Cranston Public Libraries drop fines for youth materials
Photo courtesy of Cranston Public Libraries website
By: Sarah Rooney
CRANSTON, R.I. (WLNE) – Beginning June 16, Cranston Public Libraries will no longer charge late fees for overdue children’s and teen's materials.
In conjunction with other efforts to increase youth access and use of public libraries, the new rule is intended to take down what the library feels is a consistent barrier: overdue fines.
"The library noticed that fines had become a barrier for some families from using the library. Many don't return to the library because of an inability to pay fines or for fear of accumulating them" said Library Director Edward Garcia. "Penalizing young people for late books makes libraries feel unwelcoming.”
According to a release sent out by the library, 2,200 Cranston Library cards owned by children are blocked from checking out materials due to overdue fees.
The library arranged with Mayor Allan Fung to accept a decrease in revenue to offset the lost income from the fees. The Library Board of Trustees unanimously approved the new rule, known as “Fine Free,” this past January.
"I’m proud that we’re able to eliminate fines for children and teen materials at all of our nationally-recognized libraries and eliminate a barrier standing between children and their access to books,” commented Cranston Mayor Allan Fung. “In Cranston, we prioritize the wellness our children and fine-free materials at our libraries is one example of how this city collaborates to solve problems and is one of the top cities to live in America.”
Per the new policy, overdue children’s and teen's items will not result in an overdue fee, but card holders will need to return overdue books in order to check out new books. Overdue adult materials or materials from other OSL libraries will incur overdue fees.
Any card holder under 18 that has a fine on their account should speak to a librarian.