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Librarians step up to help people with water bills

January 9, 2022 GMT

KINGSLEY, Mich. (AP) — Librarians in a small northern Michigan town are helping with more than books.

More than $500 in overdue water bills in Kingsley were paid off by librarians, the Traverse City Record-Eagle reported in a year-end series about local good Samaritans.

Village Manager Dan Hawkins said he matched librarians with people who needed help while keeping all identities private. Four librarians and three retired librarians participated this year.

“On the one hand, it’s even more of a gift when the giver wants to remain anonymous,” Hawkins said. “On the other, I’d like to be able to stand up and shout out their names. It’s just so helpful what they’re doing.”

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Some water bills were suspended during the pandemic but the debt wasn’t erased, he said.

“If people can’t pay, they don’t want to say that publicly. They told us they’re having trouble and we guard that information,” Hawkins said.

Library manager Amy Barritt said staff will accept donations from the public for water bills or the library.