All li­brary fines abol­ished in new na­tional ini­tia­tive

Drogheda Independent - - NEWS -

WITH fines abol­ished in all li­braries since Jan­uary 1st, 2019, Louth res­i­dents are be­ing en­cour­aged to make a New Year’s Res­o­lu­tion to re­con­nect with their lo­cal li­brary.

From Jan­uary 1st, li­brary mem­bers do not have to pay fines for over­due items and no ex­ist­ing fines will be col­lected.

Any li­brary user who has over­due items can re­turn them now, con­fi­dent that will be no fines to pay, and their mem­ber­ships can be re­ac­ti­vated on the spot so they can be­gin us­ing their lo­cal li­brary straight away again.

The re­moval of fines for li­brary users is one of the ac­tions in­cluded in the na­tional strat­egy, “Our Pub­lic Li­braries 2022 – In­spir­ing, Con­nect­ing and Em­pow­er­ing Com­mu­ni­ties”. This strat­egy, launched in June 2018, aims to im­prove ac­cess to and in­crease use of the li­brary as a com­mu­nity hub.

The five-year strat­egy is a joint ini­tia­tive of the Depart­ment of Ru­ral and Com­mu­nity De­vel­op­ment, the County and City Man­age­ment As­so­ci­a­tion (CCMA) and the Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Man­age­ment Agency (LGMA).

Louth County Li­brar­ian, Yvonne O’Brien said: “Li­braries are an in­valu­able re­source for all in the com­mu­nity and we want to re­move any bar­ri­ers that might pre­vent peo­ple mak­ing full use of them. That is why we are elim­i­nat­ing fines and other charges. Li­braries are wel­com­ing spa­ces where all mem­bers of the com­mu­nity can ac­cess knowl­edge, ideas and in­for­ma­tion, and where peo­ple can re­flect, con­nect and learn”.

“Re­search has shown that peo­ple view fines as a bar­rier to mem­ber­ship and us­age of li­braries. In ad­di­tion, fines dis­pro­por­tion­ately af­fect those on lower in­comes and can cre­ate a neg­a­tive as­so­ci­a­tion with li­brary use for chil­dren. There is ev­i­dence that li­brary ser­vices which have re­moved fines see an in­crease in us­age fol­low­ing their re­moval and we very much hope that will be re­flected now in our Li­brary Ser­vices.”

Yvonne O’Brien is invit­ing ev­ery­one to visit a li­brary dur­ing Jan­uary and see for them­selves all that is on of­fer there, com­pletely free Yvonne said, “We can prom­ise that a res­o­lu­tion to use your li­brary more is one you will find very easy to keep through­out the year.”

Yvonne O’Brien

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