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Dec. 16, 2002
PENFIELD LIBRARY PROGRAM SUPPORTS LOCAL FAMILIES IN NEED
OSWEGO -- More than 3,000 food items were recently donated to help needy local families -- in large part because of overdue books at SUNY Oswego's Penfield Library.
The annual Food for Fines program allows those with overdue books at the library to donate one item of non-perishable food to erase one dollar of fines, said Michelle Parry, a reference librarian at Penfield Library. As a result, the college community donated 3,045 food items to the Human Concerns Center in Oswego, Parry said.
"We perceive it as a win-win situation," said Parry, the drive's coordinator. "It's just a positive thing to do, in terms of a worthy community project, and it helps people who may have faced large fines."
Nedra Peterson, then the library's head of circulation, started the drive in 1997 after reading about similar efforts.
Parry said the project would not happen without "a fabulous circulation staff and student workers" who took on added responsibility during the drive. "There were also members of the campus community, who did not have any fines, who donated because they knew there was a food drive going on and it was a good thing to do," she added.
Organizers were pleased that they received so many items that they had to make two deliveries to the Human Concerns Center. "They were very appreciative and we were delighted to help them," Parry said of the local food bank.
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