Powys Libraries to go 'fine free'

By newtown.wales

5 months ago

News Politics

A proposal to move to 'Fine Free' libraries will be considered next week by the Cabinet Member for a More Prosperous Powys, Cllr David Selby

A delegated decision due to be made by Cllr David Selby, County Councillor for Newtown Central & South and Cabinet Member for a More Prosperous Powys next Wednesday is set to remove fines on overdue items in Powys Libraries.

The report, written by Susan Summers, Senior Librarian, sets out the proposal to remove fines for overdue books. Fines for overdue books have been suspended since March 2022 as part of the Covid-19 response by Powys Libraries. The proposal would make this permanent.

According to the report, evidence shows that fines act as a barrier to returning items and customers who return overdue books are more likely to return items and use the library again. A survey in 2022 of Welsh public libraries showed that libraries which had removed fines reported a postivie response from customers.

Library users will still get reminders about items which are due back and will continue to be charged for replacement items if not returned within 6 months.

Fines from library fines in 2019/20 brought in £5,889 for the service, however this loss of income would be mitigated by removal of national newspapers in libraries and a reduction in the stock budget. The proposal would also save approximately £13,000 as staff would no longer be dealing with collecting fines.

The report is likely to be approved by Cllr Selby. 

The decision is subject to a possible “call in” for scrutiny by councillors and will not come into force for “five clear days” following the decision.

This would mean that the decision comes into effect by Thursday, September 8.

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