Cultural and creative life

Closing the book on late library fines

The City of Sydney will no longer charge overdue fees for late returns.

Overdue fines will be permanently removed from all City of Sydney libraries from 1 July 2021.

“We’re closing the book on library fines for good,” Lord Mayor Clover Moore said.

“Our four-year trial has shown that removing overdue fines means people are more likely to return their items, and keep coming back to our libraries.

“Public libraries belong to the community, and everyone deserves equal access. Most often than not, it is those in the community who can least afford to pay fines that need library services the most.

This new approach is a much fairer way to encourage fair use of our library items, without penalising people.

“We know from this trial – and evidence from other libraries that have eliminated fines in recent years – that this policy change will be a great step for people right across the community.”

Under the new scheme, instead of fining people for late items, the City will temporarily suspend their library memberships until the overdue items are returned.

Library members will still be charged a replacement cost for materials that are lost or damaged.

The City of Sydney Library has 9 branches at: Customs House, Darling Square, Glebe, Green Square, Kings Cross, Newtown, Surry Hills, Ultimo and Waterloo. It has 2 library link services at Town Hall House and Pyrmont.

The City of Sydney Library is free to join. With more than 350,000 items available to borrow, including e-books, films, and language learning apps, we encourage our residents to enjoy these fantastic, free community resources.

Published 21 June 2021, updated 22 June 2021

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