Library fines removed for children’s books in bid to encourage more young readers

Suffolk Libraries chief executive Bruce Leeke. Picture: SONYA DUNCAN

Suffolk Libraries chief executive Bruce Leeke. Picture: SONYA DUNCAN - Credit: Sonya Duncan

Fines for overdue children’s books are set to be waived in an attempt to bring more young people into Suffolk’s libraries.

The move is part of a new “children’s month” being organised by Suffolk Libraries during April to encourage more families to use their nearest library.

The organisation is keen to stress that libraries for young people are about much more than books, with a whole range of activities held from rhyme times for babies to Lego clubs for older children.

But it is hoped removing the fines for children’s books will help more young people to see what libraries have to offer.

Bruce Leeke, chief executive of Suffolk Libraries, said: “Our Children’s Month will showcase the huge amount on offer for children and families across our libraries and the positive impact they have on children’s lives.

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“We lend over a million children’s books every year and thousands of families come along to our activities but we are always keen to share the magic of the library experience with even more people.

“It’s so easy to get a Suffolk Libraries card which is the best way to make the most of what’s on offer.

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“Reading really can be life-changing so we’ve decided to remove fines for overdue children’s books to inspire even more younger users to see what we have to offer.”

The month will be launched by children’s author and illustrator James Mayhew with an event at Bungay Library on Tuesday, April 2 at 10.30am, which will include a group of children from the nearby St Edmunds Primary School.

Known for his Ella Bella Ballerina books, Mr Mayhew has also created a Children’s Month logo.

“It’s so important to remind us all how much libraries offer communities, and in particular young families and children,” he said.

“Anything that encourages children to borrow books must be a good thing. The books we read as children stay with us all our lives.

“There are so many wonderful stories and pictures to discover in a library, all for free.”

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