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At Some Libraries, Patrons Can Pay Fines with Food, Which Is Then Donated to the Poor

(Unrelated photo via wanderingone)

Food for Fines is a charity event at some libraries in the United States. At the South Burlington Community Library in South Burlington, Vermont, patrons with library fines can donate food items. For every item that they donate, they pay off $2 of accumulated library fines.

At the Park City Library in Park City, Utah, patrons have to pay a bit more: each food item is worth $1 in fines. The Warren Public Library in Warren, Pennsylvania is engaging in a similar program in order to help fill up a local food bank operated by the Salvation Army.

Would you like to see your own local public library do a Food for Fines program?

-via NPR Library

No, not really. The fines should go toward running the library. Diverting them to charity instead forces the taxpayer to contribute to charity without his or her consent. If the library wants to have a collection basket for food, fine.
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The Brisbane City Council library has done something similar in December for the last 4 or 5 years. The fines are waived in return for canned food which is donated to Foodbank.
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