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Trail library ends overdue fines; offers cultural connections for all ages

All existing overdue fines will be waived, providing a fresh start for library patrons
Staff at the Trail library are gearing up for a busy month of all ages programming and reading club this summer. Photo: Submitted

Samantha Murphy, director for the Trail and District Public Library, is getting word out about the many library goings-on that offer something free of charge, fun — and educational — no matter your age.

For starters, especially those who may be tardy with returns, the library is launching a new fine-free policy.

Murphy says eliminating overdue fines is a way to enhance accessibility and foster a more inclusive library experience for all.

Moreover, through this initiative, the library hopes to reach new audiences, strengthen community connections, and reinforce its role as a vital hub of knowledge, imagination, and lifelong learning.

“We are thrilled to introduce our fine-free policy, which aligns with our core values of accessibility, equity, and community service,” Murphy explains. “The decision to eliminate overdue fines is based on extensive research and observation of other Kootenay libraries that have successfully implemented similar policies. We strongly believe that this change will positively impact our community, enabling patrons of all ages and backgrounds to fully utilize and benefit from the library’s resources.”

Furthermore, all existing overdue fines will be waived, providing a fresh start for library patrons.

“By eliminating fines, the library aims to encourage more patrons to utilize its services, without fear of financial penalties, and empower individuals to explore and engage with its diverse collection of books, digital media, and other resources.”

It is important to note, however, that while overdue fines are being eliminated, the library will continue to enforce replacement fees for lost or damaged items.

Next is the upcoming recognition of National Indigenous Peoples Day (June 21), which has the library hosting several events starting June 14.

On Wednesday, June 14 from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., Ann-Marie Smith will lead a drum circle; June 15 is loom beading led by Jessica Haskins from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.; storytelling goes June 17 from 10 a.m. to 11 .a.m.; and peyote beading winds up the week on Tuesday, June 20 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

All are welcome to the drum circle and storytelling hour. Those interested in the beading workshops (minimum age is 12 years) must register online at:

“We are honored to host this week-long celebration for National Indigenous Peoples Day,” Murphy says. “Our goal is to provide a platform where community members can engage with Indigenous culture, gain a deeper understanding of traditions, and foster connections with our local Indigenous communities.”

As well, on the library’s website, is a staff-created list of books to explore written by Indigenous authors from across Canada.

Another engaging offering is Mental Health First Aid, running June 28 and June 29 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.. Over the course of two workshops run by educator Matty Hillman, participants will learn about when a person may be a danger to themselves, preventing a mental health problem from developing into a more serious state, mental health recovery, and comforting a person experiencing a mental health problem.

All are welcome though enrolment is limited and registration is required.

Finally, the BC Summer Reading Club launches at the end of June. Readers are advised to “get ready to time travel at your local public library,” because this year’s theme is “Journey Through Time.”

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Sheri Regnier

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