Last chance to go fine free at Georges River Libraries

Penshurst Library. Picture: Supplied
Penshurst Library. Picture: Supplied

More than 500 library members have taken part in Georges River Libraries' Fines Amnesty since it began in May.

The program has seen more than $13,000 in fines cleared and $1,500 donated to the Indigenous Literacy Foundation (ILF).

Members are encouraged to visit their local library and have any eligible fines cleared by making a donation of $1, or more, to the ILF.

ILF's executive director Karen Williams said the Indigenous Literacy Foundation's vision was equity of opportunity for all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children.

"This was a fantastic initiative by the Georges River Libraries, and their support will help our Foundation to continue to run its programs in remote and very remote communities across Australia," she said.

"We've published 103 books that reflect 26 Indigenous languages including Pitjantjatjarra, Kriol, Walmajarri, Ngaanyatjarra, Yolu Matha, Tiwi and Arabana and will publish another 30 books this year, including our first collection of graphic novels."

The charity not only provides communities with culturally appropriate books that focus on early literacy and first language, but also runs programs empowering communities to write and publish their own stories, in the languages they choose.

Since 2010, ILF has supplied over 537,000 books to schools, health care centres and service organisations in over 400 remote communities, with at least 40 per cent featuring Indigenous authors and illustrators.

Georges River Council mayor Kevin Greene said the amnesty was one way that the council was supporting residents who have been financially impacted by COVID-19.

"We know that library fines adversely impact those most vulnerable and we want to ensure that all children have access to resources that give them the best start in life, both in our Georges River community and beyond," he said.

"We also want to encourage the community to visit us at Georges River Libraries, where we have so many online and physical resources, programs and workshops for people of all ages to discover, learn from and enjoy."

Georges River Libraries' Fines Amnesty runs until June 30, 2021.

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