During the entire month of February, library patrons may pay off all outstanding fines for overdue materials by donating non-perishable food items to the library, which will benefit the Canton Food Bank. Fines of any amount, excluding charges for lost or damaged materials, will be forgiven in full for patrons who come in and offer at least one (more than one, we hope) food item, such as canned goods, cereals, pasta, rice, coffee, bottled water, peanut butter and other items.
Although there will be no reckoning of equivalency for the amount of food brought in relative to the amount of the fine, the library hopes people will be generous. All donations will be given to the Canton Food Bank to assist area residents.
It is no accident that February is the month chosen for the amnesty program. Donations peak in the months of November and December; by February donations and supplies are significantly diminished. The shelves need refilling and we ask our patrons to step up and help those in need.
The February Fine Amnesty idea is not unique to Canton; it has been tried successfully elsewhere in Connecticut and in other states. Supported by the Town of Canton administration, the program aims to encourage patrons who have had long overdue items to return them, as well as allowing others to clear their records in a refreshing way, while helping the community at the same time.