Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Kids Working Off Fines

By Reading!

Kids at the New York Public Library had the opportunity to read away their fines this summer! This article, "New York scheme for 143,000 kids to work off library fines: Reading" describes how fewer and fewer kids are coming to the library, because they have too many fines. Jack Martin, the NYPL assistant director, noted that often when kids have fines, they are too embarrassed to come to the library, and are then less likely to take advantage of any library services. At NYPL, almost 143,000 kids have lost their borrowing privileges because of excessive fines. Read Down Your Fines at NYPL allowed these kids to take $1 off of their library fines for every 15 minutes of reading. What a great summer program!

Libraries across the county have also adopted this idea. The Solano County Library in California, has this program year-round. So does the Mamroneck Public Library and the Ossining Public Library in New York! Check out what these libraries are doing -- maybe this would work for you library?


LeeAnn Anna said...

At the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh we have a Teen Fine Alternative program, where teens can work off their overdue Carnegie Library fines at a rate of $5 an hour. The program piloted at the Main Library's Teen Department and has since been adopted by the branches with great success. Participants do tasks like shelve books, prepare materials for programs, and write book reviews for our blog at If anyone has any questions or would like to talk to me about it, feel free to contact me!

LeeAnn Anna
Teen Services Coordinator
Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh District Library Center

Caitie said...

That is awesome, LeeAnn! It really is a neat idea!

emilyspaint said...

We also let kids work off fines at a rate of $7.00 an hour. The kids can dust, straighten shelves, sweep and so on.