Youth Librarian Ali Jobe of the Joyce K. Carver Memorial Soldotna Public Library sits beside the canned goods and other nonperishable food items that library patrons have donated to the Kenai Peninsula Food Bank in lieu of late fees during the library’s food for fines collection drive on Wednesday, April 11, 2018 in Soldotna, Alaska. In addition to the two and a half bins of food at the library entrance, the Food Bank has already recieved 193 pounds of food since the library began collecting on April 9. Soldotna librarians will take food for fines — at an exchange rate of $1 per item — until April 14. (Ben Boettger/Peninsula Clarion).

Youth Librarian Ali Jobe of the Joyce K. Carver Memorial Soldotna Public Library sits beside the canned goods and other nonperishable food items that library patrons have donated to the Kenai Peninsula Food Bank in lieu of late fees during the library’s food for fines collection drive on Wednesday, April 11, 2018 in Soldotna, Alaska. In addition to the two and a half bins of food at the library entrance, the Food Bank has already recieved 193 pounds of food since the library began collecting on April 9. Soldotna librarians will take food for fines — at an exchange rate of $1 per item — until April 14. (Ben Boettger/Peninsula Clarion).

Food for fines

Since the Joyce K. Carver Memorial Soldotna Public Library started accepting canned and other nonperishable food items in lieu of late fees on April 9, they’ve sent 193 pounds of food to the Kenai Peninsula Food Bank.

As of Wednesday afternoon, two and a half bins of additional food were waiting in the library entrance. Though “Food for Fines” — an event the Soldotna library has been holding in honor of National Library Week since 2013 — will continue until Saturday, Assistant Librarian Katja Wolfe said the donations so far already top the 136 pounds of foods library patrons donated last year.

“People really like it a lot,” Wolfe said. “It gets people excited about paying off their fines and doing something for the community as well.”

This week the Soldotna library will forgive $1 of late fees for every food item a user brings in, though Wolfe said some library users have preferred to pay their fines while still bringing in food to donate.

Varying payment options for its late fees might be a prelude to another awareness event the library is observing this month. Money Smart Week, first organized by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago in 2002, will come to the Soldotna Library from April 19 to April 28 for a series of classes on financial literacy. These include an April 24 will and estate planning workshop, an April 24 coupon discussion group, and an April 19 class on banking, debt management, and other finance skills from AmeriCorps volunteer Karma Nelson. Even the library’s monthly escape room game on April 24 will be finance-themed: players will solve puzzles to escape an imaginary locked bank vault and solve a robbery.

“We’re going to display some materials related to financial literacy while we’re doing it,” Wolfe said. “They can have fun, and also pick up some materials.”

Reach Ben Boettger at bboettger@peninsulaclarion.com

More in News

COVID-19 (Image courtesy CDC)
State reports 3 more COVID deaths, more than 900 cases

The newly reported deaths push Alaska’s total to 594 COVID fatalities since the beginning of the pandemic.

In this July 1908 photograph provided by the U.S. Coast Guard Historian’s Office, the U.S. Revenue Cutter Bear sits at anchor while on Bering Sea Patrol off Alaska. The wreckage of the storied vessel, that served in two World Wars and patrolled frigid Arctic waters for decades, has been found, the Coast Guard said Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2021. (U.S. Coast Guard Historian’s Office via AP)
Coast Guard: Wreck found in Atlantic is storied cutter Bear

The ship performed patrols in waters off Alaska for decades.

The Federal Aviation Administration released an initiative to improve flight safety in Alaska for all aviation on Oct. 14, 2021. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire File)
FAA releases Alaska aviation safety initiatives

The recommendations, covering five areas, range from improvements in hardware to data-gathering.

Kyle Kornelis speaks at a public meeting about the Runway 7-25 Rehabilitation Project on Tuesday, May 4, 2021 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Soldotna airport unveils revamped runway

Runway 7-25 was temporarily closed earlier this year while it underwent renovations.

Alaska Redistricting Board Director Peter Torkelson speaks at a redistricting open house on Thursday, Oct. 14, 2021 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Alaska Redistricting Board Director Peter Torkelson speaks at a redistricting open house on Thursday, Oct. 14, 2021 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Redistricting proposals draw concerns from local residents

The state is seeking feedback on the best way to redraw the state’s legislative district boundaries in the wake of the 2020 census.

Signs advertising COVID-19 safety protocoals stand outside the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex on Oct. 6, 2020, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Erin Thompson/Peninsula Clarion)
Ordinance seeks more funding for sports complex renovations

Approved for introduction by the Soldotna City Council during their Oct. 13 meeting, the legislation would put an extra $583,000 toward the project

Most Read