UBC Home Page -
UBC Home Page -
UBC Home Page UBC Home Page -
News Events Directories Search UBC myUBC Login
- -
UBC Public Affairs
UBC Reports
UBC Reports Extras
Goal / Circulation / Deadlines
Letters to the Editor & Opinion Pieces / Feedback
UBC Reports Archives
Media Releases
Services for Media
Services for the Community
Services for UBC Faculty & Staff
Find UBC Experts
Search Site

UBC Reports | Vol. 50 | No. 1 | Jan. 8, 2004

Overdue Book Fines Feed the Foodbank

Food for Fines program a hit

By Michelle Cook

The UBC Library collected more than 4,900 items for the Greater Vancouver Food Bank in November -- and waived just over $9,800 in fines -- by asking library users to pay off their debts from overdue books with food instead of cash.

Called Food for Fines, the initiative was the brainchild of AMS president Oana Chirila, who got the idea at a meeting of her counterparts from other Canadian universities. Queen's University and all the universities in Nova Scotia currently run similar programs in their libraries. Chirila approached university librarian Catherine Quinlan about the possibility of launching something similar at UBC.

Run from Nov. 24 to 28 to coincide with the Food Bank's annual drive, all borrowers with library fines could participate. For every non-perishable food item donated, they got $2 waived from their existing fines, up to a maximum of $20. All library cardholders were eligible, whether they were students, staff, alumni, faculty, or community members.

"People were really enthusiastic," says assistant university librarian Tim Atkinson, who co-ordinated the drive at UBC Library's 15 branches. "Many brought in 10 items to qualify for the $20 fine waiver and then donated more items over and above that."

By the end of the five-day drive, the Food Bank had 150 boxes of non-perishable items to pick up from campus.

"The response was amazing. We even got a donation mailed in from a student on Salt Spring Island," Atkinson says. "The students loved it. The staff loved it. Several staff members have approached me to say they really hope we'll do it again next year."

Chirila credits much of the success of Food for Fines to timing. "It was the end of the year and students thought it was a good way to pay off their library fines and help the community at the same time."

She adds that the food drive helped to improve students' attitudes about the Library.

"They saw it as a goodwill gesture and they appreciated it."

- - -  

Last reviewed 22-Sep-2006

to top | UBC.ca » UBC Public Affairs

UBC Public Affairs
310 - 6251 Cecil Green Park Road, Vancouver, BC Canada V6T 1Z1
tel 604.822.3131 | fax 604.822.2684 | e-mail public.affairs@ubc.ca

© Copyright The University of British Columbia, all rights reserved.