Library seeks to make an impact

Community outreach programs, like Food for Fines, continue at the library

By Hunter Ellis | Staff Writer

Newswire photo by Hunter Ellis
Student employee Angelica Molen (left) and circulation surpervisor Meg Martin (right) pose beside the Food for Fines donation bin in the CLC.

November is Food for Fines month at Xavier’s McDonald Library, one of the yearly programs the library hosts with student organizations to raise awareness about issues in the Xavier community.

Food for Fines is a way for students to waive any library fines they have amassed from having overdue books or laptops.

To waive fees, students can choose from a list of items to donate. These items are sorted into three categories. Each category has a monetary value assigned to it, correlating to how many dollars of fees will be waived.

The categories include $3 items such as canned good or rice, $5 items like cereal and peanut butter and $7 items like hygiene items. All of the items that are donated will go to help support The Store, Xavier’s on-campus food pantry.

 In the first two weeks, the library has waived $343 in fines and has collected many items to give to The Store.

The Food for Fines program started in 2016 when Michelle Early, a university librarian, asked the library to get involved with an issue she was passionate about — food insecurity on campus.

Since then, the Food for Fines program has continued to grow. Previously, the program was held for one to two weeks, but this is the first year that the library will run the Food for Fines program for a whole month.

“I think it’s a benefit to both students and to The Store,” Meg Martin, the circulation supervisor, said. “It is a helpful program that allows students to donate as opposed to just paying the fines.”

Martin also said the Food for Fines program takes place in November around the Thanksgiving holiday as it seeks to promote the spirit of giving.

“I think the Food for Fines program is a good way to promote thoughtfulness and kindness in the holiday season,” sophomore nursing major and desk employee Angelica Molen said.

“Students can be grateful for what they have and give to others but also get something back,” she said. “It’s also nice because there are so many different ways students can give to the cause.”

For more information about the Food for Fines program, including a full list of items, students can visit the circulation desk at the library.

The library hosts several other programs, events and displays throughout the year, just like the Food for Fines program this month.

“We are open to working with students and with clubs to support them and to tie them in with what we do,” Margaret Groeschen, the programming and outreach librarian at the McDonald Library, said.

In the month of November alone, in addition to the Food for Fines drive, the library has had several active initiatives. One of these included a writing day in celebration of National Novel Writing Month, better known as NaNoWriMo. Another is a display in the library raising awareness for International Education Week, which is concurrently happening this week.

One of the other popular programs is a summer reading program in which prizes are given to staff and students who read the most pages.

In addition, during the week before finals and the week of finals, the library is open to students 24 hours, with free coffee and goodie bags for students who are studying there.

The library has student artwork displayed throughout the building and helps facilitate many student and faculty book clubs throughout the year.

“The students are our livelihood, serving our campus and our community is the reason we are here,” Martin said.

The library updates students on current and upcoming events on its webpage and on social media. It is always looking for feedback and input from students.