Library fines scrapped

Fines for late books are being scrapped at Invercargill City Libraries and Archives from next month.

From Friday 1 July library users will no longer have to pay overdue library fees and all historical fines will be wiped.

Council Libraries Manager Marianne Foster said statistics from both Aotearoa and overseas showed library fines were a barrier to people accessing library services.

“Our community deserves to have access to the information, reading, learning and connection our library provides. If overdue fines are a barrier to people coming to or returning to our spaces then we simply have to remove them,” Foster said.

It has also been shown that overdue fines do not ensure a book is returned, she said.

“In fact, when fines are no longer applied it’s been found that return rates actually increase.”

Overdue fees for children’s books at the library were scrapped in 2020, she said.

Invercargill City Council Council approved the change at a meeting of the Performance, Policy and Partnership Committee on June 14.

At least 12 councils from throughout Aotearoa, including Auckland, Nelson and Christchurch have already scrapped overdue fines.

Some charges will remain at the libray, such as if a book is lost, destroyed or damaged or the fees for hot picks and reserve items, she said.

“We are so thrilled to be able to do this for our community. We’ve heard of so many people who simply never come back to the library because of fines and we are looking forward to welcoming them back with open arms and then filling their arms with books.”

For more information on fees and charges at the library, please visit