Wednesday 16 January 2019

No more fines on late library books

From the 1st of January, fines for overdue library books have been removed and no existing overdue fines will be collected. It will take a while before fines that existed pre- Jan 1st will be removed from members’ accounts but these fines will not be collected. We are encouraging members of the public to return undamaged, overdue library items to their local libraries. There will be no overdue fines to pay and we would be happy to reactivate your library membership for you to begin using your local library again.

The removal of fines is a key aim of the new public library strategy Our Public Library 2022: inspiring, connecting and empowering communities which was published jointly by the Department of Rural and Community Development, the County and City Management Association and the Local Government Management Agency and launched by the Minister for Rural and Community Development, Michael Ring T.D. in June 2018. The strategy states, ‘The library is a free lifelong resource that should be available to all without barriers or charges. Library charges have been shown to have a detrimental effect on library use by children and the disadvantaged. However, there is little evidence to show they ensure timely returns – rather they may actually dissuade members and users from returning overdue items.

However we ask members to return their library books and DVDs promptly out of courtesy to other borrowers. You will continue to receive reminders and overdue emails to prompt you to return items to the library. Once a third overdue reminder has been sent, your card will be blocked until the outstanding items have been returned or the issue resolved. The elimination of overdue fines is another way for libraries to encourage people who might not regularly use the library to experience what they have to offer. So if you have been avoiding visiting the library for a while because of outstanding fines, it’s now safe to pop in and see what’s on offer.

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