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Area libraries forgiving student fines this month

WESTSHORE – Owe the library a fine? If you’re 18 or younger, the library may waive that fine this month.

To celebrate National Library Card Sign-Up Month, many area libraries are forgiving fines of library cards holders up to age 18 through September.

Some restrictions apply, but library officials said the goal is to help students start the school year fresh, with the ability to access materials they need for academic success. Those who do not have a card are encouraged to sign up for one, either online or in person at their local library.

Participating library systems include the Cleveland Public Library; Cuyahoga County Public Library, which has libraries in Fairview Park, Bay Village and North Olmsted; Lakewood Public Library; Rocky River Public Library; and Westlake Porter Public Library.

The Avon Lake Public Library is not forgiving fines this month. The Lorain Public Library System, which has branches in Avon and North Ridgeville, forgives half of the fines on a patron’s card in April during library week.

Since 1987, the American Library Association has sponsored Library Card Sign-up Month each September to mark the beginning of the school year. During the month, the ALA and libraries join together in a national effort to ensure every child has his or her own library card.

Several library systems are participating in an initiative called A Card for Every Kid Library Challenge to encourage all students to get a free library card. Children under 18 years old who already own library cards, but owe fines, will also be invited to take advantage of one-time fine forgiveness. Each participating library will survey parents to better understand attitudes toward library card ownership for their children.

 

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