Libraries to go fine-free

Barry Parkinson posted on Mar 8 2019

Following World Book Day, Blackpool Council has announced that Blackpool libraries are set to become fine-free zones in a move designed to attract readers back to the town’s eight facilities.

From April 1st they will no longer impose fines when items are late being returned or renewed. In addition all historical fines will be wiped. For many years under 18s have been exempt from the overdue charges, this offer is now being extended further making Blackpool Council one of only a handful of local authorities to remove fines completely. It is hoped that this will increase the reach of the service across the town, and in particular help families and older people on low incomes to continue to enjoy using the library service which is free to join and use.

Cllr Gillian Campbell, Deputy Leader of Blackpool Council, said ‘I am delighted that we are taking this bold step and making our libraries even more accessible. Our libraries are already popular but we are always looking for more ways to attract people to use them. The fines were never in place as a money-making scheme, they were designed to encourage people to return their books on time. However, we know that this can have the opposite effect. At a time when every penny counts even a small fine could be a reason for someone not to return a book.’

Cllr Campbell, added ‘ I hope this move will attract lots of new members to join their library, and bring back people who used the service previously but were put off coming in because of their outstanding fine A lot of the books, audio books and magazines that are on offer from the library are free to access 24/7 on people’s phones or devices these days, and none of this digital content is subject to fines, so this move will make things a lot simpler for our customers. We still want people to bring their books back on time, we just don’t want to punish them if for whatever reason they are a bit late in doing so.’

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