"In past years, we have had several hundred books returned during Fine Free Weeks," said director Sue Tangeman. "It is a win-win situation for everyone."
For every overdue library item returned in usable condition, patrons can bring in a new toy or food item, and the fine will be forgiven. The toys and food items collected will be donated to local charities.
"We had sent some overdue reminder cards out already, and we got nine items back from one person and six from another," Tangeman said.
During Fine Free Weeks, the library usually get back anywhere from 100-200 items. The usual length for returned items is within a year to two years.
"We've had, in the past, somebody cleaning out grandma's attic and found books due in 1979. They brought in the canned goods and the fine was wiped away," Tangeman said.
Typically an overdue book or magazine costs 10 cents a day and an audio or video costs $1 a day for each item. However, the fine doesn't exceed the item's original cost, Tangeman said.
"If we paid $49.95 for a book and they kept it for a year, the fine wouldn't be more than $49.95," Tangeman explained.
Tangeman and another library employee figured out if every overdue item was brought back, the value was around $7,000 and $8,000.
"That's a pretty good chunk of money," Tangeman said.
Some people also use the Fine Free Weeks as a place to drop off donations during the holidays, Tangeman noted.
Library hours are 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.
Patrons should contact the library at 471-4140 if they have any questions about the status of any overdue library materials.