Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search


Shelving The ‘outdated’ Library Overdue Fine

Ōpōtiki District Library has joined the growing number of libraries in New Zealand and around the world that are shelving the ‘odd and outdated’ notion of fines on books returned late.

Ōpōtiki library manager, Jo Hunt, said that existing fines have been wiped and no further overdue fines would be issued although there will still be charges to pay for replacement or damaged books.

“Our library is such a valuable part of the community. Our services open up doors to information and expertise for learners of all ages. We support digital literacy, a place to do homework, a place to do work-work, and of course reading for pleasure and social connection.

“I would hate to think for one second that a punitive measure, like a fine, was a barrier to anyone accessing library services.

“Libraries that go fine-free here and internationally, note that overdue fees do nothing to incentivise people to return their books, but probably have the reverse effect – keeping people away either because they have overdue fines they can’t pay or worry that they could end up with fines against their name,” Ms Hunt said.

Increasingly, libraries are deciding that fines are inconsistent with the outcomes that libraries work towards – equal access to resources and information for everyone. Research shows that people will stay away from a library if they don’t want to pay a fine, which has the reverse effect of a book never being returned, rather than just being returned a couple of days late.

Ms Hunt also pointed out that fines are not a significant part of the library funding, and in fact usually cost more to chase and administer.

“Libraries are paid for through rates, like sports fields and playgrounds, so that the whole community has facilities they can use and benefit from. Of course, fines aren’t how we fund our building or new resources or staff time, so they don’t add anything except put up an unnecessary barrier. At any point in time we probably only have a small handful of overdue books, so they are not a significant problem,” Ms Hunt said.

“Our way of working is to stay in close contact with our borrowers – checking in, sending text reminders and offering loan extensions rather than penalty charges. Removing fines means that all borrowers, existing and new, can relax, borrow and enjoy the resources,” Ms Hunt said.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Epic Fails Of Kris Faafoi

Ever since Winston Peters first breathed life into this government in 2018, its own branding has been all about social justice and how we all need to be “kind” to each other. Somehow, Kris Faafoi must have missed the memo. His performance in the immigration portfolio (in particular) has neither been kind nor just, especially to the migrants whose skills New Zealand will need to get us through Covid, and grow the economy into the future... More>>

Covid-19 & Government: Government Green Lights Rapid Antigen Testing

Some of the country’s largest businesses have put in an order for 300,000 approved rapid antigen tests for their workforce, after working at pace with the Government on a new scheme unveiled by Associate Minister of Health and Research, Science and Innovation Ayesha Verrall... More>>



Government: Opportunity To Shape NZ’s First Emissions Reduction Plan
The Government is inviting New Zealanders to inform the country’s first Emissions Reduction Plan with the release of a consultation document containing a range of policy ideas to decrease the country’s emissions, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Climate Change Minister James Shaw announced today... More>>


Government: Books Show Resilient And Strong Economy
The end of year audited Crown accounts released today show the Government’s health led approach to the COVID-19 pandemic has protected New Zealand’s economy. “On almost every indicator the accounts show that the New Zealand economy has performed better than forecast... More>>

Healthcare: Health System Is Ready For Assisted-dying Law
The health system is ready for the implementation of the End of Life Choice Act when it takes effect next month, making assisted dying legal in New Zealand, Health Minister Andrew Little said today... More>>


Government: Mandatory Vaccination For Two Workforces

Large parts of two workforces critical to preventing the spread of COVID-19 will be required to be vaccinated, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “Our education and health and disability workforces have done an incredible job throughout this pandemic to keep themselves and people safe,” Chris Hipkins said.... More>>

Green Party: Deeply Concerned Space Launches May Be Breaching Nuclear-free Laws

The Green Party is deeply concerned that space launches by Rocket Lab may be breaching nuclear-free laws, given our long-standing position as a signatory of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty... More>>

Children's Commissioner: Call For Mandatory Vaccination Of Children’s Workforce
The Children’s Commissioner and Assistant Māori Commissioner are calling for a plan for the mandatory vaccination of teachers and the entire children’s workforce in New Zealand... More>>




InfoPages News Channels