Library fines scrapped for children and teens

Published on 02 July 2020

Te Ahu library IMG_3356.jpg

Far North children and teens no longer need to worry about fines for holding onto library books beyond the due date. From 1 July, overdue fines for child and young adult library card holders are being scrapped.

Far North Mayor John Carter says the policy change aims to remove barriers preventing children and teenagers from joining Far North Libraries and taking advantage of the many resources on offer. “We want to see more children and young adults reading books and visiting our libraries,” he says.

“We also know many family budgets are stretched, particularly with economic uncertainty following the COVID-19 pandemic and Northland drought. We hope this change will encourage families and schools to get library cards for children and young adults, so they can access the many free books and online resources on offer.”

As well as removing future fines, existing overdue fines for young library users will be wiped. However, the measure only applies to young library members – adult library card holders will still be fined for overdue items, including on children’s books. Charges for lost or non-returned items will remain for all library users.

The removal of overdue fines for young library members was one of the items consulted on for the Annual Plan 2020/21. Reasons to make the change include fines not being an effective deterrent, fine collection is time consuming and costly, and the impact on ratepayers would be less than 50c each per year. The Annual Plan 2020/21 was adopted by the Council at its 30 June meeting.

Anyone living in the Far North can join Far North libraries for free. To find out more, visit the FNDC website.