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December 4, 2000

Fines forgiven for food donation

By Eric Rangus


This being the holiday season and all, the Health Sciences Center and Woodruff libraries are in a charitable mood. Through Dec. 29 they are forgiving fines on overdue library materials.

For a price. Sort of.

As part of Cans for Fines 2000, students, staff and faculty can donate canned foods and, in return, receive library fine credits of up to $1.25 per can. The program is now in its tenth year, and all donated food will go to the Atlanta Food Bank.

Previously, the Health Sciences Center library was the only participant, but this year, the main library has joined in. And while this may appear to be an easy way to duck a couple of bills, givers are not necessarily delinquents.

“Just about every year we have people who bring in donations and don’t owe on fines,” said Penny Splain, senior user services assistant at the Health Sciences Center library. She is in her second year of administering the program.

Upon donation, the worth of each can will be calculated. The price of each will range between 50 cents and $1.25, and Splain said there is no size limit to donations.

Last year, Cans for Fines collected more than 600 cans, and Splain said she hopes to better that amount this year. The effort began Nov. 20, and running the effort is a breeze.

“The program kind of runs itself,” Splain said. “We get the barrels from the Atlanta Food Bank. They do this pretty regularly. It’s pretty easy for us.”

And cans are not the only items accepted for donation, Splain said. Far from it. The best dry foods include beans, rice and pasta, cereal and oatmeal, sugar and powdered milk. Splain listed the most desired canned foods as soups, canned meat and fish, fruits and vegetables, peanut butter, pork and beans and evaporated milk.

Students make up the majority of givers. Splain estimated that about two-thirds of the last year’s donations came from students, while the other one-third was spread out between faculty and staff.

Donations will be accepted at the information desk of the Health Sciences Center library and at the circulation desk at the Woodruff Library.

For more information, contact Splain at 404-727-5811.



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