Overdue Fines a Thing of the Past at Mansfield Library

Published on 24 June 2022

Book lovers of all ages will no longer be charged overdue fees in libraries at Mansfield Library and all libraries across the High Country Library Network, as local libraries adopt a growing international trend.

Library fines for junior members were removed in July 2019.

“This has been a hugely successful initiative, and we are very pleased to now be able to offer the same service to everyone,” said Mayor Cr James Tehan.

Historically, library services have charged fees under three key assumptions - fines bring materials back faster, generate revenue for the library and teach responsibility.

In fact, there is growing evidence to show that these assumptions are untrue, and that fines tend to deter people from accessing the vital services provided by libraries.

“Once fines are removed, more books get returned. And people who might otherwise stay away (often our residents that benefit most from the service) are encouraged to return to the library,” says Angela Savage, CEO of Public Libraries Victoria.

“Equality is core to the provision of services at the Library”, said Cr Tehan.

“Our aim is for more people to borrow and access the many services offered by the Library.”

Instead of accruing overdue fines, members will not be able to borrow or order items if they have overdue items on their card.

Charges will still apply for lost or damaged items and overdue fines accrued up until 30 June 2022 will remain on members cards.

High Country Library Network member councils – Mansfield Shire Council, Benalla Rural City Council, Alpine Shire Council and Rural City of Wangaratta - will cease to issue overdue fines from 1 July 2022.


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