CITY LIBRARY AND SPRINGFIELD PUBLIC SCHOOLS ANNOUNCE FINE FORGIVENESS FOR TEENS
New Program Deletes Late Fees to Give Teens Fresh Start at Library
The Springfield City Library and Springfield Public Schools are pleased to announce a summer initiative for teens that is aimed at getting former patrons back into the library. The Teen Fine Forgiveness Program, which will run from June 12th through August 26th, grants a clean slate to library card holders with accumulated fines.
Currently, there are more than 5,000 Springfield teens whose ability to borrow books has been blocked due to overdue fines. Library Director Molly Fogarty said in many cases, it’s a matter of small fines adding up. “We decided it’s time to remove that barrier,” she said. “It’s so important for teens to have access to library resources.”
The program will run in tandem with the Springfield City Library’s Annual Summer Reading Club. To participate, teens can stop by any of the City’s nine Library locations and join the Summer Reading Club. When they join, they will be granted a Golden Ticket to begin borrowing books from the library once again.
The Golden Ticket can be used at any Circulation or Welcome Desk in the Springfield City Library system. The ticket not only erases all Springfield City Library late fees from the teen’s library account, but also becomes a raffle ticket for gift card prizes. As an extra benefit, teens can return long overdue items with their Golden Ticket to skip late fee charges, and teens do not have to pay a replacement fee if they need a new library card.
The Library Commission voted in favor of the initiative during a meeting on April 5th. “It’s 100 percent the right thing to do for Springfield teens and their families,” said Stephen Cary, who serves as chairman of the board.
Springfield Public Schools Assistant Superintendent Lydia Martinez said library resources are an important component of student success. “We’re grateful the Library Commission has provided this opportunity for the District to join with Springfield City Library and really excited to give our teenage students a second chance to get back into the City Library,” said Martinez. “We want our teens to have as much support as possible as they progress academically.”
Young adults between the ages of 12 and 19 are eligible to participate in the Teen Fine Forgiveness initiative, which is a pilot program. Traditionally, the Library has not charged late fines for children under the age of 12. The Springfield City Library also offers a Read Off Your Fines program for teens all year long. While the summer Teen Fine Forgiveness initiative erases late fees, it does not erase fees associated with books that are lost or missing.
For more information, interested persons can call or visit their library branch.