MASSENA — If you have material that was due back to the Massena Public Library and you never got around to returning it, October is your lucky month.
The library is waiving fines during “The Great Give Back.” The month is fine-free with the donation of a personal hygiene or cleaning product for distribution to local food banks to help those in need.
“The idea is to recognize that the library is the heart of the community. The whole idea is being able to give back in some way or another,” library director Elaine Dunne said.
She works with the local St. Vincent de Paul organization and sees the need for the items it’s asking for in October. And, in the process, the people who return their overdue material will have their fines waived.
“The food banks are in need of cleaning products and personal hygiene items. Those are not covered by food stamps,” she said.
Those who have materials that they’ve lost will need to cover the loss, but Ms. Dunne said that doesn’t happen often.
“Often it’s just overdue fines. People don’t want to come back or they’re embarrassed that they don’t have the money to pay their fine. This is their library and we want them to come back. If they have fines so they can’t use the library, return to the library and start using it again,” she said.
She said, even if someone doesn’t owe a fine, they can consider donating personal hygiene or cleaning products during the month for the library’s initiative. All the collected products will be donated to the local food banks at the end of the month.
For more information, call the library at 315-769-9914.
Other local libraries are also taking part in The Great Give Back, and they can choose their own cause to support.
“It’s up to the library. The actual Great Give Back Day is the 19th of October. That day we basically highlight the program and tell people, this is the day to drop something off,” Ms. Dunne said.
Among the other participating libraries is the Ogdensburg Public Library, which is using the initiative to assist the St. Lawrence SPCA.
“Throughout October, we will be accepting items for the St. Lawrence SPCA. Please consider donating items on the Wish List for the SPCA, in support of our initiative. All collected products will be donated to the SPCA at the end of the month,” library officials said in a news release.
The Wish List items include litter (clay and scoopable); laundry soap and bleach; dish detergent; paper towels, 13-, 45- and 55-gallon heavy-duty trash bags; Purina Cat Chow (blue bag); Purina Cat Chow (indoor/outdoor and urinary tract formula); and Purina Dog Chow.
For more information, contact Penny Kerfien at 315-393-4325 or firstname.lastname@example.org.