East Brunswick Library waives fees for late children and teen items

EAST BRUNSWICK—Since first opening its doors in 1967, the East Brunswick Library has strived to promote literacy to library users of all ages.

The East Brunswick Public Library Foundation has removed one barrier: eliminating overdue fines on items for children and teenagers.

“The EBPL Foundation is constantly looking for new ways to support our library,” Tracy L. Fink, foundation board president, said in a prepared statement. “Sponsoring a unique program like this is a great way to give back to the library and to give the children in our community the gift of literacy.”

Library customers will not have to pay overdue fines for children’s and teen items checked out at the library. The goal is to increase library usage in families by removing the fines, allowing children and families to have more access to library materials, according to the statement. According to Fink, the pilot program will continue through the end of the year.

“There are a few public libraries that have been experimenting with eliminating library fines,” Library Director Jennifer Podolsky said in the statement. ”Studies have shown that libraries have a positive impact on child development. Anything that we can do to increase accessibility to the library for families is important, as removing barriers to access is a key component of our strategic plan.”

East Brunswick joins the Camden County Library as the only public libraries in New Jersey that do not offer fines for children and teen items. East Brunswick is the only library in the Libraries of Middlesex Automation Consortium that provides this to its cardholders, according to the statement.

“By sponsoring this program, the EBPL Foundation has really done something that will impact many families in town,” Fink said in the statement. “We’re happy that this announcement coincides with National Library Week, April 8-14.”

Although overdue fines will not be charged, fees for lost and damaged items remain. Overdue notices will still be sent as reminders to return items. Items not returned within 21 days of the due date are considered lost, and the full cost of the item will be charged to the library customer’s account.

For more information, visit www.ebplfoundation.org.

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