Upper Hutt Libraries go fine-free!

Upper Hutt Libraries go fine-free!
Hilary Beaton
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Upper Hutt Libraries go fine-free!

By eradicating fines for overdue items, Councils enable their communities to access free resources to training, technology, community events, and of course, books - without the angst!

Fines are imposed for the late return of borrowed items. And yet, research shows that fining as an incentive to return overdue items does not work. In fact, it is a barrier preventing people from making full use of their local library. It just didn't make sense to Upper Hutt Libraries Manager, Marion Read.

“Fining stops people coming to the library." says Marion, "It is a form of social inequality, and with Covid-19 still posing a threat to New Zealanders and our economy, we need to ensure that our libraries are free and easy to access for all Upper Hutt residents.” 

Libraries in times of economic downturn by Lara J Sanderson identifies the removal of overdue charges as key to improved wellbeing and social cohesion. Whatever the future holds, going fine free benefits New Zealanders at every stage of life.

A “Welcome Back” campaign launches this new era of fine-free borrowing. Aimed at people who haven’t used Upper Hutt libraries in recent years, there is an amnesty for all outstanding overdue items. Return items between November 16-30 January and all fees will be waived. Just in time to borrow new items over the summer.

"The proposal put forward to go totally fine-free was approved by Council. Not without some rigorous debate", said a delighted Marion. "But we got there!"

And the library community is delighted for you, Marion, and your Team.


Want to learn more about going fine free? Follow this link to view a great TED Talk that outlines the arguments to go fine-free. 

Photo: a delighted Marion Read accepting overdue items.

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