Food donations can erase library fines

Librarian Lani Yoshimura invites patrons back to the Gilroy Library.

Next time you go to the Gilroy Public Library, bring some canned goods, along with your book returns.

That’s right. Bring food.

And if you are worried about overdue fines on that long novel you took out a couple of months ago, and just finished, not to worry.

Beginning April 2 and continuing through the month of April, the Gilroy library will waive up to $100 in outstanding fines and fees for anyone who brings a non-perishable food donation to the library.

The “Food for Fines” campaign resumes next month in all eight Santa Clara County libraries, including Gilroy and Morgan Hill: “You donate the food and we’ll waive the fines,’ is the campaign’s marketing slogan.

It has two goals, according to community librarian Lani Yoshimura: to replenish supplies for the Second Harvest Food Bank, and to bring library-fine delinquents back to their library.

“The idea is not to get money, but to encourage people to come back,” she said.

The librarian couldn’t estimate the total outstanding balance for overdue fines, but said what’s most important is for people of all ages to return to the library for books, research, events and other services.

Patrons are encouraged to bring donations to the libraries’ account desks, where bins will be set up to collect the non-perishable food.

The most needed items are canned tuna, chicken or salmon; peanut butter; canned meals; low-sodium canned vegetables; canned fruit; olive or canola oil; spices; low-sugar whole grain cereals; healthy snacks.

Please avoid items packed in glass, and please do not bring any homemade foods, candy or sugar-sweetened drinks.

The Gilroy library is located at 350 W. 6th St., Gilroy. The Morgan HIll library is located at 660 W. Main Ave., Morgan Hill.

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