Robert Noles/Opelika Observer
By Morgan Bryce
During the month of April, Lewis Cooper Jr. Memorial Library patrons with overdue books or DVDs can pay their late fees by donating an unexpired, non-perishable food or hygiene item through an initiative called “Food for Fines.”
Food for Fines allows library members with overdue items to contribute one item per dollar owed to waive their fines, with the proceeds donated to the local Salvation Army.
Lewis Cooper veteran and Circulation Specialist Anita Reese said she believes the event is not only a good way of celebrating National Library Week (April 9-15), but meeting the physical needs of people in the Opelika area.
“We donated 15 boxes last year,” Reese said. “The reason that we do it in April besides National Library Week … usually, a lot of people donate during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, and we wanted to do it where we could feed someone where it wasn’t just during the holidays, because people need to eat in April also.”
In addition to helping the Salvation Army and community at-large, Library Director Rosanna McGinnis said the program is a good way to help generate public interest in the library.
“We want to get people back into the library, who otherwise might not be able to because of prohibitive fines. Really, we just want you to take our stuff home and use it, and to learn and enjoy as much as you can from your tax dollars that fund our library,” McGinnis said.
Lewis Cooper Jr. Memorial Library is located at 200 S. 6th St. For more information, call (334) 705-5380.