The San Antonio Public Library announced that children and juvenile materials will now be exempt from overdue fines.
The exemption is part of a pilot program will continue through spring 2020, when library administration will assess the program to determine whether it should continue.
The goal of the program is to give low-income families greater access to library materials without the burden of paying overdue fines.
"We recognize that fines can serve as a barrier preventing some families – especially those who do not have disposable income to pay the fines – from returning to the Library because of fines that accrue," library director Ramiro S. Salazar said in a press release
. "We believe that Library fines on juvenile and teen materials disproportionately affect people living in poverty.”
The program was rolled out during the summer months to correspond with library activities such as the Mayor's Summer Reading Club
“We wanted to make sure that our resources are as available as they can be for families during the summertime,” Cowart told the Rivard Report
. “It is the most used time for children, and it is also a very important time for children to read so they don’t fall back in school.”
Lost or damaged items will still be fined, and materials must be returned before spring 2020 to avoid possible fines. A final date has not been released yet, but the library assures they will let its visitors know well in advance.
Stay on top of San Antonio news and views. Sign up for our Weekly Headlines Newsletter.