The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Local News

November 23, 2009

Library forgives fines if you give food

CONNEAUT — Just in time for the holidays, folks who have racked up fines at the Conneaut Public Library will be able to settle their debt and help a needy neighbor at the same time.

A unique program that launches after Thanksgiving allows patrons who owe the library an overdue item to expunge their record with a donation to the Conneaut Food Pantry.

“We will negotiate with them to clear their account,” said Kathy Pape, director.

The “forgiveness period” stretches from Thanksgiving to the start of the new year, Pape said.

The program works like this: Whatever the fine, the number will be sliced in half and the patron would provide a like number of food items for the Pantry. For example, someone who owes $50 will be off the hook by providing 25 items.

Based on the number of delinquent accounts, there’s the potential to fill the pantry with lots of food. More than 1,000 library card-holders owe money for books or DVDs they checked out but never returned, Pape said. Fines range from $10 to $400, she said.

“Most of it is very minute,” Pape said.

Patrons with fines generally avoid the library out of shame or embarrassment. Pape doesn’t want anyone steering clear of the library for an old mistake.

“A bunch of people have lost (materials) they’ve checked out,” Pape said. “They feel guilty about it and stop coming to the library. Everybody’s losing out.

“We want to get people using the library,” Pape said. “Everyone deserves a second chance.”

At the same time, the library wants to account for their missing material..

“As people come in, we can take a look at their account,” Pape said. “We need people to say they don’t have (the item they borrowed).

A few patrons with overdue accounts have been contacted and told of the forgiveness program.

“We’re telling them it may be a good time to come in,” Pape said. “It’s been very well received.”

People interested in the forgiveness program may visit the library between 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Fridays, or call 440-593-1608.

1
Text Only
Local News
Canoe Race and Ashtabula Easter Events
Good Friday Cross Walks and Easter Egg Hunts
Spring Comes Alive
Ashtabula Spring Cleaning
The Taping of the Teacher: A sticky Sitation
Saturday Fun in Ashtabula County March 22, 2014
American Red Cross Ashtabula County Heroes Breakfast
Rotary Club Dodge Ball Tournament
18th Annual Polar Bear Plunge at Geneva State Park
End of year weather extremes
Christmas 2013
Harpersfield Barn Fire
Route 11 Rescue Plymouth Township
Ashtabula Fire
House Ads
AP Video
NDN Video
Viral: It's Not Pitbull - It's Amy Poehler! Raw: Leopard Bites Man in India Jenna Dewan-Tatum Strips Down Rise of the Milkbots TRENDING: Brian Williams Raps 'Gin and Juice' on ‘Tonight Show’ Middle School heroes rescue students from burning bus WHOPPER OF FISHING STORY: Florida man catches massive Mako shark Maks Chmerkovskiy's "DWTS" Meltdown The many faces of Mike Woodson Ape Builds A Fire And Toasts Marshmallows In Amazing BBC Video Manchester Utd sack manager David Moyes "RHOA's" Dramatic Brawl High school, College Drug Ring Busted In Montgomery County High Court to Hear Dispute of TV Over Internet Raw: Keflezighi, Jeptoo Win Boston Marathon Teen hitchhikes in wheel well of flight from California to Hawaii Lindsay Lohan's Jaw-Dropping Secret President Sends Message To Boston And Marathon Runners LA Pastor Attracts Churchgoers with Pot Lauren Stoner Shows Off Her Incredible Bikini Body