You can’t beat Wellington on a Fines Free day

Wellington City Libraries is fines free from 1 July! Councillors decided to go fines free after strong support in the community consultation on the Annual Plan in April. Most respondents supported this proposal.

This decision means :

  • no overdue fines will be charged from 1 July 2022 onwards
  • we will wipe any unpaid overdue fines on peoples’ library cards as at 30 June 2022.  We’ve waived your library fines goodbye.

We’re looking forward to never having to say “Do you know you have some overdue fines on your card?” ever again!

Here are some answers to questions you might have about these changes:

Why are we removing overdue fines?We want everyone to have fair and easy access to information, reading, and learning through the library.  Fines disproportionately affect those who cannot afford to pay.  For many customers, fines act as a barrier to using our services, and there is no evidence that fines encourage people to bring items back earlier.  Removing fines increases the number of customers able to use our libraries.  The Council approved our new fines free policy in the Annual Plan after community consultation.

Will I still receive notifications about due dates? Yes, you will continue to receive reminders about due dates.

Will I be refunded any fines paid before 1 July?There will be no refunds on fines paid prior to 1 July.

What happens if I lose or don’t return a book?Our existing rules around lost items remain the same. If you have items not returned after 30 days, you will be charged the replacement cost fee and your library card will be blocked until you have paid this fee, or returned the item.

Will I be able to use my library card again after 1 July if there are fines on my card currently?Yes, you will be able to use your library card again from 1 July, if there are no other outstanding fees.

Will all debt (lost and damaged items, holds, etc.) be wiped from 1 July or just fines?No, only current debt relating to overdue fines will be removed on 1 July.  Other fees such as replacement costs, expired reserves fees, interloans fees, or outstanding debt that has previously been referred to a debt collection agency, will remain on your card, and continue to apply.