From 1 July 2019, books borrowed from Yarra Plenty Regional Library will no longer attract overdue fines if returned late.
In August 2018, YPRL removed all fines from its youth items in order to encourage children’s literacy. Since then, there has been a significant increase in all children and youth loans including a 57% increase in young adult items borrowed by 12-15 year old members and a 20% increase of teen items borrowed by 15-18 year olds.
Now the YPRL board has voted to remove fines from the library altogether, in order to encourage more community members to access library books without fear of financial penalty. Fines can have a major impact on low-income families, children and seniors, thereby excluding the very community members who rely on library services the most.
YPRL believes that the majority of patrons will continue to return their books on time, even without the fear of fines. Research shows that fines do not incentivise returning books on time, but can instead deter borrowing.
For members with current outstanding fines, YPRL is offering an opportunity to wipe the slate clean with a Food for Fines amnesty. Running throughout July, the library will waive all fines for anyone who returns their books and donates to its food drive. YPRL has partnered with Foodbank Victoria on this initiative, who will distribute the collected items to people in need.
YPRL’s extensive collection of over 350,000 items includes books, DVDs, audiobooks, CDs, games, comic books, LOTE items and technology from the Learning Library. All fine free from 1 July.
Quotes for use:
‘The Yarra Plenty Regional Library Board hopes to minimise barriers to library usage and encourage more community members to explore our exceptional libraries without fear of financial penalty for late returns,’ says Cr Peter Clarke, Chair of the YPRL Board.
‘Library fines undermine one of the core principles of public libraries – the provision of free and universal access to information. Library fines can contribute to significant financial hardship. YPRL wants to ensure that everyone in our community is free to read, learn and create,’ says Jane Cowell, YPRL CEO.
Cr Peter Clarke, Nillumbik Shire Council, Chair of Yarra Plenty Regional Library
Jane Cowell, CEO Yarra Plenty Regional Library
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Marketing & Media Coordinator
Yarra Plenty Regional Library