Ever returned a library item and been stuck with a meagre 20 cent fine, only to never step foot into the library again?
You’re not alone – this is a very common scenario among library users who stop visiting their library to borrow books, movies and much more.
That’s why, beginning this week, West Gippsland Libraries has removed late fees altogether – you’ll never pay them again if you return a book late. And if you’ve already got them owing, we’ve wiped them for you!
There is no better time than now to start enjoying your library again, with fresh new content every week and access to a range of free content streaming services giving you thousands of movies, eBooks, eAudio Books and much more on-demand.
The same four-week loan period still applies to physical items, and we do encourage our members to try to return their items as soon as they’re finished with them, as often there’s someone else waiting to enjoy it next.
But if you’re one of those waiting on an item and worrying that this might further delay it: fear not.
Other Library Corporations have taken this bold step and have seen significant improvements in the rate of patrons coming back to use their local libraries, with nothing to suggest that content goes missing.
West Gippsland Libraries CEO Leanne Williams said those who need libraries the most – that is, those who can’t afford the cost of these materials and the cost of late fees – are often the ones who don’t come back, even if the book or DVD does.
“Our libraries exist to serve all 113,000 residents in Bass Coast, Baw Baw and South Gippsland Shires, and it’s part of our mission to be as accessible as possible. Small fines for items returned late, simply because life got in the way, are a deterrent to people using libraries the way they should, not a solution,” she said.
“Simply put – our focus is on encouraging patrons to enjoy the content they borrow from us, and to keep coming back and fostering a life-long approach to learning.
“It’s all part of our plan to help build healthy communities by making our services more accessible.”