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Library allows visitors to read their debt off

Many avid readers have felt the pang of fear after realizing they forgot to return that one library book they checked out months ago.

The Jessamine County Public Library is now offering readers the chance to start the new year off with a clean slate, by paying off fines on overdue items without actually spending a penny.

Read Off Your Fines began on Dec. 17, and will run through Jan. 2.

Readers of all ages who have fines on overdue items can come read their debt away at the library.

The idea for Read Off Your Fines blossomed from a fundraiser the library conducted in previous years — Can Your Fines. During the fundraiser, participants could bring in canned food items as a certain amount of payment for overdue fines. The canned food would then go to the food pantry.

“We raised a lot of food for that in the past,” said Kelly Little, community relations coordinator at the JCPL.

The first Read Off Your Fines was conducted during the 2016 summer reading program. There, 191 different fines were paid off in a matter of two months.

All reading must be done in the library. Fines will only be forgiven on overdue items, not lost items. Every 15 minutes of reading forgives $1.50 in fines.

The reading must be completed in 15-minute increments at a maximum of two hours per day.

An adult, parent or caregiver may read to a pre-reading child.

Those interested in participating can sign in at the Ask a Librarian Desk at the library.

“The idea is to have people come in to read off their own fines to encourage reading in the library,” Little said.