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Libraries allowing patrons to ‘read off' fines

Libraries allowing patrons to ‘read off' fines



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SALT LAKE CITY -- If you have fines stacking up at your local public library, you might want to consider reading down your debt.

Think of it as a sort of "amnesty" on overdue fines. For now, it's part of an experimental program at libraries here in Utah and across the country. You'll get $1 taken off your bill for each hour you spend reading at the library.

The program is welcome news for 11-year-old Christina Cole, who loves to read anyway.

"It's what I breathe. It's what I eat, seriously. I read at the dinner table," Christina says.

She is currently working off her own debt at her local library.

"I owed $34, but I've read 20 hours," Christina says.

Her dad, Mike Cole, thinks this debt forgiveness program is a good idea because it's teaching his daughter responsibility.

"I've noticed she has taken better care of her library books," he says. "I find her lists of books she's checked out; whereas before, she couldn't remember what she had."

Some libraries think the fine system is outdated and they may toss it altogether.

E-mail: niyamba@ksl.com

Nkoyo Iyamba

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