The Renfrewshire Libraries' Food for Fines initiative, which allowed anyone with an overdue book to return it without any fine being incurred if they made a foodbank donation, has been a great success.
It's thought that Renfrewshire Libraries is the only library service in Scotland to offer this kind of amnesty. The initiative began as part of their annual World Book Night celebrations, was launched on 23rd April (Shakespeare's birthday) and ended 7th May.
Normally adults would pay 30p for every week their book is late being returned up to a maximum of £2.40.
Joyce McKellar, chief executive of Renfrewshire Leisure – the management trust that runs local libraries said:
“We wanted to do something a little bit different to celebrate World Book Night.
“There are three benefits to our fines for food initiative and that is we get more people coming back to our libraries returning books, which in turn encourages people to read more books and by collecting donations to Renfrewshire Foodbank we are doing something positive for the local community.
“Getting people and books back into our libraries for other people to read is more important than collecting fines.
“Some people may feel embarrassed about having overdue books and having to pay a fine, but this way they can do something good for the folks who are forced to use foodbanks and return their books with no penalty at the same time.
“Our libraries aren’t just about books – they’re about our communities as well.”