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The Jackson-George Regional Library System is offering a special program for children who may owe library fines for overdue books or library materials.

Beginning August 1, 2009, children may read-down their fines by reading to themselves or to another child in leu of paying the fine owed. Children will get $1 taken off of their fines for every 10 minutes that they read. Any print media will be accepted, including children's books, magazines, or even newspapers.

Library director Carol Hewlett said, "The purpose of this program is to empower older children to do something about fines owed to the library even if they don't personally have the financial means to pay them. At times they may have been negligent themselves and are responsible for the fines on their own card. However, they are often dependent on a parent to get them to the library in time or their card is used by another family member and fines accrue."

Regardless of how fines were accrued, the parent might choose to require their child to read down their fines to teach them accountability.

Details for the program are: Patrons that are under 18 years old. There is no signup sheet or registration and is based on the honor system. Reading down fines must take place at the library and is available up until thirty minutes prior to closing time.

If a child needs to purchase a replacement card but has no money, they can read for 10 minutes to cover that fee. Fines for lost or damaged books are included in this program.

How DOES it work?

This service is for patrons age 17 and under. There is no sign-up sheet or registration.

  • If children are unable to pay their fines or fees, they have the option to read down fines on returned and lost items.
  • If a child needs to purchase a replacement card but has no money, they can read for 10 minutes to pay that charge.
  • All reading activities must take place at the library.
  • It is available at any time the library is open up until thirty minutes prior to closing time.
  • Bring a book or magazine to the desk for staff to approve (on or near child's reading level).
  • Time will be checked before reading starts.
  • Sit somewhere near the desk or in view of staff if possible.
  • Child's account will get $1 taken off fines for every 10 minutes they read.
  • If an older child (must still be 17 or younger) wants to read aloud to a younger child, they will get $1.00 taken off any fines on either or both accounts for every 10 minutes they read.
  • Patrons cannot read to defray future fines for items not yet returned.
  • Parents can choose to read to a child under five years old or a child unable to read for any reason in lieu of paying that child’s fines at the same rate of $1.00 for every 10 minutes. However, it will not reduce any fines or fees on the parent’s record.
  • When child returns the item to the desk, time will be counted and qualified fines removed.

Call your local branch library today for account information. Have your card number ready.

To ask a general question about this page, E-mail us
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