Fines scrapped, and amnesty for overdue books at Kilkenny libraries

Public urged to return undamaged, overdue library items to their local libraries, and staff will reactivate their membership

Sam Matthews

Reporter:

Sam Matthews

Email:

sam.matthews@kilkennypeople.ie

LIBRARY SERVICE

As part of the new strategy, there will be no replacement charge for children’s items which have been lost or damaged.

There will no longer be any overdue fines charged on materials taken out from the library by library members, and existing overdue charges on members’ accounts will be removed, as of the start of this month.

The move is part of the new public library strategy, ‘Our Public Library 2022’, which aims to promote membership and to make the library more accessible to members of the public. People are being urged to return undamaged, overdue library items to their local libraries, and staff will reactivate their library membership to begin using the local library once again.

Members will continue to receive reminders to return overdue items to allow them to be borrowed by other library users or contact a staff member if there is an issue, to avoid borrowing privileges being disrupted.

According to the new strategy, library charges have been shown to have a detrimental effect on library use by children and the disadvantaged. There is apparently little evidence to suggest they ensure timely returns – rather, they may dissuade members and users from returning overdue items.

“We are delighted to be announcing the removal of fines, which allows Kilkenny library service to be more accessible to everyone across the county” said County Librarian Josephine Coyne.

“There is no better time to join the library, and access millions of books, eBooks, eMagazines and online courses for free.”
As part of policy going forward, there will be no replacement charge for children’s items which have been lost or damaged. Library members under 18 will not be asked to pay replacement costs.

However, members will be asked to pay a replacement charge if the item which has been lost or damaged is an adult item. This cost will be calculated as the purchase price of the item. Replacement charges can be paid at any library branch, regardless of where the item originated.

Membership of Kilkenny Library Service is free of charge. Visit the library website/Facebook page, or any branch to get your membership set up. Branches are located in Callan, Castlecomer, Ferrybank, Graignamanagh, John’s Quay, Loughboy, Thomastown, and Urlingford. See www.kilkennylibrary.ie for opening hours .