Blackpool library fines scrapped for another year

Library fees in Blackpool are to be frozen once more this year as the council seeks to ensure there are no financial barriers to using the service.

By Shelagh Parkinson
Friday, 11th March 2022, 2:48 pm

The move also means borrowers will continue not be fined for returning items late after the charges were scrapped in April 2019 in order to encourage more people to use libraries.

A council report says: "Following a comprehensive review and amendment of library fees and charges in 2019, and in the light of increased cost of living and pandemic pressures on residents, there are no increased charges for heritage or library services proposed for 2022-23.

"With the removal of library fines and local reservation charges there now remains very few financial barriers to people using these services.

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Blackpool Central Library

"The council has thereby practically achieved one of the key actions within the Libraries Ambition Plan, i.e. to remove any remaining financial barriers to accessing the service.

"To reinstate charges in these areas would directly impact on residents at a time when they are facing other cost of living pressures, and compromise attempts by the library services to encourage people to use library services due to the impact of the pandemic."

In the first year after fines were abolished, there was a nine per cent increase in the number of people using the town's eight libraries, and no increase in the number of lost or overdue items.

Previously people had faced fines of 20p per day for late items.

However people do have to pay replacement costs for items which are lost or badly damaged which are less than three years old.

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