County Li­brary has can­celled all fines

The Corkman - - NEWS - MARIA HER­LIHY

THE New Year has got off to a fly­ing start for any­one who has left fines build up on books they bor­rowed from the li­brary. With all fines abol­ished since Jan­uary 1, County Cork res­i­dents are be­ing en­cour­aged to make a res­o­lu­tion to re­con­nect with their lo­cal li­brary.

Any li­brary user who has over­due items can re­turn them now, con­fi­dent that there 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).

Act­ing County Li­brar­ian Bernie Wal­lace, 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. “

She said that 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,” she said.

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