By Jonathan Singh SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) – The Onondaga Free Library are giving people an opportunity to reduce overdue book fines by donating nonperishable food items to their holiday donation box. Today the library started their fundraiser which allows their current library members to donate goods which will take money off of their overdue balance. Most of the balances are from late fees on books, magazines, and movies, says librarian Chantal Sparkes.
“From books to movies, many people don’t return what they borrowed from us. Every year the donation box brings in over 70 people who have past due balances.” Sparkes said.
This is the fifth year that the library has took part in a food drive donation. Through that past years they have seen a rush of members come in to take some money off of their account as they drop off food into the box.
“This gives us a chance to help out up members along with helping out the community,” Sparkes said. “And with the holidays right around the corner we get the chance to benefit the community in more than one way.”
The Onondaga Free Library is the only library in Syracuse that offers something like this. There is a limit to how much a person can take off their account, but there is no limit to how much someone can donate.
“There is a ten dollar max reduction to a persons account. If they bring in ten items, their account balance will be decreased by ten dollars.” Sparkes said.
Donations are welcomed until Sunday, November 19th. All of the food collected will be delivered right down the street to a local church.
“When we close the donation box, we take all of the food up the road to St. Michael St. Peter Roman Catholic Church where they then distribute it to those who are in need.” Sparkes said.
For the past five years they have filled up multiple boxes, giving individuals and families in need of food for the holidays something to eat.