Vancouver Island Regional Library initiative encourages families return library books

Program starts July 4, available at Bowser, Parksville, Qualicum Beach branches

Hungry readers can get their fill of books, and read away their library fines this summer at Vancouver Island Regional Library (VIRL).

Part of VIRL’s Summer Reading Club (SRC), the library’s new Read Down Your Fines program gives children, up to age 12, the chance to have $5 of library fines waived for each reading record page they complete. Each child is eligible for a total fine reduction of $35.

Registration is now open at all VIRL branches, including the Bowser, Parksville and Qualicum Beach branches. More information will be available on the VIRL Facebook page, starting today (June 29).

“The goals of Read Down Your Fines are to encourage families to return to their library and to foster a love of reading at a young age,” says VIRL’s executive director Rosemary Bonanno. “Studies show that reading as few as three to five books over the summer months can help elementary students maintain or improve their reading levels for the school year. School-aged literacy is integral to developing lifelong library customers.”

For some families, the financial barriers of library fines can present a significant challenge, and there can also be a sense of embarrassment associated with the fines. Read Down Your Fines aims to reduce these barriers and let families know the library wants them to use their library again.

Summer Reading Club and Read Down Your Fines kicks off Tuesday, July 4, and run all summer long. When children sign up, they receive a package that includes their reading record, a bookmark, a tattoo and a magnifying mirror.

Submitted by VIRL