December is traditionally connected with generosity. A new Rock Island Public Library effort will help you give the gift of the library to a young person this holiday season. Rock Island Library Angel Fine Trees will be available at all library locations through January 2, 2019. Each tree contains bookmarks representing once-active patrons between ages 6 and 17 who have fines and fees that prevent them from using their library cards.
Patrons may choose an anonymous bookmark and choose to pay either some or all of the outstanding library fines and fees for that child. Once the fine is below $5, the patron will be notified that an anonymous patron or patrons have restored their borrowing privileges. The bookmark contains no identifying information, so the Fine Tree allows patrons to act as a Secret Santa and restore library access.
"We know there's no better gift than reading, and the accounts involved can't check out items, use library computers, or library digital resources with these fines. The intent here to provide youth with a fresh start in the new year by reactivating these cards," says Jason Kirchofer, Rock Island Reference Librarian, who based the program on another successful effort from a central Illinois library.
Writing Letters to Santa, Sending Cards to Seniors
Another Rock Island Library program involves acting as a go-between for letters from Santa. Families can pick up blank form letters for Santa at any Rock Island Library, and drop the filled out form in the Letters to Santa mail station by December 15. Children will then receive a personal letter back from Santa. Families with multiple children should fill out a form for each child. (Make sure Santa can read your name and address on the form!)
Library patrons can also bring some holiday cheer to a senior at Ft. Armstrong Assisted Living Center. Card making supplies will be available at the Rock Island Downtown Library Children's Library from December 1 to 21, 2018. Library staff will deliver the cards in time to add a spark of holiday cheer to a senior resident.