Late with your library books? Now beans pays fines

Tardy bookworms can now pay library fines with groceries, including baked beans
Tardy bookworms can now pay library fines with groceries, including baked beans

Library users whose books are overdue can now settle their fines with food donations for families in need.

To support the St Helens Food Bank, which is in urgent need of donations as winter sets in, the council’s library team will be knocking £1 off every fine for each item donated.

If the fine is less than £1, it will simply be cleared!

Fines are calculated at the rate of 10p per day for books and 40p per day for DVDs.

All users have to do is take their books back and, if they are overdue, hand over groceries on the food bank’s wanted list.

Donations can include almost any tinned or dried packet foods – including tinned meat and vegetables, soups, packets of rice and pasta and cereals.

However, no fresh food will be accepted.

Urgently needed items include UHT milk/powdered milk, sugar (500gms), cartons of orange juice, tinned rice pudding, tinned fruit, instant mash, pasta (1kg), rice, packets of pasta in sauces and jam.

All 13 of the borough’s libraries will be taking part in the collection scheme – and food items may be taken along at any time during normal opening hours.

Coun Richard McCauley said: “We’ll be delighted to see as many people as possible paying off their fines with food donations.

“The St Helens Food Bank is doing a huge amount of good and is a lifeline for many families on a low income – who may have suddenly experienced redundancy or received an unexpected bill.”

The St Helens Food Bank provides a minimum of three days emergency food and support to people in crisis.

To find out more, go online at: