WENY News - CCLD begins annual fine forgiveness program, "Hogmanay"

CCLD begins annual fine forgiveness program, "Hogmanay"

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ELMIRA, N.Y. (WENY) -- The Chemung County Library District has started their annual fine forgiveness program, Hogmanay. 

"It's an opportunity for someone to come down, maybe get under the five dollar threshold so they can start taking materials out again," said Chemung County Library District Director, Ronald Shaw.

Through the original Scottish celebration, people would use foods to pay for fines. 

So the library district is taking the tradition and using non-perishable goods to pay for library fines. 

"What we decided, we see people coming in the library all year long who simply don't have the money to pay their fines," said Shaw. "We thought that this would be a way to get people back in  without any stigma of not being able to pay a fine."

Through the program, each can of food will be worth five dollars, and they'll erase fines up to $20.

Officials from the library district say it won't cover lost items or items that don't belong to the library. 

But since the program started six years ago, library officials say it has been a big hit. 

"We've had a lot of folks calling about it earlier this month wanting to make sure we were going to do it because they save up their materials and they bring them back," said Shaw. "It's just a good, fun thing to do with the community."

With Hogmanay, the library district is aiming to bring in at least a thousand dollars worth of items to donate to the Food Bank of the Southern Tier.

"By doing this program, we're able to contribute," said Shaw. "We give out donated goods to the food bank. So it helps that it's our civic duty and it's a way for us to give back to the community."

Hogmanay runs from December 20th to the 29th. 

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