heartwarming stories from community members who are overjoyed to be welcomed back to their library.

Here are two from the Medford Library Circulation Staff:

“A couple told me that they are homeless at the moment and under a lot of stress. When I told her about Food for Fines, they were excited to see what it would take to erase their outstanding fines. The couple had me tally up the total fines on both cards, which amounted to over $1,100. I explained that for each packet of Top Ramen, for example, we will erase $5 in fines on their account. Once we calculated that this would amount to about 225 packets, and only a little over nine 24-packs, they were encouraged at how reasonable and manageable this seemed. After they left, I noticed that they had an additional, older account with $41.00 in fines. We’ve already developed a “food kitty” of extra donations provided by Good Samaritans, so I paid off this account with eight extra donated items. This will be a pleasant surprise when they return with their first batch of food donations!”

“A woman brought in three books from 2005. She heard about the program, gave her house a thorough search, and found all three books that had been on her account for over a decade. Since she returned all three, I was able to erase all of her $127.75 in fines, replacement costs, and the collection fee. The woman was so excited to be welcomed back to the library that she immediately got a new library card and headed upstairs to browse. She also mentioned that she plans to come back and donated some canned goods for us to use on accounts with large balances.”