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


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

Matt Dumba

Matt Dumba beats the clock to give Wild sixth straight win

Dumba scored as overtime came to a close for another Wild victory.

Karl-Anthony Towns

Bradley Beal terrorizes Timberwolves in loss to Wizards

Beal and the Wizards handed the Wolves their seventh straight defeat.

Marcus Carr / Gopher basketball

Gophers tourney hopes take another blow with loss to Nebraska

Marcus Carr scored a career-high 41 points, but Minnesota is still winless on the road.

St. Paul police

St. Paul police arrest teenage boy in carjacking crackdown

This comes amid a dramatic spike in Twin Cities carjackings.


Snow latest: Twin Cities set for up to 4 inches

A narrow system will travel across Minnesota overnight.

Blake Fredrick / Lake City Basketball

Lake City boys basketball player signs contract, honored on senior night

Frederick had a special call-up to the Tigers' varsity basketball team.


Man dies after being shot outside home near Grove City

He was found outside a home in Acton Township.

Screen Shot 2021-02-27 at 9.39.00 AM

Teen wounded in 'accidental shooting' in Moorhead

The 18-year-old was shot in the abdomen.

Kirill Kaprizov / Minnesota Wild

Watch: Another absurd night for Kaprizov as his legend grows

Kaprizov scored a crazy wrap-around goal in the Wild's victory over the Kings.


Engaging teens in pregnancy prevention may be paying off

Experts say a variety of efforts aimed at curbing teen pregnancy rates are paying off, as the birth rate among Minnesota teenagers has plunged nearly 40 percent in the past two decades. Awareness programs that use teens to spark conversations with their peers, as well as increased contraception use, may be part of the reason.