Read Down Your Fines During Summer Reading

Posted In: Your Library, Read Down Fines, Summer Reading
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By Meredith Veatch

Read more stories from the Read Down Fines Series.

We're almost halfway through 2013, which means we've now been reading down fines for almost six months. At the Patterson Park branch, Read Down Fines started to take off after I visited a parents' night at a nearby elementary school. I asked everyone who passed by my table if they had a library card, and if they did, I told them about Read Down Fines. The program was enthusiastically embraced by parents, including one father who told his son that he had better start reading, since he didn't have $90 lying around to pay for lost books.

Read Down Your Fines - kids and teens can erase library finesThe very next day, several kids, prompted by their parents and their own desire to check out books from the library again, came to the library to start reading down their fines. As soon as one child started reading, another would come up to my desk, ask what was happening, and then ask to start reading down their own fines.

Since the program started, several children have successfully earned enough Pratt Bucks to start using their library cards again, and even more are still working on reading their fines away. Grownups started asking about Read Down Fines, too. Most were asking for their kids, but one sad 18 year old lamented that she was too old to participate. Sorry, grownups! You still have to pay off your fines the old fashioned way.

But for kids and teens ages 13-17, now that Summer Reading is here, there's a new way to read down your fines! They can still read down your fines by coming to the library and reading (a child earns one Pratt Buck for every 15 minutes of reading, and a teen earns one for every 30 minutes). During Summer Reading, kids and teens can also earn one Pratt Buck for every book or hour read at home and reported on his or her reading log. As if Summer Reading weren't fun enough already.

So this summer, when you sign up for Summer Reading, make sure to ask about Read Down Fines. You could start the new school year with a clean slate.

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