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Library cans student fines

Aggies may waive fines with food donation

Published: Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Updated: Tuesday, February 18, 2014 22:02


David Cohen

In an effort to foster a sense of community and service in Brazos County, the Texas A&M Libraries are hosting their first Food for Fines Drive through Friday.

Food for Fines is an opportunity for students to reduce their library fines by bringing in non-perishable canned foods for the Brazos Valley Food Bank. Tonya Carter, event organizer and library associate, said the project allows students to give back to the community while also reducing their fees.

“It’s an opportunity to give back to the community, which I’d really like to do and with Aggieland spirit I’m sure we’ll have a good outcome,” Carter said. “I also thought it would be a good opportunity to help with the fines, so it’s a win-win for everybody.”

Carter said she avoided scheduling the drive during football season or the holiday season to eliminate competition with other organizations and events taking place throughout the year and maximize the success of the event.

Susan Goodwin, associate dean for user services, said she expects the program to bring together both the student body and the community.

“As a team we are really thinking about ways to grow our services and really embed them into colleges and students’ lives over time in meaningful ways,” Goodwin said. “Activities like this help us make connections. The more we can build community, the more we can make a difference, and that’s what we’re trying to do.”

For every can of food that is brought in, $1 will be deducted from the student’s library fines. A maximum of $50 may be applied to a student’s fines, but extra donations are encouraged. Students can drop off canned foods at the AskDesk or Service Desk of any library on campus.

“It’s a nice opportunity to allow students to bring in food donations in exchange for some leeway in their fines at the library,” Goodwin said. “You can bring in your donation to any of the libraries. No glass jars is key, but we are looking for things like peanut butter, canned chicken and tuna, cereal, canned fruit and soups.”

Goodwin said the library staff liked the idea of being able to help students eliminate fines.

“We’ll see how it goes this year, but if it’s successful we’ll want to continue it,” Goodwin said. “We like the idea of getting the fines paid off.”

Alex Irby, sophomore educational psychology major, said reducing fines by bringing in cans was an excellent idea.

“It is very generous that the library is willing to put on this event to help out students. Whether it is to reduce fines or just give to charity and serve the community, I am a huge proponent of both,” Irby said. “Although there is a little more effort to bring in cans, it is worth it if I would get to reduce fines by $50. It is always so encouraging to be reminded that I go to a school that motivates the students to serve those out in our community.”


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