Tararua libraries fine free

Published 30 Jun 2023

As from 1 July 2023, Libraries Tararua has joined a network of Fine Free Libraries throughout New Zealand and is in good company with the other libraries of the region – Central Hawke’s Bay, Masterton, Manawatu, Hastings, and Wairarapa Library Services.

Libraries Tararua has not charged fines for junior members since 2010/11 and experienced a surge in membership and issue figures immediately following that change. Research shows people are more likely to be library members and to return items if fines are removed. Instead of encouraging the use of the library, the ‘threat’ of fines has put up a barrier. Particularly for those who cannot access the internet, books, or online resources.

Libraries Tararua has 6376 members of which 367 were prevented from using the library because they had $5.00 or more owing in fines, with an average of $9.31.

District Librarian Brenda Graves says “We are thrilled to be totally fines free now. We want to spark a lifelong love of learning here in the Tararua. New Zealand literacy levels are at an all-time low and one way to address this is to encourage use of your local library. We’d love to have more people making the most of the services, resources, and programmes we provide to support reading, literacy, and connection. Libraries are available to everyone from newborn to the oldest person in the district.”
Borrowers will continue to receive reminders about due dates, and we encourage the return of items on time for the next person.