New York City’s three library systems are forgiving late penalties for patrons 17 and under as part of the “New Chapter” program which will run until October 31.
The Brooklyn Public Library, the New York Public Library, and the Queens Library launched the program today, September 22. It is designed to encourage children and teens to return to their libraries and check out new materials without the fear of having to pay large, longstanding book fines.
When patrons accrue $15 or more in fines, their library temporarily suspends their borrowing privileges until the fine is paid. Nearly 100,000 children and teenagers will benefit from the program, according to a joint press release from the libraries.
“It is unacceptable that one innocent mistake – forgetting to bring back one book – could keep young patrons out of their local libraries,” said NYPL President Anthony W. Marx in the release. “Our priority is to keep kids reading, more than to collect fines that many of them simply cannot afford to pay. We believe this program will bring kids back to their local libraries, encourage them to become lifelong readers, and open new doors of opportunity for them. That is priceless.”
The McGraw-Hill Companies has made a contribution to pay a substantial portion of the fines for all three systems.