New York City Kids and Teens to Start a “New Chapter” at Their Local Libraries

Young Patrons Bring Back Their Books, Check Out New Ones, And Get Their Fines Waived Thanks to Generous Support from McGraw-Hill

 Sept. 22:  New York City’s three library systems are teaming up to give children and teens across the five boroughs the opportunity to eliminate their prior fines and fees and regain their library privileges in the joint “New Chapter” program, which launches today and runs through Oct. 31.

Patrons through the age of 17 will not be charged late penalties when returning overdue books. The program is designed to encourage children and teens to return to their libraries and check out new materials without the fear of having to pay large, longstanding fines. With the new school year underway, giving students access to their public library is more important than ever. 

The goal of this program at Brooklyn Public Library, The New York Public Library and Queens Library is to welcome children and teens back to their local libraries. When patrons accrue $15 or more in fines, their library temporarily suspends their borrowing privileges until the fine is paid. Across the city, nearly 100,000 kids and teens will benefit from the New Chapter program.

“We want to keep our kids reading, not worrying about fines they may not be able to pay,” said Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg. “Thanks to McGraw-Hill’s generosity, more of our children will be able to come back to our libraries and enjoy them as centers of learning and discovery.”

“It is unacceptable that one innocent mistake – forgetting to bring back one book – could keep young patrons out of their local libraries,” said NYPL President Anthony W. Marx. “Our priority is to keep kids reading, more than to collect fines that many of them simply cannot afford to pay.  We believe this program will bring kids back to their local libraries, encourage them to become lifelong readers, and open new doors of opportunity for them. That is priceless.”

“We are forgiving outstanding fines in an effort to reintroduce young students to our resources. Through this program we are encouraging them to take advantage of our collection, much of which is coordinated with school curriculums,” said Linda E. Johnson, BPL President and CEO. “Together the three library systems are working to provide City residents with unlimited access to unparalleled resources.”

“Our goal is for every child to have access to library resources throughout their educations and to build lifelong learners,” said Queens Library CEO Thomas W. Galante. “Last year, through our existing programs, more than 10,000 children had their fines and lost book charges forgiven through reading. This new program is an important step to further support reading for every child.”

The “New Chapter” program was made possible, in part, by The McGraw-Hill Companies, which made a generous contribution to pay a substantial portion of the fines for all three systems.

“Let’s not close the book on the future of thousands of New York City’s young people by locking the doors to the vibrant learning opportunities afforded by our public libraries,” said Harold McGraw III, Chairman, President and CEO of The McGraw-Hill Companies and a trustee of The New York Public Library. “McGraw-Hill is thrilled to support such a terrific program that welcomes children back to the library system and brightens their future through reading. 

The ‘New Chapter’ program is a great way for young people to start off the new school year with a clean slate that’s free of library fines and penalties,” said City Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer. “As Chair of the Cultural Affairs and Libraries Committee, I am proud to say that New York City’s public libraries provide kids and teens with some of the greatest resources available to explore and learn. This program gives young people the opportunity to return to their home library without fear of fines.”

Although “New Chapter” is a joint program, each Library system has its own waiver requirements. For more information, please visit, and