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Wednesday 7 December 2022
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Miner: City to Forgive, and Eliminate, Library Fines for Teens

By Staff

 

soule2009-7Mayor Stephanie Miner has announced the city will now cover the cost of library fines for teens under the age of 18 who are city residents, as well as eliminate fines for children and teen materials at city libraries.

The mayor made the announcement at the Soule Library on Springfield Rd. June 21.

“We cannot allow economic barriers to come between children, and a love of reading,” Miner stated. “To keep children reading at grade level, and preventing the ‘summer slide,’ we need to do whatever we can to keep books in the hands of young readers. I am pleased to implement this policy. As a city facing the digital divide, we need children to stay at grade-level, so they can succeed in high school and be college, career, and civic ready. Making sure our young people continue reading is the surest way they stay on track at school, and write the next chapter of opportunity.”

“Breaking barriers to literacy is critical to ensuring the children of our community are on track to grade-level reading skills,” Syracuse City School District Superintendent Sharon Contreras Ph.D., added. “I am pleased to support Mayor Miner, and the city’s efforts to support childhood literacy in the city of Syracuse. Forgiving library fines is an issue of economic justice that will help every child in Syracuse realize their full potential.”

Over 14,900 cardholders under the age of 18 currently owe over $60,000 in outstanding fines to city libraries, according to city officials.

In addition, the library cards for 4,983 cardholders under 18 are presently “blocked,” meaning they owe more than $5 in accrued fines or fees, and they are barred from checking out library materials.

Miner said the city will begin contributing $7,000 to the library system for the next five years, in order to eliminate fines on children and teen materials at libraries, which will recoup the cost of fines not paid to the library administration. Card blocks will also be eliminated.

Mayor Miner has also funded the Imagination Library program, which provides a free book to children from birth through the beginning of school, and sponsored an SCSD summer reading challenge each year during her term as mayor.

Previously, teens and children had paid an estimated $7,000 in fines back to city libraries each year.

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