Wednesday, November 2, 2016

CBC News: Winnipeg libraries want to eliminate overdue fees for kids and young adults

Councillors asked to forego $100K a year to improve literacy

Winnipeg's libraries are recommending the end of overdue fines for kids and young adults. (Google Street View)

By Bartley Kives
Sep 15, 2016

The city is considering a plan to get rid of fees for overdue children's and young adult library books and other materials.

In a new report to city council's protection, community services and parks committee, Winnipeg's library branch advises elected officials to approve the elimination of library fines for kids and young adults as a means of improving literacy.

"Early literacy skills are fundamental for children and young adults to succeed in today's world, and the public library plays an important role in the development of those skills. The public library offers a wealth of materials, programs and services that meet the literacy and educational needs of children and young adults," library services manager Rick Walker writes in the report, published Thursday morning.

"Library staff's experience shows that families most in need of this support, living in higher needs neighbourhoods, may not be able to benefit from the library because of outstanding overdue fines and an associated inability to pay."

The elimination of these fees would cost the city $102,000 a year, the report says.

The protection, community services and parks committee will consider the recommendation on Monday. It will also require approval from executive policy committee and council as a whole.

Source: CBC News

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