MANALAPAN, NJ – The popular Food for Fines program will once again be featured at all branches of the Monmouth County Library system in celebration of National Library Week, which is being observed April 9 through April 15.

The Food for Fines program enables library users to return all delinquent books through an amnesty program which eliminates the fine in exchange for the donation of items for the library’s Food program.

All canned and boxed products can be dropped in the bins at the Library Headquarters, or any of its branches, with $1 off each fine for each item contributed. All food items are delivered by the library to the Food Bank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties.

Although no glassware or perishable items are accepted for the program, paper products can be accepted together with canned and boxed foods. The amnesty program does not include lost items.

The Monmouth County Library has been offering the program for more than a decade and has found it to be highly popular among its patrons, both in terms of donating to the food banks as well as returning delinquent library loans.

“Our patrons are very generous,” said Renee Swartz, Chair of the Monmouth County Library Commission, “Many take advantage of our food bank program to donate items for those in need, even though they have not incurred any fines. Their generosity is one more reason why we regard the county library as more than a library, but really a community center where people gather not only for education and enjoyment, but for all types of entertainment and activities. Contributing to the Monmouth and Ocean Counties Food Bank is one more way our patrons show how involved they are in the community and the library’s very important role in it. Our patrons epitomize the theme of this year’s Library Week celebrations, which is “Libraries Transform.”

National Library Week began in 1958 as a national observance sponsored by the American Library Association and libraries across the country. Purpose is to celebrate the contributions of libraries and librarians as well as to promote further library use and support. This year’s national celebration includes a report on Monday, April 10, on the Top Ten Frequently Challenged Books of 2016, a National Libraries Workers Day on April 11, recognizing the contributions made by all library workers, and a National Bookmobile Day on April 12 recognizing the contributions of bookmobiles and the professionals who work in that outreach.