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Substitute food for fine this month at the library

By: Stephanie Dumm News Messenger Reporter
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Food for Fines When: Through April 30 Library hours are 1 to 7 p.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursdays and 1 to 5 p.m. Saturdays. Closed Mondays, Fridays and Sundays. Where: Twelve Bridges Library, 485 Twelve Bridges Drive Info: 434-2410 or libraryatlincoln.org For a can of food, residents can feel good about helping feed local families while having their library fines waived. During April, the Lincoln Public Library is featuring a Food for Fines program, where library patrons can donate nonperishable food items that will be given to Lincoln nonprofit The Salt Mine. “It’s just a benefit for everybody,” said library director Jon Torkelson. “It’s a benefit for the families who need to have food and it’s a benefit for our customers and for the library.” Another benefit, according to Torkelson, is that items, such as books, DVD’s and audio books, are returned to the library. “When you do the fine thing, people bring things back and so they become available for other people to use,” Torkelson said. “It gives people the chance to start with a clean slate and use us more.” The Food for Fines program is also a way for the library, in partnership with The Salt Mine, to celebrate National Library Week, according to library assistant Jill Loya. National Library Week is April 8 to14. “By bringing non-perishable items to the library in lieu of fines for overdue items during the month of April, Lincoln Public Library will be able to give thousands of food items to The Salt Mine,” Loya said. “The Salt Mine is a wonderful resource in our community, which provides food and other services to local families and the library works to enrich people’s lives by providing information, educational and entertainment resources. By working together, these two organizations make a difference in the lives of local families.” The Salt Mine provides food to more than 1,500 families a month and needs to receive three tones of food every week, according to Loya. “So although Food for Fines will be over for this year in April, the Salt Mine continues to need your support,” Loya said. “Nonperishable food items can be donated year round to their facility at 590 G St.” Library use has also increased, Loya said. “Circulation at the library has been especially high since families have less disposable income for entertainment and education,” Loya said. Families visit the library for a variety of reasons, according to Loya, which includes applying for jobs on library computers, homework assistance or “simply to find ways to keep their family members entertained.” “As always, the programs and services provided by Lincoln Public Library are free of charge and available at the Twelve Bridges Library,” Loya said.