St. Cloud, MN, September 2014: Great River Regional Library (GRRL) is giving teens and children an opportunity to read down their fines and become active library users again.
Read Down Your Fines Week will take place at all 32 branches of the Great River Regional Library during national Teen Read Week, October 13 to 18. During Read Down Your Fines Week, for each 15 minutes of reading at the library, $1 will be waived from fines on the accounts of minors ages 16 and under. In the case of very young children with fines on their cards, parents will be able to read down their child’s fines by reading to them in the library.
The library held its initial Read Down Your Fines Week in June of 2013. It was so successful that the effort was repeated later that year. During the two weeks, approximately 400 teens and children were able to read their fines down to zero, making them eligible to check out library materials again.
The Read Down Your Fines effort is supported by fundraising, which ensures that the loss of fines doesn’t have a negative effect on budgets.
“I think everybody would agree that it’s good for young people to be regular library users,” said Beth Ringsmuth Stolpman, library patron services specialist. “When teens are not allowed to check out materials they may feel unwelcome in our buildings,” she said. “We want them to feel welcome, and we want them to be able to enjoy all of the library’s services.”
Read Down Your Fines only applies to charges that have accumulated for late return of items. It does not apply to charges for lost or damaged materials. Young people who want to take part should speak with library staff as local procedures may vary.
GRRL provides library services at 32 public libraries in Benton, Morrison, Sherburne, Stearns, Todd and Wright Counties. It provides Central Minnesota residents with nearly 1 million books, CDs and DVDs, 250 public computers, programming and information services.