Burnet County libraries offering 12 days of fine forgiveness


BURNET — On the first day of Christmas, I gave my librarian a box of macaroni. On the second day of Christmas, I gave my librarian two cans of beans and a box of macaroni. On the third day of … . OK, I could go on, but you might be getting an idea where this is going. But do you know why?

The truth is, I don’t have to give my librarian any non-perishable food items, but if you have an overdue book from one of the Burnet County libraries, you might want to consider returning it along with a canned good or other similar item.

If you do, the librarian just might take your book, smile and say “thank you,” all without making you pay a fine.

“Starting Dec. 1 through the first 12 days of the month, if somebody has an overdue book or overdue book fine, if they bring in a non-perishable food item, we’ll forgive their fine up to $10,” said Deann Randle, assistant librarian at the Herman Brown Free Library in Burnet.

The food will go to local food pantries. The program is available at the Burnet County Library System branches, including the Bertram Public Library, the Herman Brown Free Library, the Marble Falls Public Library and the Oakalla Public Library.

Randle said the donations must be given to a librarian staff member at the library’s circulation desk. For each item donated, the individual will receive 50 cents of forgiveness.

Currently, the libraries levy a 25-cent-per-day fine on overdue materials.

“This only applies to overdue fines,” Randle said. “If somebody has lost a book or damaged it, this doesn’t cover it.”

The Bertram library staff came up with the idea of a food-for-forgiveness period, while Marble Falls head librarian Amanda Rose tossed out the idea of playing off the “12 Days of Christmas” lyrics.

“We thought there are a lot of food drives leading up to Thanksgiving, but then you really don’t see many between Thanksgiving and Christmas. But there’s still a need,” Randle said. “So we’re offering this during the first 12 days of December.”

The libraries will be accepting canned fruits and vegetables, canned soup, canned meat and tuna, peanut butter, boxed macaroni and cheese as well as other pasta, rice, beans and cereal. They do ask that people don’t try to donate beverages or glass materials as well as repackaged, opened, dented or expired items.

And if you walk in humming the “12 Days of Christmas,” all the better. Just remember to keep it down, this is a library after all.

Now back to the song.

On the third day of Christmas, I gave my librarian three canned hams, two cans of beans and a box of macaroni. On the fourth day …


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