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Future free of the fear of fines

Friday 30 June 2023, 6:25AM

By Napier City Council

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NAPIER

Forgetful fiction fans and busy bookworms have been granted a permanent pardon by Napier Libraries. Remiss readers can now turn the page on unpaid penalties, and borrow books without fear of fines.

From 1 July, Napier Libraries has removed all outstanding library fines, and overdue fines will no longer be charged to library members.

Libraries Manager Nicola Saunders says fines create barriers for customers and limit access to information and life-long learning for all.

“Evidence from libraries in New Zealand and overseas has shown that overdue fines are a barrier to people maintaining membership and engagement with their library. When borrowers feel embarrassed about owing money, they stop visiting and stop borrowing books.”

Nicola says libraries overseas that have stopped overdue fines have noticed that customers became more likely to return books.

“This is exactly the outcome that we are seeking for Napier’s libraries and our customers.

“If you have fines for overdue loans, then please, come back to Napier’s libraries and return your books without the fear of fines!” says Nicola.

Over the last few years Napier residents have been affected by economic and social hardships including the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 Napier flood, the current cost of living crisis and the effects of Cyclone Gabrielle. This has made it more difficult for some library customers to be able to pay fines owing, and has created further barriers to library access for some in the community.