Libraries to end book fines amid cost of living crisis

Culture Perth & Kinross -

Culture Perth and Kinross Libraries are bringing good news to thousands of library users across Perth & Kinross by scrapping library book fines.

From 1st May, library users will no longer need to pay fines if they return their books later than the return date. It is hoped that this move will encourage more people to use their local libraries, borrow books, and once again enjoy reading without the worry of incurring a fine if they are unable to return their books on time.

At a time when more people are finding themselves struggling with the rising costs of living, Culture Perth and Kinross hope that ending fines, will remove one of the barriers that may prevent people from using their libraries, making them accessible, inclusive and welcoming to everyone living or working in the region.  The move also reflects the ambitions of the Forward: Scotland’s Public Library Strategy, which was published in 2021.

Helen Smout, Chief Executive of Culture Perth and Kinross, said, “Libraries are all about giving free access to books, learning and knowledge to all. They are welcoming and inclusive places into which we want to encourage all members of our local communities. The traditional systems of library fines have always seemed to be contrary to these values, and I am delighted that we have been able to remove another potential barrier to making use of the wonderful free resources which libraries offer. At a time of extreme pressures on everyone’s income and as we all look to live in more sustainable ways, the library comes into its own. I hope this move encourages people who haven’t been to their local library in some time to make a visit as I think they will be very pleasantly surprised by what they will find on offer and the welcome they will receive.”

Library users will still be encouraged to return items on or before the return date to allow others to borrow the books. They will not be able to borrow more items until overdue books are returned, and if a borrowed item is lost, library users will be expected to pay for the replacement of the item. Books can be renewed over the phone, in person, or by accessing their library account online.

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