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Clearwater Beacon
Library collects nearly 5,000 food items
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CLEARWATER – Between Nov. 15 and Dec. 21 of 2012, library patrons were allowed amnesty for their library fines in exchange for food that was donated during the holidays to Religious Community Services Food Bank.

The library collected $80 in cash and checks and 4,814 food items that weighed 5,633 pounds – the equivalent of 6,700 meals, according to representatives at RCS.

The food collected by the library was part of the city’s larger holiday food drive that yielded an additional 1,729 pounds of food from other city departments and an additional $75 in cash and checks.

“Many patrons were very grateful for the opportunity to clear fines off their cards,” said Librarian Joanne Howard. “One mom said her husband had been out of work for a month, and she didn’t know how she was going to pay her fines in order to check out items for her two little girls. When she heard about the amnesty program, she headed home to check her pantry, and she said her children would be so thrilled to be able to check out books and DVDs again. They were not going to have much money for purchases or activities over the holidays, but checking out items from the library is like going home with special gifts.”

City Manager Bill Horne praised the program and thanked all who participated, calling the amnesty program with food donation as its centerpiece, “A God-inspired event.”

Call the library at 562-4970.

Friends of the Library needs help

CLEARWATER – The Friends of the Clearwater Library Book and Gift store in the Main Library, 100 N. Osceola Ave., is in desperate need of donated paperback books in good condition for resale at the store. Bring the donations to the library or call Bill Murray at 531-0667 for pickup.

Volunteers also are needed to work certain days at the bookstore, especially in late afternoons. A short training session is required. The store is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Monday through Wednesday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday through Saturday. Hours are variable, but are generally two to four hours a week. To volunteer, call Rosalie Murray, 531-0667 or Rita Garvey at 446-3845.
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