Fines not needed to ensure books returned on time at Blackpool libraries

There are no plans to reintroduce library fines in Blackpool after the removal of the charges in 2019 has been judged to have had “a universally positive effect.”

Wednesday, 3rd March 2021, 12:06 pm

Blackpool Council says the move means there are now “very few financial barriers to people using the service”.

A report into the last financial year for libraries says: “Whilst the impact of the pandemic has had a clear and direct impact on library performance, prior to lockdown and the various restrictions that the service has had to bring in, the removal of fines has, in particular, had a universally positive effect.

“Plus we have not seen any increase in overdues/non-returns, which officers have continued to monitor.

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“Therefore, the service would very strongly recommend that the council continues to not charge for overdue items.”

Charges to cover the value of lost or badly damaged items will be retained for items less than three years old, and there will continue to be reservation charges of between £4 and £8 for books requested from other UK libraries.

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

Currently only six of Blackpool eight libraries are open, with temporary opening hours, during lockdown.

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