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Library prepares for programs in September

Becky Nichols, executive director of the Selma-Dallas County Public Library, places books back on a shelf Tuesday afternoon in the library's children's section. -- Jay Sowers

Becky Nichols, executive director of the Selma-Dallas County Public Library, places books back on a shelf Tuesday afternoon in the library’s children’s section. — Jay Sowers

To put it mildly, September is a big month for everyone associated with the Selma-Dallas County Public Library.

During September, first graders from every city, county and private school in the county will visit the library and receive their first library card to celebrate National Library Card Sign Up month.

But new readers aren’t the only ones who will enjoy September. Anyone who has fines built up from overdue books, movies and magazines from the library can have those fines wiped away with the return of the Fine Free for Food campaign.

“We have been using National Library Card Sign Up for years as a way to help us embrace the future readers from across the county,” said Becky Nichols, executive director for the Selma-Dallas County Public Library. “And the Fine Free event lets us reach out to our readers of all ages who have maybe kept a book to long and don’t think they are welcomed back at the library.”

Nichols said the upcoming month is one of the most important for employees at the library.

“September really stimulates the overall growth of the library in two ways,” Nichols said. “We get to bring in the new first graders, and wiping all the old fines away gives us a chance to reacquaint ourselves with the people who have been staying away because of their finds.”

Anyone with outstanding fees on their library card can have those fines wiped away by simply dropping a canned food donation in one of the boxes that will be set up around the library throughout September.

Once people drop off their donation, Nichols said they are asked to speak with a library employee who will then clear all outstanding fines from their card.

All the food collected during the month will be given to the Christian Outreach Alliance of Selma and Dallas County.