BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — A Library in Buffalo is doing something unique this winter. They’re letting kids ‘play down their fines’ with snowshoes. The initiative is happening at the Isaias Gonzalez-Soto Branch Library, on Porter Avenue, near D’Youville College.
“We want kids to be healthy mind-wise, by reading, and be physically active as well,” Joy Testa-Cinquino said, the assistant deputy director of communications for the Buffalo and Erie County Public Library.
Kids can rent snowshoe kits for free with a library card for up to three days. The kits include snowshoes, poles and gaiters, to protect kids’ legs in the elements. The kit also comes with a guide on how to put the gear on and use it.
And anyone under the age of 17 who uses the equipment will get all their library fines wiped clean, no matter how high those fines may be.
“You can come in with your children, or an adult can borrow it, but the child, in order to get the play down your fines, need to be present.”
The initiative pushes kids to get active, but it also gives them the opportunity to enjoy borrowing items again, with their library fines gone.
“When a child borrows something from the library, sometimes it’s hard from them to get back to the library,” Testa-Cinquino said. “If it’s a library they can walk to, that might make sense, but sometimes it’s the parent or the adult that gets busy with their lives, and don’t always get time to return things.”
The library started this ‘play down your fines’ initiative in July and rented out lacrosse and soccer kits to kids. It’s all made possible through the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation. Testa-Cinquino said 324 kits have already been borrowed, and $12,000 in fines have been paid for, through play.
Officials with the Buffalo and Erie County Public Library hope to offer this program at other libraries in the area in the future. They hope to add more sports as well.
To contact the library system, click here.