Library Offers ‘Food for Fines’ Program

The Alameda Food Bank recently debuted this delicious new logo.

Library Offers ‘Food for Fines’ Program

Overdue books may now benefit Alameda Food Bank

Find a library book under the bed? Forget to bring a DVD back on time? Borrowers can now clear any and all library fines and help others at the same time by donating food instead. Starting next month, Alameda Library’s new Food for Fines program will help Alamedans in need and also erase those fines. 

The library will offer this fine amnesty from Thursday, Aug. 1, through Saturday, Aug. 31. During this time, patrons with Alameda Free Library cards will have the opportunity to have their fines waived in exchange for nonperishable boxed or canned food, which will be given to the Alameda Food Bank.

Bring food to the check-out desk at any of the three Alameda libraries during open hours. There is no minimum food donation requirement or limit to the amount of overdue fines the library will waive per account; however, food donations will not waive any accrued collection or lost material fees.

“The chance to waive overdue fines doesn’t happen very often,” said Library Director Jane Chisaki. “I hope the Alameda community takes advantage of this opportunity. Library patrons will be able to enjoy using their library cards free of fines and the Alameda Food Bank will have a fresh, well-stocked supply of food for those in need.” 

Everyone in the community, regardless of fines, is encouraged to donate non-perishable food at the collection barrel available at the library any time.

A collaboration between the Alameda Library and the Alameda Food Bank, this food drive presents the opportunity for residents to give back to the community and take advantage of the materials and programs the library offers. These include computer classes, e-resources, homework coaching, music, movies, storytimes and of course Summer Reading.

Open six days a week, the Alameda Food Bank serves more than 5,600 individuals a year. This depletes the Food Bank’s inventories and food is needed to ensure healthy, balanced meals. By collecting at least 2,000 pounds of canned and non-perishable foods in return for waived fines, the Alameda Library’s  patrons are expected to help feed at least 80 Alameda families.

Alameda Main Library is located at 1550 Oak St. and is wheelchair accessible. The library is served by AC Transit routes 21 and 51A. Bicycle parking racks are available at the library. 

For more information on this and other library programs, visit or contact the Alameda Free Library’s Circulation Department at 747-7740.