Leilany Medina, 11, loves books so much that she’d like to become a librarian. But even she sometimes forgets to return books on time, especially if she hasn’t quite finished. And she’s racked up some late fines.
But local libraries are providing a way out for such book lovers, and creating new lures for other children, who haven’t caught the reading bug, by doing away with late fees, automatically signing up students for library cards through their schools and allowing them to “read away” their fines and fees.
The most recent move was a vote last week by Los Angeles County supervisors to end late fees for patrons under 21 at county-run libraries, effective immediately. That did not help Leilany because officials offered no amnesty for past fines.
So on Thursday, Leilany went to the East Los Angeles Library, a county facility, to read off $4 in late fees. Students can eliminate debt at a rate of $5 an hour under a program that took effect in June.