Although the kids today are much more likely to get lost when scrolling down the social media feeds on their phones, as opposed to a book, a bunch of libraries in Los Angeles is trying to do everything that they possibly can in order for more kids to fall in love with books and reading.
According to the Los Angeles Times, a county in Los Angeles recently introduced a bunch of new measures so that the kids can discover their love for reading, and they will also be working with the local school systems so that every student will automatically be signed up for a new library card, which is going to eliminate all of the late fees that anyone has and is younger than 21. This is going to help the young kids who have any overdue and late book fees to easily pay off all the balances, just by reading more books from the libraries.
This new program started last year in June, and it gets the young readers to work off $5 of their fees per hour of reading, and they are already seeing incredible results. The county’s assistant library administrator, Darcy Hastings says that their library system reinstated 3,500 blocked accounts in the past few months, all thanks to this new ‘Read Away’ policy. While this might not seem like a lot of money when someone owes just a few dollars to the library, it seems to be enough to dissuade them from ever visiting the library again, and this goes double for children, while the library is still an amazing resource for learning. And then, when a bunch of charges accumulate to a user’s account, they tend to avoid paying for the fees and simply don’t use the account or card at all. This means that just for a few dollars, a person completely stops using a library’s services.
Meanwhile, the children’s librarian at East L.A. Library, Aleah Jurnecka, said that every week, at least 100 students show up to ‘Read Away’ all of their fees. One of them is an 11-year-old aspiring librarian, named Leilany Medina, who was one of the first kids that took advantage of this policy. She says that she notifies the librarian what she’ll be reading and then gets signed in. When she starts to really lose focus on the book, she stops and the librarian tells her how much money they took away from her account.