Fine Free NZ

Hilary Beaton
/ Categories: Categorised, category one

Fine Free NZ

Dunedin Public Libraries join the campaign to drop overdue fines.

Why are Councils choosing to allow libraries to drop overdue fines? No one will bring their books back! 

Research indicates that removing barriers such as overdue fines has the opposite effect and results in greater use of Public Libraries including increased membership and better literacy outcomes. In fact, Public Libraries in New Zealand have been doing away with fines for decades. Why? 

Overdue fines can quickly become a financial burden for people and turn into a barrier to library use. The purpose of having overdue fines was to encourage customers to bring books back promptly. Overdue fines were not intended to be a revenue generation opportunity, but an incentive to return items in a timely way. The payment was only recovered if a customer continued to want to use the library and had the ability to pay the fine.  Libraries don’t regard the removal as a cost but as the removal of a barrier to use. 

76% of public libraries in New Zealand have removed overdue fines for children and young adults and, with Dunedin Public Libraries going fine-free, 26% of public libraries don't charge fines for adults.

Charges are incurred for lost or damaged books and some items such as DVDs still have charges. But you are no longer penalised because you have taken a little longer to read your current selection.

However, do think of the next person in the line!


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