Love your library!
Bell public library has a heart for overdue patrons

Published 10:15 am Tuesday, February 1, 2022

This February, both Bell County library locations are offering their patrons a Valentine’s Day deal.

If you have overdue library books or movies, bring in a non-perishable food item along with your overdue item and the library will waive all of your fines.
Love Your Library is the library’s theme for February.

“Love your library with the free book return as long as they bring canned items, that’s been going on for several years,” said Piddle Osborne, bookmobile and outreach librarian.

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Osborne added that the turnout for this event has been very successful. They don’t care how overdue the book is, as long as it comes back and gets back into the system. The library uses a color system to tell you which book belongs to which library; the yellow sticker on the spine is Pineville while the white is Middlesboro. Patrons who wish to skip the embarrassment of returning items that are extremely overdue can use the dropbox.

“The books are barcoded, so even if you drop it outside or give it to your daughter or son to drop off, we just scan the book and it shows that it’s checked back in. They can put their food donation in a bag and place it next to the door,” Osborne said.

This special offer has allowed readers to bring back their books and begin their love of books again. Osborne said that some readers with overdue books that haven’t been to the library in a while now have kids, and this allows them to possibly try checking out a book again.

“If you have [parents] that hasn’t been in a while and she has two or three books…this may motivate her to bring those books back to the library, bring her baby and get some new books, and books to look at with the baby. This event acts as a refresh sometimes.”

Not only does the library offer books and movies to check out, Erica Overbay, youth services librarian said it also offers many programs for the youth. Overbay is offering a grab it and go where she will bag your items and put in a craft for your child to enjoy.

The Bell County Public Library at the Pineville Branch offers its patrons many activities in and out of the library. Overbay offers programs over Google Classroom, including children, middle school, and teen programs, along with chess club.

The library has an outdoor patio so readers of all ages can enjoy the sunshine or workers on their lunch break can enjoy the outdoors with a book. The library offers free Wifi and work areas for those who need to use the internet, and laptops are available upon request. During the summer, they offer a summer reading program. The bookmobile is currently out of service due to covid, but Osborne hopes it will make a return soon.
The Love Your Library event will be through all of February. Bring non-perishable items and your overdue library item so you can avoid paying your late fees.

Both the Middlesboro branch and the Pineville branch are open Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.