The Grand Rapids Public Library took a bold step last week to remove barriers from children and teen being able to borrow materials.

As of Wednesday, April 10th, the Grand Rapids Public Library announced they were eliminating fines on all youth materials. Meaning they’re  ending fines on overdue youth material such as books, movies and music and if you had a fine on any of that stuff, it’s been forgiven.

The reasoning behind it is to take away a barrier that could be keeping kids and teens out of the library.

John McNaughton, GRPL Director, said:

“The decision to eliminate fines on youth material is about equity and access. We know that 75% of Grand Rapids Public School 3rd graders are not proficient in reading. This is a community problem that we can help solve. By removing a large barrier to using the library, we can get books in homes and help to develop a daily reading habit. Our goal is to emphasize the return of library material rather than penalizing our youngest patrons. Using the library should not be a source of stress for families. Life gets complicated. Take an extra day or two if needed. We will still be here for you.”


Just because there’s no more fines, doesn’t mean if you lose the material you won’t be asked to cover the cost, because that’s still a thing.

Got questions, check out the library's website HERE or call them 616-988-5400



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