For Release: Immediately
Department of External Affairs
Free Library of Philadelphia
1901 Vine Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103-1189
(215) 567-7710
FAX (215) 567-7850
Contact: Communications and Development
For Release: Immediately
Contact: Communications and Development


PHILADELPHIA, July 15, 2013—To underscore its commitment to fostering strong literacy skills and a love of learning in all of Philadelphia’s children, the Free Library of Philadelphia will be introducing a variety of new policies aimed at ensuring that young readers make the most of their Free Library experience. Beginning July 16, children under 12 years old will no longer be charged late fees for overdue materials—though they will still be responsible for returning all items before checking out more. Children will also be able to check out a total of 20 items and renew their materials up to 10 times, an increase over the previous limit of three renewals.

“We believe that the library should be a warm and welcoming place for all of Philadelphia’s young people,” said Siobhan A. Reardon, President and Director of the Free Library. “Fines are an intimidating and unnecessary barrier to access for children who may not have the ability to pay them—and they also keep children from returning books! By no longer charging children under 12 years old late fees—but still requiring them to return materials before checking out more—we are fostering a sense of responsibility while at the same time ensuring that they always look to the Free Library as a safe and friendly place.”

In addition to these improvements for young library-goers, the Free Library is also standardizing its late fees on adult and teen materials to $.25 per item, per day. Adult and teen readers will also be able to enjoy the increased renewal rate of 10 times per item. To sign your child or yourself up for a Free Library card, visit or stop by your neighborhood library.

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The Free Library of Philadelphia system consists of 49 branches, three regional libraries, the Parkway Central Library, and the Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped. With more than 6 million in-person and 9 million online visits annually, the Free Library is one of the most widely used educational and cultural institutions in Philadelphia.


Department of External Affairs, Free Library of Philadelphia, 1901 Vine Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103-1189
(215) 567-7710, FAX (215) 567-7850