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Jefferson County Public Library has eliminated of overdue fines for kids’ materials.

According to a March 5 release from JCPL, the change increases access to books and materials for its youngest patrons: Studies show that imposing fines on overdue materials is not an effective method for ensuring the prompt return of materials, but that it can create barriers to using the library.

“We want to increase access, availability and awareness of library resources to help every child in Jefferson County be ready to read when he/she enters kindergarten,” said Pam Nissler, executive director. “We know that our youngest patrons benefit from early exposure to reading, singing and speech and by removing potential barriers that might make families reluctant to check out materials for their children, we can better promote a culture of reading.”

To encourage timely returns, all children’s items now have regular due dates, and reminder emails are sent.

Several other library systems in Colorado have implemented this with considerable success, including Denver Public Libraries, Arapahoe Library District and Boulder County Libraries.

Eliminating fines on children’s materials will not have a material impact on the Library’s budget, according to the release, as those fines represent less than one half of one percent of the budget.

For more information visit jeffcolibrary.org.