The Manchester Library is eliminating fines for overdue children’s and young adult materials.
The move is part of a trend in New Hampshire and across the country that aims to increase accessibility for young and low-income patrons. It was inspired by conversations over the last year among library staff, families, and students and teachers in the Manchester School District.
The Manchester Library has over 10,000 patrons between the ages of 5 and 17.
Karyn Isleb, head of Youth Services, says the library collected around $8,000 in fines from this age group in 2018. But many didn't pay their fines.
“Over 3,200 of them [still] have fines of $10 or more that has made them ineligible to check out materials," she says. "And then they’re not able to use the library anymore.”
Isleb hopes the move will get these young people to come back. She plans to track how the new policy affects the number of young people using the library.