No more fines for late book returns – as York libraries scraps all overdue charges
Got some overdue library books? Worried about the charges? Fret no more!
York libraries are scrapping all fines for books that are returned late.
Explore, the independent mutual organisation which runs York’s public libraries, today announced that it will be axing charges on overdue items.
From tomorrow (28 February), borrowers from Explore’s 15 libraries in York will no longer need to pay a charge when returning a book late.
Historic charges will be cancelled too, meaning long overdue books can be returned with nothing to pay. “Explore staff are excited to welcome the missing books home and find out which has been away for the longest time,” said a spokesperson.
Explore hopes this change will help remove barriers that may put people off using libraries and encourage them to come back and share the joy of reading – as well as the many other things on offer, from digital advice to discovering culture or getting involved in a creative project.
As well as removing late charges, Explore will also scrap the 25p fee for reserving books.
But without the charges, will people still return books on time? In a Q&A about the changes on its website, the organisation says: “Other libraries which have removed overdue charges have said that items are still returned by their due date.
“We ask that you always return items on time so that others can enjoy them. We will send you reminders when due dates are approaching and when an item is overdue.”
These changes are all part of work to improve the experience for library customers which will also include the launch of an app to make borrowing even easier, and brand-new self-issue machines being installed in all York’s libraries during March.
Jenny Layfield, chief executive of Explore said: “Charges, particularly where they add up over time, are more likely to impact vulnerable people, including those on lower incomes.
“During a cost-of-living crisis, when we want to encourage people to come into our libraries and use them as warm spaces, we are delighted to be removing charges, and offering a little extra help in these tough times.”
“We are delighted to be improving the experience of visiting Explore for our customers and hope this positive move will be an opportunity for people who have been anxious about overdue charges to reconnect with their libraries and rediscover the many opportunities on offer.
“Some customers may still wish to contribute to Explore’s work, and though we have ended compulsory charges, we are more than happy to receive voluntary donations in cash or online.”