When I was a kid, my mom used to take me, my sister and my two brothers to the library all the time. We used to borrow books, movies and even cassette tapes (for those of you that are too young to remember, cassette tapes were a low tech way to listen to music).Kate Alatsas as a child, standing by a school bus.

Sometimes, we’d get really busy—with four kids at home, it’s a wonder my mom was able to get anything accomplished! Sometimes, during those busy weeks, we’d forget to return our library books and we’d have to pay an overdue fine. Sometimes the fines were big, sometimes they were small, but they always needed to be paid.

Fast forward to my teen years—many books, and many overdue fines later—and I’m looking for my first real job. My love for the library made the choice simple: I’d work there, putting books away after school. I loved it so much that I went on to complete a Masters degree in Library and Information Science, to become a professional Librarian. I chose to focus my work on services for children.

I always encourage children to have their own library cards and to take charge of choosing their favourite titles. Sometimes, those titles would come back to the library late, ripped, soaked in fruit punch, or they wouldn’t come back at all... Has this happened to you? Don’t worry, you’re not alone! One of the hardest parts of my job as a Librarian is asking for your allowance to pay for those little mishaps!

Today, I’m Brampton Library’s Manager of Children & Youth Services which, to me, is  the best job in the world! In my role, I get to watch children and teens across this city experience all that their library has to offer. It also means I get to influence change on a system-wide level and watch our community benefit from those changes.Children's Area at Chinguacousy Branch

Very close to my heart was the recommendation to eliminate overdue fines on our children’s collections and I’m so happy to say that, with the full support of the members of the Brampton Library Board, this dream is now a reality. I’ve got to tell you that I have been waiting ALL SUMMER to share the good news!

So, what does this mean? Kids, it means that you can have your own library card and borrow up to 50 items at a time (check with your parents first, please!). You still need to bring them back to Brampton Library, but we won’t be charging you an overdue fine if you’re late. As long as you return the item to us in the same condition it was borrowed (no fruit punch, please!) you can keep every penny of your allowance.

I hope you are as excited about this positive change to library service in Brampton as I am, and I’d love to hear from you. You can reach me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Best wishes for your new school year! I hope to see you at the library soon.

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