STAFF at the Central Highlands Regional Council’s Emerald library are hoping you’ve been naughty to ultimately be nice this Christmas.
If you’ve got an outstanding library book, then you can help them help a family this Christmas.
At the council meeting on Monday, overwhelming support was given for an initiative called ‘Food For Fines’, where all library users with an overdue item will be given the chance to return it, with a non-perishable food item.
In return, the library will waive their $10 administration fee and pass on all donated goods to the Emerald Neighbourhood Centre’s Linking Arms for Christmas appeal.
Every year for the past six years, Emerald library staff have helped the appeal through the neighbourhood centre and APN Newspaper’s Adopt-A-Family scheme.
Regional librarian Michelle Stroud had seen the ‘Food For Fines’ scheme work for other councils, and thought it was the perfect driver to help the local community, as well as bring users back to the library.
“I have folders of invoices filled with paperwork about overdue books and people who have brought back the books but not paid the overdue fee,” she said. “These folders represent people who are not currently visiting our library. This scheme gives us a chance to welcome them back. Christmas is a great time to catch up on your reading, and we would like to encourage everyone to drop in with a donation of a tin of food when they visit the library. And it doesn’t have to be an Emerald library either. We have branches all across the region so please don’t hesitate to visit your local library to make a donation.
“We know there are families across the region doing it tough. By supporting them, we are helping to build a supportive and caring community.”
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