New York: Syracuse Library’s Now Waives Overdue Fines For School Children
Syracuse school children no longer have to worry about being fined if they’re late to return a book to the city’s libraries. Mayor Stephanie Miner announced Tuesday the city will pay $7,000 per year to cover the cost of the fines, as well as prevent blocks on library cards. She says the idea is to keep children reading so they stay on track at school, especially during the summer.
The city estimates more than $60,000 in fines are owed by the over 14,900 library cardholders under age 18. About $7,000 is paid back each year.
Both city and county officials said they did not want unpaid library fines to block children from borrowing books or from participating in summer library programs.
“We do appreciate everybody’s support for these initiatives,” said Susan Mitchell, executive director of the Onondaga County Public Library. “That’s the important piece, I think, is that everyone is moving in the same direction, and that’s in support of the kids in our community.”
The library board of trustees has informally agreed to the no-fine policy and is expected to approve it in August, Mitchell said. Library officials will implement it immediately, she said.
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About Gary Price
Gary Price (email@example.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com.