Libraries end overdue fines for children’s books
Island families will no longer have to pay fines on overdue children’s materials beginning June 1.
The policy change is timed to increase participation in the provincial libraries’ many summer reading programs, which help children avoid losing their literacy skills over the summer vacation months. Last year more than 6,700 Island children took part in 656 library summer reading programs.
“We want to encourage more families to use our 26 public libraries, especially during the summer months,” said Education, Early Learning and Culture Minister Doug Currie. “Overdue fines should not be a barrier to the incredible opportunities that libraries offer children who are learning to read and developing a love of reading.”
In addition, 616 children participated in one-on-one tutoring programs at 20 libraries across the province last year.
“As a librarian working closely with children of all ages, I know that even the possibility of overdue fines causes some families not to take advantage of public libraries,” said Youth Services Librarian Roseanne Gauthier. “I hope the elimination of overdue fines on children’s materials will encourage more families to make visiting their local library part of their regular routine.”
In the past year, libraries collected $8,000 in overdue fees for children’s materials. Although fees will no longer be charged for children’s books, any lost books will still be subject to replacement costs.