The Santa Barbara Public Library is the latest spot to offer a holiday special. No, it’s not two books for the checkout of one, but an amnesty of sorts for readers who have fines larger than a dollar on their overdue books. For each food item in a nonbreakable container brought to the Eastside or Central library, the amount the patron owes on overdue books — but not replacement fees for lost or damaged materials, collection agency fees, card replacement, or future fines — will be reduced by one dollar.

Patrons may have to dig deep quickly to locate their long-kept library books, since the offer is only good for the week of December 14-21. They can bring unopened and unexpired canned or boxed goods to the Central (40 East Anapamu St.) or Eastside (1102 East Montecito St.) libraries, which are the two branches participating in “Food for Fines.” The holiday goods will go to Unity Shoppe, which has been in the business of distributing necessities for more than four decades.

And, as always, the libraries in the Santa Barbara system will close at 4 p.m. on Christmas Eve and on New Year’s Eve, and will be closed the following Friday.


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