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Published: Wednesday, 2/27/2008

Library to swap food for late fines


TECUMSEH, Mich. - Tecumseh District Library patrons can erase fines they owe for overdue materials by taking in a nonperishable food item for the month of March.

The "Food for Fines" program is being held in conjunction with National Reading Month.

It will allow borrowers with overdue items, such as books, DVDs, and videos, to pay their fines with nonperishable food items.

"This is an excellent opportunity to clear up your account while helping out a local charity," said Anne Keller, the teen services librarian.

The donated food items will be given to the food pantry program at St. Peter's Episcopal Church. The credit will not be applied to lost or damaged library materials taken out by patrons.

The library is accepting nonperishable canned goods and packaged items in the fine-clearing period that ends March 31.

Food must not be outdated and packages must be unopened and undamaged.

Donations will also be taken from patrons who do not have overdue materials.

Ms. Keller said the idea for the "Food for Fines" program, the first for the library, grew out of last summer's fine-erasing event to celebrate Bring Your Dog to Work Day when patrons were asked to donate pet-related items, such as dog food, to benefit the local Planned Pethood.

"Because this is the first time that we have done it, we don't really have a goal in mind," she said. "We are going to see how it goes."

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