We’re excited to announce that from the 1st of July all outstanding library fines have been removed, and fines will no longer be charged to library members going forward. Charges for lost or damaged items will remain.
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. Ultimately this creates a barrier to equity and limits our ability to provide our community with fair access to information and life-long learning.
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 even more difficult for some library customers to be able to pay fines owing, and has created further barriers to library access for some in our community.
Overseas libraries that have stopped fines have noticed that customers became more likely to return books. This is exactly the outcome that we are seeking for our libraries and our customers.
Remembering to return your items is made easier as we will email you a reminder when your loans are due. Simply login to your account on our Napier Libraries App and choose to receive a reminder either three, five or seven days before the due date. Overdue items will auto-renew up to two times, as long as another customer hasn’t placed a reserve. Placing a reserve is also a free service for Napier Library customers.
If you have fines for overdue loans, then please, come to Napier’s libraries and return your books without the fear of fines!
Interested to find out more? Check out finefreeaotearoa.org.nz.
25 September 2023
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