Changes to Overdue items


Changes to overdues – No more overdue fines

We want to encourage everyone to use the library where, as a member, you have access to more than half a million free resources, including books, magazines, DVDs, eBooks and other digital resources, plus internet access, programs and lifelong learning opportunities.

Library items overdue? Return them or renew!

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Q. What does it mean if my library membership privileges have been temporarily suspended?
  • When items become overdue, your library membership privileges will be temporarily suspended until items are returned or renewed.
  • This means you will not be able to:
    • Borrow
    • Use eResources (including eBooks and other eResources)
    • Book/use library computers.
Q. Why are you no longer charging overdue fines
  • We want to encourage everyone to use the library where, as a member, you have access to more than half a million free resources, including books, magazines, DVDs, eBooks and other digital resources, plus internet access, programs and lifelong learning opportunities.
  • Removing overdue fines will address social, equity and access issues; encourage people to return overdue items without fear of fines; and establish, or restart a connection of non-users with the library.
  • By changing our approach to fines, we expect to see more people borrowing items and making use of all the fantastic resources we can offer at libraries.
  • The Standing Committee on the Environment and Transport and City Services’ Inquiry into ACT Libraries report of November 2018 highlighted the issue of overdue fines, citing several submissions showing how fines create a barrier to accessing library services. The Committee encouraged the library to ‘review the application of financial penalties for overdue books.’
  • Libraries are a vital part of our community and it is important that people of all backgrounds have access. We find that many people cannot afford to pay overdue fines. As a result, some people either limit their visits or even stop using the library altogether. As many as three quarters of people in the ACT who have received a fine for an overdue library item have never borrowed another item from our libraries. We want to encourage these people back to our libraries.
  • By no longer charging fines for overdue items, we will be joining a growing number of libraries around the country and the world who are looking for new ways to manage the issue of overdue items, which is a constant challenge for all library services.
Q. I have overdue library items. What do I do?
  • If you have items that are overdue, you need to return them or renew them.
  • Items can be renewed up to 5 times (excludes items reserved by other members).
  • You can renew items by:
    • Logging into your account online.
    • Phoning the library on 6205 9000.
    • Visiting the library in person.
  • You can manage your library membership online, over the phone or in person at any of our libraries. Use your account to check and update membership details, choose SMS and email notifications, renew and request items.
Q. When do the changes to overdues start?
  • From 21 November 2019, we will not charge fines for items returned overdue.
  • If you have an overdue item, we will temporarily suspend your library privileges until it is returned or renewed.
Q. I want to renew my items, how can I do this?
  • Items which are not reserved by other members can be renewed up to five times (if not reserved by other members) by:
    • Logging into your account online.
    • Phoning the library on 6205 9000.
    • Visiting the library in person.
Q. How do I check if I have items are overdue?
  • Due dates for all library items are displayed on the screen when you borrow them.
  • You can print a receipt when you borrow items.
  • Check the status of your items by
    • Logging into your account online.
    • Phoning the library on 6205 9000.
    • Visiting the library in person.
Q. How can I receive library notices? What notices do you send?
  • Register your mail address with us so you can receive notices directly to your email.
  • Library notices can also be sent by post for those who prefer this method.
  • You can manage your library membership online, over the phone or in person at any of our libraries. Use your account to check and update membership details, choose SMS and email notifications, renew and request items.
  • Standard notifications will be sent
    • 5 days before items are due (email and SMS only).
    • 3 days before items are due (email and SMS only).
    • On the day an item becomes overdue (email, SMS or post).
    • When an item is 7 days overdue (email or SMS only).
Q. Does this apply to all members?
  • Yes. All Libraries ACT members are treated in the same way.
  • There are no special exceptions for different membership categories. This includes seniors and pensioners and children under 16 years of age (however children under 16 are the responsibility of the child’s guardian, as per the Libraries ACT membership policy; the same applies for any adult under a formal caring arrangement).
Q. How much are the replacement and administration charges for items?
  • A list of charges is available online. Charges are subject to change each year.
  • The replacement cost of an item is the actual cost of the item, or the current average cost, whichever is greater.
  • The administration fee is $6 per item.
  • As is the current practice, library members may negotiate to pay for lost items and the administration fee through a payment plan.
    • When this agreement is made, Libraries ACT will reinstate borrowing privileges and enable members to pay off the debt in installments.

Part payments can be made using the Access Canberra smart form.

Q. I paid for library fines/other charges lastweek/month/already? Can I have my money back?
  • We cannot refund any payments already made.
Q. I found a lost item which I have already paid for. What happens now?
  • If you have paid for a lost item and find it, you can keep the item.
  • We cannot make refunds if you have partially or fully paid an amount.
  • If you have partially paid for an item, you will need to pay the remainder of the outstanding amount.
Q. I found a lost item which I haven’t paid for. What happens now?
  • If you find and return an item after an invoice has been generated, the replacement cost of the item will be removed from your membership, however the administration fee is still payable.
  • If you have partially or fully paid for an item, we cannot make refunds. If you have partially paid for an item, you will need to pay the remainder of the outstanding amount.