Local News

Library fines are going, going, GONE!

Despite library closures across the nation, Clarence Valley libraries are celebrating some good news this week.

The library service will no longer charge overdue fees for late returns and an amnesty is in place to wipe existing overdue fees.

“We’re really excited to share this good news with our members,” Regional Librarian, Kathryn Breward said.

“By removing fines, we’re removing a financial barrier that has kept some of our community away from using our service.”

Instead of fines, the library will suspend membership privileges for late returns until the item has been returned or replaced.

“We’ve done a lot of research into the outcome of wiping late fees at public libraries around the country and we think this is the best way forward for members, our team and the future of our libraries,” Mrs Breward said.

“Last year Tasmanian public libraries announced they would no longer charge for late items and in that time, more than 8,000 new members have signed up to Tasmanian libraries – in stark contrast to the same period the previous year when they lost 900 members.”

Benefits of removing fines:

  • Potential conflict over late fees is reduced.
  • Staff save time processing overdue notices and fines
  • More lost items are returned if borrowers know they will not be charged any overdue fees.
  • Libraries have reported a growth in membership and usage when overdue fines are discontinued – particularly the young and socio economically disadvantaged.

Clarence Regional Library has also extended loan and renewal periods in response to COVID -19, and implemented automatic renewals:

  • Loan periods are now six weeks
  • Renewals are for eight weeks if there is no reservation on an item.
  • Three days before the due date, items will be automatically renewed for a further eight weeks unless there is a reservation on the item or borrowers have reached their renewal limit.

Members can check their due dates by logging into their library account through the library website www.crl.nsw.gov.au or the Clarence Regional Library App.

For more information contact Clarence Regional Library 6641 0111.