Fast and free ways to avoid library fines

Say no more

I’m guilty. Guilty of returning my books late to the library. Despite courtesy email reminders from the library’s system, I just can’t seem to get my act together to return them on time. But paying a late fee defeats the purpose of borrowing books for free. Call me cheap, but I refuse to pay for borrowed items that are meant to be free.

Library Fines donationsTo my surprise, my local library offers two wonderful alternatives to paying for late fees. The first is called “Food for Fines,” in which people can donate items that will be given to a food pantry in my town. What’s neat is the items I donated I was able to get for free with coupons such as toothpaste, shaving gel and mouthwash. I also went through my pantry to find canned goods that were not expired. Better someone else use them than me throwing them away.

The second is “’Fine Forgiveness Month” where a library chooses a month to run the program and all fees accrued up to that point are forgiven. I don’t recommend taking advantage of the library and it’s free services but knowing there is a program for a late charge slip up is pretty awesome.

Personally, I need to do a better job of returning books on time and certainly so no one else misses out on the same. I’m certainly not purposely inconveniencing anyone looking to borrow the same books that I have reserved, but should an occasion arise that I am late, I’m happy that I am able to donate to a great cause and kudos to the library for offering such a wonderful program.

Here are some suggestions to return your library items on time:

1. Set reminders in your phone

2. Call the library directly to renew books

3. Log into the library website to renew books

4. Take a picture of your library card so you always have a copy

Now go put those due dates in your phone!


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