Western Bay Libraries go fine free

Saturday 02 July 2022

Overdue fines for library books are officially a thing of the past in the Western Bay!

Western Bay of Plenty District Council Libraries is joining a national effort that sees libraries around the motu remove fines for overdue books after research revealed fines were having a detrimental effect.

In fact, the research shows that removing overdue fines could lead to more people using libraries, increased membership and better literacy outcomes.

From 1 July all four Western Bay libraries join 15 library systems in Aotearoa in going ‘Fines Free’ in 2022. This means that from 1 July no one will pay fines for taking a little longer to read their borrowed books.

Amanda-Jane McFadden, Team Leader Libraries (East) says this is a big moment for our library users.

“We’re delighted with this decision. No longer will library users be charged for the odd time when life throws a curve ball in and they can’t get their book back on time.

“We’re hoping this will encourage more people to visit our libraries and pick up a couple of books to enjoy.”

Julia Edgecombe, Team Leader Libraries (West) agrees that this is a big step in the right direction.

“Overdue fines were never about making money. They were intended to be an incentive for people to return their books on time, but they’ve turned into another financial burden that no one needs – so we’re really pleased to be rid of them!”

The change was sanctioned by Council through the adoption of the Annual Plan 2022-23. 

Current lending periods for books is three weeks. Charges for lost or damaged books, ‘Top Shelf’ books and items such as DVDs remain.

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