UK Happenings

‘Pay’ Off Library Fines With ‘Food for Fines’ Through April 4

photo of W.T. Young Library with spring blooms in the foreground. Empty campus.
William T. Young Library on a virtually empty UK campus during the spring 2020 COVID-19 pandemic. Mark Cornelison | UK Photo.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 30, 2022) — University of Kentucky Libraries’ “Food for Fines” event, a collaboration benefiting UK’s Big Blue Pantry, will take place through Monday, April 4. 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’ second semester 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 grateful to continue this partnership with UK Libraries for a second year,” said Andrew Perkins, Big Blue Pantry manager. “Donation drives like this really bring out the best in the UK community and we’re thankful for the outpouring of generosity.”

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.-3:25 p.m. Monday through Friday. The exchange rate for this event is as follows:

  • 10 food items or 5 personal care items for $20 in fines.
  • 8 food items or 3 personal care items for $15 in fines.
  • 6 food items or 2 personal care items for $10 in fines.
  • 4 food items or 1 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, 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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