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Food for Fines

Library Spotlight
Emily Hisel
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

With the holidays in the rear view mirror, we must not forget about the importance of giving. There are a great many people in this valley who are struggling. Winter in Colorado is especially tough. It’s harder to keep warm, to avoid being laid off, to stay healthy, and keep food on the table. Getting sick and missing just a day of work can be disastrous for someone who is barely making ends meet. It can mean the difference between making it through another month, or everything falling apart. We are living in a time when financial strains can arise suddenly and leave a family devastated.

The people of the Garfield County Public Library District want to help. Beginning Feb. 1, all six branches of the library district will be accepting food donations in exchange for library fines. For every non-perishable item brought in, the library will waive $1 worth of overdue fines from your account. Please bring in unopened, unexpired items that you, yourself would use. The program will run until Feb. 15, and all food donations will be given to LIFT-UP. The more you donate, the more you help.

So do you remember the complete second season of “Deadwood” DVDs you rented? Remember how much you liked the show, and how it took three extra days to get through all the episodes? Well, take care of the fine by bringing in three cans of soup instead of $3. Or, if you are almost done with the newest Jodi Picoult novel, keep it another day. When you return the book, bring a can of spaghetti sauce with you. Or, maybe your son just found that missing “Captain Underpants” book behind his dresser. This time, don’t make him use his allowance to pay the overdue fine. Go to the grocery store together and help him pick out food to donate. Find some hearty chili, jams, jellies or Vienna sausages. It will be a great lesson in both responsibility and generosity.



We are a strong community. We must come together and help those among us who are struggling. Please use this opportunity to do two good things at once. Give food to those who need it, and clear those pesky library fines. You’ll feel better and someone else will eat better. It’s a win-win.

Emily Hisel is a youth services librarian at the Rifle Branch of the Garfield County Library District.


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