EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ—Since first opening its doors in 1967, East Brunswick Public Library (2 Jean Walling Civic Center) has strived to promote literacy to library users of all ages. The East Brunswick Public Library Foundation has removed one barrier: eliminating overdue fines on items for children and teenagers.

“The East Brunswick Public Library Foundation is constantly looking for new ways to support our library,” said Tracy L. Fink, Foundation Board President. “Sponsoring a unique program like this is a great way to give back to the library and to give the children in our community the gift of literacy.”

East Brunswick Public Library customers will not have to pay overdue fines for children’s and teen items checked out at the library.  The goal is to increase library usage in families by removing the fines, allowing children and families to have more access to library materials. According to Fink, this is a pilot program that runs through the rest of 2018.

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“There are a few public libraries that have been experimenting with eliminating library fines,” said East Brunswick Public Library Director Jennifer Podolsky. ”Studies have shown that libraries have a positive impact on child development. Anything that we can do to increase accessibility to the library for families is importan, as removing barriers to access is a key component of our strategic plan.”

East Brunswick Public Library joins Camden County Library as the only public library in New Jersey that do not impose library fines for children and teen items. East Brunswick is the only library in the Libraries of Middlesex Automation Consortium that provides this status to its cardholders.

“By sponsoring this program, the East Brunswick Public Library Foundation has really done something that will impact many families in town,” Fink added. “We’re happy that this announcement coincides with National Library Week (April 8-14).”  

Although overdue fines will not be charged, fees for lost and damaged items remain. Overdue notices will still be sent as reminders to return items. Items not returned within 21 days of the due date are considered lost, and the full cost of the item will be charged to the library customer’s account.

Established in 2009, the East Brunswick Public Foundation works to mobilizes private support to enhance innovative programs and services, while helping the library remain vibrant and responsive in an ever changing world. Most recently, the foundation sponsored a library visit with bestselling children’s author and “Arthur” creator Marc Brown. Information about supporting or joining the East Brunswick Public Library Foundation can be found online at www.ebplfoundation.org.