Many libraries are trying out new tactics in order to encourage people to read. Some are giving book recommendations on your checkout receipt based on the title you borrowed, while others track the number of books you read and if you read 1,000 before the child enters kindergarten (repeats are okay) they get a backpack, a certificate, and their name on the wall.
One program I really like is displaying the yearly savings at the bottom of the checkout receipts. It gives you something tangible and one you see the figure rise to over $1,000 it is tremendously validating.
If you regularly visit a library, you will inevitably forget to return a title on time and incur a fine. One library in the US has a program where one month a year, they let kids and families and individuals “read down” their fines. Fifteen minutes of reading in the library (any format) erases $1 from fines on your account! Meanwhile a Canadian library has “Christmas amnesty” where they waive all late fees on your account in exchange for cans of food.
So the question is, how does your library encourage reading and what type of programs do you offer?
Michael Kozlowski has written about audiobooks and e-readers for the past twelve years. Newspapers and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times have picked up his articles. He Lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.