Newcastle Region Library members have a chance to clear more than $70,000 in unpaid library overdue fines while supporting people in need across Newcastle this Christmas.
Library members with outstanding fees can clear $5 for every non-perishable food item and $10 for every toiletry item they donate, from their overdue fine ledger. Food for Five, Toiletries for Ten, which is being used effectively by libraries across Australia and around the world, commences on November 12 and runs until December 10. All items collected under Food for Five, Toiletries for Ten will be donated to local emergency relief agencies OzHarvest, Got Your Back Sista and Baptist Care, who will package up the goods for needy families in the lead-up to the festive season.
Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said now is a great time for members to return to the Library.
"Now is the perfect chance to get those fines reduced, do some good for the community and check out the library's fabulous new resources and programs for everyone in the family."
Newcastle Region Library aims to significantly reduce the total amount of outstanding overdue fines, more than $70,000, from the past 12 months, through this initiative. City of Newcastle's Manager Libraries Suzie Gately encouraged people to contact the library if they're uncertain whether they have overdue fines or to what amount.
"Simply ring us at 4974 5342 with your library card handy to give us your member number, and we can easily look up your fines," she said.
"Last year in Newcastle alone, more than $13,000 in fines were cleared, resulting in donations of 1400 food items and 1320 toiletry items for community distribution. This is the third year that Newcastle Region Library has participated and, given the overwhelming response in previous years, we anticipate another successful campaign."
There is no limit to the amount in fines that can be paid off with food and toiletry donations, but they will only be accepted to clear overdue charges. Payment for lost or damaged library items must be paid with cash or EFTPOS.