Libraries across Kerry will no longer be imposing fines on overdue books – and all outstanding fines on members’ accounts will also be removed.
This is in line with all public libraries nationally and is one of the key aims of the new public library strategy ‘Our Public Library 2022: inspiring, connecting and empowering communities’, which was launched by the Minister for Rural and Community Development, Michael Ring TD, in June 2018.
The strategy states ‘The library is a free lifelong resource that should be available to all without barriers or charges. Library charges have been shown to have a detrimental effect on library use by children and the disadvantaged. However, there is little evidence to show they ensure timely returns – rather they may actually dissuade members and users from returning overdue items’.
However, no fines does not mean no responsibility. Library borrowers will continue to receive reminders and overdue emails to prompt them to return items to the library. Items should be returned as normal on or before their due date to allow them to be borrowed by other library users.
Items can still be renewed online, by phone or in person at a local library. Failure to return or renew items will result in your card being blocked from taking out or renewing any further items, including e-books and e-audio books. Borrowing privileges cannot be restored until an overdue item is returned.
The elimination of overdue fines is another way for libraries to encourage people who might not regularly use the library to experience what they have to offer. Members of the public are encouraged to return undamaged, overdue library items to their local libraries. There will be no fines to pay from January 1 2019, and Kerry Library would be happy to reactivate your library membership for you to begin using your local library again.
Previously paid overdue fines will not be refunded. Also note that fines cannot be cleared from an account until an overdue item is returned to the library.
Kerry Library provides a wide range of free services, including adult and children’s book lending, e-books and audio books, online language and training courses, classroom novels for schools and a local history and archives service. All details are available at www.kerrylibrary.ie.