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Beginning next year patrons can return overdue materials without paying the applicable fines and trade Food for Fines.

From January 3 – January 18, 2014, the El Paso Public Library is offering its patrons a period of amnesty. During this time, anyone with overdue library materials may return them to the library without penalty.  Fines on overdue materials will not be charged during that period, provided that the materials are returned in good condition.

The primary goal of the amnesty period is to encourage library patrons to return their materials and start using the library again. Customers who return their materials will have their borrowing privileges reinstated.  Those wishing to take advantage of the program should go to any public library branch, return their materials and let the staff know that they would like amnesty.

The Library will also be accepting Food for Fines during this same period.  Patrons who do not have outstanding materials but have fines can pay down $1 worth of those fines for every can of food or non-perishable food item donated, up to $5 per account.  The food donations will then be collected, sorted and distributed to organizations that serve the less fortunate as part of the 14th Annual MLK Canned Food Drive.  The Library staff will then take their food donations and apply up to $5 in credit to the patron’s account.

The food collected is part of the Food for Fines program, as well as that collected through the MLK Canned Food Drive, will be used to replenish depleted pantries of organizations that serve the less fortunate.  For more information call 543-5468 .