More than 5,600 pounds of food were donated and nearly $3,000 in library fines were forgiven during the Clearwater Public Library amnesty period from Nov. 15 to Dec. 21.
"It was extremely successful. We had boxes and boxes of food," said Barbara Pickell, library director. "Literally tons."
Library patrons were allowed amnesty on their library fines in exchange for donate non-perishable food items from Nov. 15 and Dec. 21.
The library collected 4,814 items that weighed 5,633 pounds that was donated during the holidays to the Religious Community Services Food Bank. The library also collected $80 in donations.
Pickell said patrons returned many materials and got rid of $2,900 in fine debt.
The drive also got patrons who cleared there record to start checking out materials again.
“One mom said her husband had been out of work for a month, and she didn’t know how she was going to pay her fines in order to check out items for her two little girls," said Librarian Joanne Howard in a release. "When she heard about the amnesty program, she headed home to check her pantry, and she said her children would be so thrilled to be able to check out books and DVDs again.”
The food collected by the library was part of the city’s larger holiday food drive that collected an additional 1,729 pounds of food from other city departments and an additional $75 in donations.
The city council will have to sign off on plans to try the amnesty program again.
"(We're) hoping we can do it again next year," Pickell said.