St. Paul libraries: We’ll pay you $4/hour to read a book

Got a library fine? Just read a book.

That’s the message from the St. Paul Public Library. It kicked off a 30-day “Read down” challenge this week at all the libraries in its system.


Here’s how it works:

From May 15 through June 15, for every 15 minutes you spend reading in the library, earn a $1 coupon that can be applied toward any current fines, bills, and library card replacement fees.

Here’s the catch:

Coupons may be earned by children, teens, and adults reading with kids or teens.

That seems a bit odd because the St. Paul library doesn’t charge late fees for children’s books. So the kids are working to pay off their parent’s fines — unless they’ve left behind the world of Harry Potter and moved on to, say, Proust or Stephen King.

A few other rules:

Coupons may not be used for rental DVDs or rental books, nor fees accrued from rentals.

There is no cash value for the coupons.

Coupons are non-transferable. (You can’t give them away.)

Participants need to bring their coupons to the check-out desk by June 16. Coupons expire June 16.

And, finally, no, you can’t get paid to watch Mad Men on a library computer:

Read print media only (books, comics, magazines, newspapers, textbooks, etc.)

Complete list of rules here.

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