Library’s Food for Fines a success

In an announcement received by Historic City News this morning, Library Director Debra Rhodes Gibson expressed her thanks to library patrons for their generous support of the “Food for Fines” program.

“Through the Food for Fines project, the library was able to reach out to a segment of the St. Johns County community who will benefit beyond our traditional library services,” she said. “While we are pleased to be an avenue of providing food to those who are struggling, it was the individual contributions of food items that made a difference in the lives of others this holiday season.”

The St. Johns County Public Library System has deemed its recent “Food for Fines” program a success, with nearly 8,000 canned goods collected to help feed those in need. The Food for Fines program ran November 19 through December 20, 2008, and permitted patrons to exchange one non-perishable food item for each $1.00 in overdue library fines.

The community responded with great support of Food for Fines, and a total of 7,779 food items were collected with $7,244.30 of fines waived. All food collected was given to the St. Johns County Food Bank for local distribution to those in need.

In addition to providing an alternative way for patrons to eliminate their fines and much needed items for a local food bank, Food for Fines also has been an effective advertisement tool for the public library. At least one other Florida county has expressed an interest in mimicking the program in their library.

For more information about the library and the various services it provides, call Library Administration at (904) 827-6925.