Libraries could turn over a new leaf on late book fines under proposals being considered by the council’s cabinet member responsible for the service.
Bath & North East Somerset Council could scrap fines for late books if Councillor Paul Crossley, cabinet member for Community Services, approves a single member decision report recommending the removal of late fines charges.
A report before the cabinet member says the move would bring the libraries in Bath, Keynsham and Midsomer Norton, in line with the Community Run Libraries and the Mobile service that do not charge for overdue items.
It says stopping fines also removes any barriers for people who want to use the library and will play a part in improving literacy, social and health wellbeing and reducing social isolation.
And the report says the cost of the administration of applying and collecting library fines far outweighs the revenue associated with library fines for overdue items.
Councillor Crossley said: “I want to see more residents borrowing more books from our libraries more often. For some people, there is a worry about paying fines which prevent them from using library services and their many benefits. Libraries across the country are removing fines for all the same reasons and so I welcome this report, which I will consider carefully.”
The council has run a recent successful trial and wants to now formally remove fines for overdue books, DVDs and talking books, and while still available, CDs. Currently overdue items are charged at 5p a day for children’s books and 15p a day for adults.
For details about the single member decision please follow this link: https://democracy.bathnes.gov.uk/mgIssueHistoryHome.aspx?IId=29223&PlanId=691