Run a 5K and Help Eliminate Fines!

Run a 5K and Help Eliminate Fines!

We are hosting our first Bookin’ It 5K race on Saturday, April 11 at 8:00 AM!

The race will begin at Bryant Middle School, loop around Mabel Boswell Memorial Library and Bryant High School, then finish back at Bryant Middle School for a total of 3.1 miles.

We are hosting this 5K to begin the process of eliminating fines during Summer Reading. By participating in our fun run and showing support through sponsorships, participants can help eliminate fines so patrons can relax a bit this summer.

“Libraries are trying to figure out how to get their resources and services out to the public while also trying to figure out what’s holding people back from getting the resources and services they need,” said Marketing Manager Kari Beesley. “The purpose of late fines was to remind patrons to bring their items back, but it’s seen more as a punishment these days. In fact, racking up fines can actually keep someone from bringing their items back or coming back to the library at all.”

In June and July of 2019, 576 patrons had 1,608 overdue children’s items, totaling $2,331.95. Of those 576 patrons, only 179 have continued to use the library after Summer Reading. In all, 1,171 patrons had 3,438 overdue items, totaling $5,663.15. Of those 1,171 patrons, only 396 have continued to use the library after Summer Reading.

There is always the question of, “what if eliminating late fines encourages patrons to keep checked out items as their own?” Salt Lake City Public Library went fine free in July 2017 and reported that there was no significant negative impact to the return of materials. It actually motivated patrons to turn in their items, whether they were late or not.

These statistics show that fines stop people from coming back to the library, but do not prevent items from being late. They are a barrier to access, especially for those who need our services the most, so the Saline County Library is hoping to kick start the end of late fines at both branches by doing a trial run during the two months of Summer Reading.

While fines are beneficial to the Saline County Library, the elimination of them will be significantly more beneficial to the residents of Saline County to allow for improved access to the library’s collections and services. In order to compensate for the money lost by eliminating fines, the Saline County Library is asking for sponsorships and participation in the Bookin’ It 5K race.

“Being able to gain support from our community to help pay fines is just the first step in allowing us to become a fine-free library,” said Beesley. “People will be able to enjoy the library without feeling like they’re being punished.”

To participate in the race, you must register by filling out an application at either branch of the Saline County Library, or visiting SalineCountyLibrary.org ArkansasRunner.com. The cost for participants ages 18 and up is $15 and for ages 17 and under is $10. Ages 5 and under is free, and if you would like to just purchase a t-shirt, the cost is $10. 

There is also an option to be a virtual runner, which costs $25. As a virtual runner, you can run the race at your own pace, in your free time and anywhere you want, as long as you have completed the full 5K by race day. Virtual runners track their own distances and are encouraged to share their progress on Facebook with the hashtag #BookinItFineFree. Virtual runners may pick up shirts and swag bags at the race.

Sponsorships are broken into 6 levels. There will be one main sponsor at $1,500 (FILLED: Everett), two bib sponsors at $500 each, twenty page sponsors at $200 each, one water sponsor at $200 (FILLED: Orange Theory Fitness), ten swag sponsors at $100 each and one bag sponsor at $50. To view a breakdown of sponsors and benefits, see the sponsorship level information sheet attached.

To become a sponsor, email Kari Beesley at KariB@SalineCountyLibrary.org.

To register, follow this link

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