MANHATTAN — Fear not, young readers with overdue fines.
The New York Public Library is giving its young patrons an opportunity to wipe clear their outstanding fees and keep up with their summer reading list under a new overdue fee amnesty initiative, which kicked off on Monday.
There are 143,000 patrons under the age of 18 with more than $15 dollars in overdue fines across the city, the New York Daily News reported. Once a borrower hits $15 dollars in fines, they have their borrowing privileges suspended.
Amy Geduldig, an NYPL spokeswoman, told DNAinfo that the library is trying out a new way to help patrons clear up their fines by giving them credit against their account in exchange for the time they spend this summer reading books, newspapers, magazines and listening to audio books.
“It’s for children and teens,” Geduldig said. She said that the library is aware that difficulties paying fines can sometimes also scare patrons, and in particular, children, away from the library.
Geduldig said the goal of the program is to keep children and teens reading over the summer and coming back into the library, even if they have fines.
For every 15 minutes that patrons read, they can reduce their overdue fines by a dollar. Patrons can log their hours on an honor system on the NYPL website.
Patrons can visit a library branch to sign up for the amnesty program or visit the Summer Reading website for more information on how to "read down" their fines.
The program runs through September 9.