: Librarian Denunta Dial, left, and Becky Nichols, director of the Selma Dallas County Public Library, grab two boxes that will be used to collect canned goods during the “Food for Fines” drive throughout the month of September. (Jay Sowers | Times-Journal)
Librarian Denunta Dial, left, and Becky Nichols, director of the Selma Dallas County Public Library, grab two boxes that will be used to collect canned goods during the “Food for Fines” drive throughout the month of September. (Jay Sowers | Times-Journal)

Fines program helps patrons, library and food pantry

Published 8:54pm Thursday, August 22, 2013

By Jay Sowers

The Selma Times-Journal

Readers who have fines mounting at the Selma Dallas County Public Library, can have those fines wiped off their library cards, no matter how large or small those fines may be, throughout the month of September.

There’s no public apology to be made by those with overdue books and hefty fines. All they have to do is help the less fortunate members of the community.

Boxes will be set up throughout the library where readers can drop of canned goods. Once they donate the food, they are asked to speak with a library employee who will then clear all outstanding fines from their card.

Becky Nichols, director of the Selma Dallas County Public Library, said the annual drive corresponds with National Library Signup Month, and is one way the library works to help out local charities.

This year, all canned foods and monetary donations during the drive will be passed on to the Christian Outreach Alliance of Dallas County Food Pantry.

Nichols said the annual drive provides a rare win-win-win for members of the community.

“You win because you get your card cleared,” Nichols said. “Christian Alliance wins because they get food, and the community wins because they are on the receiving end of that.”

And if you don’t have outstanding fines on your library card, that doesn’t mean you can’t donate to the cause.

“This is where you use your heart. And we’ve had so many people who have just said ‘this is a great cause’, and they will just come in and make a monetary donation,” Nichols said.

Nichols said that while the program has benefitted different organizations throughout the community since it began shortly after the library opened in 1995, the food pantry is one that is always grateful for the help.

“There is such a great need in the community today to share what we have with other people,” Nichols said.

Judge Miller Childers said the program has always been a great benefit for the Christian Outreach Alliance Food Pantry.

“Normally we have to buy all of our food,” Childers said. “This will help us stretch our money just a little bit further.”

The food pantry is on J.L. Chestnut Jr. Boulevard.

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