Friday, April 16, 2010

Libraries Offer Alternatives to Paying Fines

Link to April 16 San Francisco Chronicle article, "Many libraries offer readers ways to avoid fines".

Excerpt:   Twelve-year-old Audrey Conner owed about $7 in fines to the Salt Lake City public library system, but the voracious reader was a little short.

It didn't matter. Her nearby library branch had an alternative: Kids who can't pay the fine can do the time. So Audrey sat in a room reading a book of her choice, earning $1 for every 10 minutes. She paid her debt in a little over an hour.

"I actually timed myself with my cell phone, and they wrote down my starting time," Conner said.

Libraries across the country are experimenting with similar programs that offer readers an amnesty on overdue fines or do away with them completely. In Salt Lake City, anyone 18 and under can "read down" a debt

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