26 September 2023

ACT libraries to shelve fines

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Overdue library book fines are to be abolished and existing fines forgiven as part of a plan to boost library visitor numbers.

“As of today library fines in the ACT are gone – they have been erased and will no longer be charged,” said Minister for City Services, Chris Steel.

“We know that the majority of people who get a fine never come back to the library.”

“It’s a lose-lose – the fines don’t get paid and people stop using the library,” Mr Steel said.

“We hope this reform will encourage more people to use libraries.”

He said that to replace the current system of charging 25 cents a day for overdue items, Libraries ACT is to opt for temporary suspension of library privileges until the overdue items are returned or renewed.

“Overdue fines shouldn’t stop a low-income family from accessing our libraries that provide a connection to community and places of learning,” Mr Steel said.

“We’ve seen in other cities where fines have been removed that borrowings have increased significantly and we’re hoping to achieve the same outcome in Canberra”.

He said the cost of lost books or resources may still be recovered by Libraries ACT.

More information on the new borrowing system can be accessed at this PS News link.

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