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Library: donate blood, late fees waived

Darien Library

Darien Library is hosting an opportunity for locals to do some good with an added perk.

On Wednesday, Aug. 29, the library is hosting a blood drive with the American Red Cross. All donors who participate will have their overdue library fines lifted as a thank you for their good deed.

The blood drive, which will run from 1 p.m. to 6:15 p.m., will take place in the library’s parking lot, where an American Red Cross van will be parked for the session.

Registration will take place in the Community Room at the library, though appointments can be made in advance online at redcross.org.

Americans must make 17,000 blood donations every day in order to keep the nation’s blood supply at an adequate level, according to the American Red Cross.

And now is a crucial time to donate — in late June, the American Red Cross issued an emergency appeal for blood donors.

In the time since, the blood deficit has been cut down by about one-third, thanks to 15,000 donations above what the organization was expecting.

But there is more work to be done, and small local efforts can help bridge the gap. According to the American Red Cross, if three additional people give blood at every blood drive through the end of August, there will be an adequate blood supply through the end of the summer.

“We’re in a blood shortage, and something like this is very easy, but very essential,” said Alan Kirk Gray, the library’s Chief Administrative Officer.

In this blood drive, participants will donate one pint of blood. The minutes-long process provides about 1 percent as much blood as may be needed for a single car crash victim.

The idea of waiving book fines for blood is a new one, according to Lois Calka, head of facilities and materials management for the library, who coordinated the drive. But it is certainly worth the experiment, she said.

The library waiver does not apply for bills and replacement costs.

More info: darienlibrary.org, redcross.org

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