Student News

Pay Off Your Library Fines With 'Food for Fines' Starting Nov. 1

Image of library lost and found
Photo by Reid Olash.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 25, 2021) — University of Kentucky Libraries’ “Food for Fines” event, a collaboration benefiting UK’s Big Blue Pantry, will take place Monday, Nov. 1, through Monday, Nov. 15. During this event, UK Libraries patrons can “pay” up to $20 of fines on their accounts by bringing in donations of food and non-food items.

“We hope that this program will help alleviate some financial stress for all library borrowers,” said Courtney Bartlett, assistant head of circulation at UK Libraries and organizer of the Food for Fines initiative. “A student can donate food or personal care items rather than pay $20 in order to lift a hold, so they may register for classes.”

This will mark UK Libraries’ first year partnering with Big Blue Pantry, a food pantry on campus dedicated to supporting students experiencing food insecurity or hunger. Food for Fines follows the major success of Donations for Citations, a partnership between Big Blue Pantry and UK Transportation Services.

“We’re so excited to start this partnership with the UK Libraries,” said Jason Schubert, former program coordinator at Big Blue Pantry. “This new donation event will mirror what we’ve done with UK Transportation Services, and we think it’ll be a great success! Food for Fines is a great way for students to give back, while also helping spread awareness about the Big Blue Pantry.”

To participate, simply bring your donations to the Fines Office in William T. Young Library during the Fines Office’s hours of operation: 8:30 a.m. to 3:25 p.m. Monday through Friday. The exchange rate for this event is as follows:

  • Ten food items or five personal care items for $20 in fines.
  • Eight food items or three personal care items for $15 in fines.
  • Six food items or two personal care items for $10 in fines.
  • Four food items or one personal care item for $5 in fines.

For a full list of suggested donations and Big Blue Pantry’s most needed items, click here

A maximum of $20 may be waived for this event along with academic holds being removed for those who have incurred fines of more than $20 and less than $40. Fines that may be “paid” with donations include general overdue fines for reserves, DVDs, recall, AV equipment, marker boxes, chargers, board games, locker and room keys, and Interlibrary Loan. Lost material fines, including but not limited to monographs, periodicals, locker/room keys, reserves, equipment and Interlibrary Loan, are not eligible to be “paid” with donations during this event.

For updates on Food for Fines and other events happening this semester through UK Libraries, click here

The Big Blue Pantry is located in the basement of White Hall Classroom Building beside the Post Office in Room 025. To learn more about Big Blue Pantry, visit

As the premier research library in the Commonwealth, UK Libraries empowers lifelong learners to discover, create and connect by providing ever-expanding access to quality information and collaborating with academic and creative communities worldwide to advance knowledge, enhance scholarship and preserve the history and culture of the Commonwealth. More information about UK Libraries can be found on its website.

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