Skip to main content

A novel idea: Library allows teens to pay off fines with creative tasks

  • Author:
  • Updated:

The St. Paul Public Library has said it is willing to waive the fines currently owed by teenagers for overdue books – provided they learn something first.

As part of a new initiative that will run throughout December, teens can pay off their library fines and fees $5 at a time by carrying out any one of a list of tasks that helps them learn and hone their creative skills with modern technology.

The library is calling it the "Do Down," and has published a list of tasks for indebted teens on a press release on its website.

Activities in the library that teens can do to reduce what they owe include making a stop-motion animation using the 6-second video app Vine, taking a selfie with a green-screen, and making an LED greeting card.

It's not just limited to technology either, with teens challenged to use their ingenuity to make tangle-free earbuds, or to create something 5-feet tall with materials provided by the library.

"We are excited to give teens the chance to get their library cards back in working order while also letting them explore creative processes and get their hands on some technology," says youth services coordinator Marika Staloch in the release.

The fines can be worked off at the library's Createch sites, where youths can try out new creative technologies, with locations including the Arlington Hills Community Center and at the Highland, Rice Street, Rondo and Sun Ray Library branches, the Pioneer Press reports.

Next Up


Hero dad who stopped carjacker who fled with his kids identified

A GoFundMe has been set up to support Derek Gotchie and his family following the incident.

Screen Shot 2022-12-03 at 4.35.18 PM

Watch: New London-Spicer wins 3A championship on incredible walk-off TD

New London-Spicer defeated the unbeaten Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton in remarkable circumstances.


Suspect in woman's killing in Moorhead is arrested

James Kollie Jr. was arrested Friday evening.

Jennifer Carnahan

Former chair Jennifer Carnahan sues Minnesota GOP, which is suing her back

Carnahan stepped down under a cloud of controversy in August 2021.

Minneapolis Fire Department

One injured after leaping from burning vacant building in Minneapolis

Authorities say the building is known to be used by squatters.


Head-on crash leaves two drivers dead in southeastern Minnesota

The crash happened in Houston County just before 4 p.m. Friday.


Charges: Armed man made death threats at Minneapolis LGBTQ bar

The man allegedly used derogatory terms while threatening to kill someone.


FDA pulls last COVID-19 monoclonal antibody treatment as new variants rise

A therapy used to treat more than 11,000 Minnesotans is no longer authorized amid a surge in the latest COVID-19 variants.

Austin Robert LeClaire

Charges: Plymouth man shot girlfriend in head after birthday party

The 23-year-old victim is in critical condition as of Friday.


State announces $2.5M in grants for child care providers

Child care providers in roughly a dozen communities will receive funds to help grow the supply of affordable, quality child care.


Probe of Golden Valley police uncovers racism, alleged misconduct

One officer was terminated for alleged racist comments and violations of state law.

blowing snow

Blowing snow Friday in Minnesota; will it snow next week?

Winds could gust up to 50 mph Friday afternoon and night.


Renovation? Capitol idea

After more than a century of wear and tear, the Minnesota State Capitol is due for an upgrade. WCCO says a renovation committee is making plans to fix the landmark building, but that repairs would force the legislature to vacate. Perhaps for years.