Surrey Libraries will no longer charge overdue fines on children’s materials borrowed on children’s cards, as of Oct. 1.
The library board made the move “to help remove barriers and support literacy initiatives for children,” said Linda Stromberg, chair of Surrey Libraries.
“Fines on children’s overdue library materials present a barrier to library use,” she stated.
Children and teens with pre-existing fines will have an opportunity to eliminate fines in a fun program called ‘Read-Away-Fines,’ until the end of November. A $1 credit for each day read can be used toward paying down fines to a maximum of $50.
Charges related to lost or damaged items will remain the same and are not applicable to this initiative.
“To provide equitable access of high demand material, the library will continue to encourage children to return materials or renew on time,” officials stated.
For more information or to pick up a Read Away Fines record, visit www.surreylibraries.ca or your nearest SL branch.
“We are excited to launch this initiative” said chief librarian Melanie Houlden. “Reading is an essential skill for children and now they will have free access to library materials without worrying about the threat of overdue fines. We hope this will also encourage more children to get and use their own library cards, building on their sense of ownership and responsibility.”