Thursday, December 13, 2018
Great news for Bayside library users! From 1 January 2019, fines for overdue books will be abolished for a trial, 12 month period. This will apply to all Bayside’s libraries.
Mayor, Cr Michael Heffernan said:
“The core principle of public libraries is the provision of free and universal access to information.
“People who can least afford to pay fines are often the ones who need the library service most.
“For people enduring mortgage stress; the asset rich/cash poor, older community members; and low income families, there is a genuine fear of library fines.
“We hope that this initiative will build trust with the community and encourage people to use the libraries with confidence and enjoyment.”
Starting 17 December 2018, there will be an amnesty so library users can return their overdue books and start afresh for 2019.
Library users are still encouraged to return their books on time to keep them in circulation for other users.
The relatively low revenue raised from library fines will be offset by the savings in staff time having to chase, collect and process money for overdue books.
Casey-Cardinia Library Corporation, Port Phillip Library Service and Sydney City Libraries have all reported positive responses and an increase in loans and visits following removal of late fees.
Council will review feedback from the12 month trial in December 2019 and implement it permanently if successful.