Everybody hates library fines. You take out a book/movie/CD and temporarily lose/get too lazy to return/forget that you have it, and suddenly you owe the public library, that you went to in the first place because it is free, 20 bucks. It’s a sad story and it happens to me way too often. But I, a working adult, and other adults like me are able to pay for our mistakes. Children and teens, on the other hand, don’t always have the funds to pay off their fines, and when they rack up, the library cuts off their privileges. A lot of kids are lucky enough to have parents that will come in and pay their fines for them, but there are just as many kids out there whose parents can’t or won’t help them whether because they can’t afford it, they don’t think using the library is important, they don’t have time to come to the library with their children, or any other number of issues and hardships.
I always say I’m not in the business of making kids hate the library and try to make concessions as much as I can to keep kids coming back, which is why I LOVE this idea from the New York Public Library. Kids and teens can read off their fines! Seriously genius! Kids who sign up for summer reading can reduce their fines by a dollar for every 15 minutes of reading. I also think that amount is incredibly generous of them. I wish someone would pay me a dollar for every 15 minutes I read! In a way they are paying kids to read…kind of like my dad paid my sister and I to get straight A’s, and hey, it works. Now I just need an adult equivalent of this program.