Marshall students able to pay off library fines with non-perishable food item donations

Alison Baldridge, Reporter

Marshall University Libraries will be accepting non-perishable food items from now until Dec. 1 to donate to Highland Elementary School as payment for library fines.

“We want to give students a chance to help the surrounding community while also helping them to pay down their fines,” Kelli Johnson, head of access service and outreach for Marshall University Libraries, said. “The MU creed indicates that we are a socially responsible campus, and this is one way that MU Libraries and Online Learning can help achieve that goal.”

Michelle Alford, library information systems technologist and organizer of the food drive, said the library always tries to do its best to help students and the local community at the same time.

“We have seen public libraries do similar things, so we thought that it would be a good way for us to help our students out, because, especially when you get near the end of the semester, people worry about whether they can graduate due to them having book fines,” Alford said. “However, losing your book does not qualify for the fine.”

Alford said Highland Elementary School’s food pantry allows their students to receive enough food to take home that also meets their nutritional needs.

“There’s several local organizations that donate to it and send food boxes home with the kids to take home to their families,” Alford said. “They also do the backpack program and will send small items home with the kids almost every day. Besides education, they’re really good about trying to also invest in the children’s health and trying to make sure they have what they need at home to meet their nutritional needs.”

Alford said students who wish to donate non-perishable food items can visit the circulation desk, email [email protected] or call 304-696-2321.

Alison Baldridge can be contacted at [email protected].