Fremont County libraries turn fines into school supplies

Aug 12, 2012 By Emily Etheredge, Staff Writer

The program that runs through Aug. 25 allows patrons who owe late fees to instead bring binders, notebooks, rulers, pencils and other student items to waive penalties.

Libraries in Fremont County want to waive patron fines in return for donated school supplies

Terry Dunn, assistant librarian with the Fremont County Library in Lander, created the program that will last until Aug. 25.

"You often see hurried mothers trying to figure out how they are going to purchase school supplies for their children," Dunn said.

"I thought it would be beneficial to create a midyear program for those who have library fines to be able to come into the library, bring some school supplies and waive their fines," Dunn said.

Dunn said Fremont County libraries have a Food for Fines event in November and December where patrons bring in cans of food to wipe their slate clean.

"The Food for Fines is always a successful program we offer with a lot of people participating," Dunn said. "The school supply program allows people during the summer to also participate and help others out."

Donations of school supplies, which must be in their original package, will be given to the Christian Food Store in Riverton, Care and Share in Lander and the Dubois Opportunity Shop in Dubois.

Preferred school supplies include Crayola colored pencils, crayons and markers, as well as facial tissues, packaged erasers, glue sticks, highlighters, pens, scissors and school glue.

Other useful items are spiral notebooks, three-ring binders, 12-inch rulers, loose-leaf paper, compasses, protractors, pocket folders, packaged pencils and backpacks.

Dunn said the program does not apply to patrons with lost or damaged library books or materials.

Supplies that are used or are not in the original packaging will not be accepted.

Teri Wiblemo, Riverton Branch Library assistant in charge of adult programming and marketing, said the program is a great opportunity for patrons to get rid of their overdue fees while helping children in need.

"School supply lists are so extensive these days and can get very expensive for families who are struggling," Wiblemo said. "It is a win-win situation for everyone."

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