Donation allows Iowa library to clear fines for children
May. 13, 2018
DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) — The Davenport Public Library has erased nearly $4,000 in fines incurred by hundreds of young cardholders thanks to a donation that's intended to encourage summertime reading.
The Community Foundation of the Great River Bend donation has erased fines incurred by about 300 youth cardholders from June 2017 to January 2018, the Quad-City Times reported . The gift was from the organization's John J. and Bette J. Schmid Fund.
Most of the accounts had $5 to $20 in fines, which were mostly late fees, said Amy Groskopf, the library's director. Families will soon be notified by mail if their fines have been covered by the donation.
Library officials hope the move will encourage more children to read this summer.
"We're hoping families who receive this benefit will take advantage of it and make sure their kids are participating in summer reading," Groskopf said. "We've heard anecdotally that fines are a barrier for some folks."
Accounts are charged 10 cents a day for late material and individuals aren't allowed to check out more items if they owe $5 or more in fees, Groskopf said. The library collected about $44,000 in fines during fiscal year 2017. Those funds were deposited into the city's revenue account.
Bette Schmid was on the library's Board of Trustees from 1979 to 1994.
"She'd be thrilled," said Chris Schmid, one of Bette Schmid's daughters. "I'm just grateful we could do it."
Bette Schmid died in 2012 at age 86, while John Schmid died in 2016 at age 94.