Library fines were abolished at the meeting of Oldham Council’s Cabinet on Monday 22 July.
This means that library users will no longer be fined for late returns on borrowed books with effect from Thursday 1 August 2019.
The council’s decision to turn the page on fines was made to encourage more people to use the 12 libraries across the borough and increase literacy levels among young people.
Fines can act as a barrier to access for some of our communities and removing the fines will mean more people have access to library services without the worry of being charged for late fees.
Staff will now have more time to spend on reader development work and helping people with enquires and accessing services.
From Thursday 1 August, if you currently have any overdue books, you can now take them back to any library in Oldham without being fined.
Leader of Oldham Council, and Cabinet Member for Economy and Enterprise, Councillor Sean Fielding, said:
“Reading is critical to personal development and wellbeing and we want to remove known barriers to access and ensure that those most who could benefit the most from the service are not put off, or worried about receiving fines.
“I remember first joining Oldham Libraries when I was taken along to sign up at Failsworth Library back when I was at Primary School. I’ve been a library member ever since.
“I want to encourage as many people as possible to come and visit our libraries, get involved in all the great activities we have to offer and get all the benefits of reading that I have enjoyed since joining the library over 20 years ago.
“I hope people return their overdue books, no matter how late they are.
“This campaign is vital to allow us to re-engage with our current visitors, as well as attracting new users from across Oldham.
“I’m proud that the decision supports our vision for creating thriving communities in Oldham.”
If you have unreturned books collecting dust on your bookshelf or desk and you’ve not been to a library because of the fine, now is your opportunity to return them and borrow some new books.
Oldham Council Libraries Service offer a wide array of health, learning and business resources, family and cultural activities, and signposting to partner services that aim to benefit the whole town.
They also offer residents a range of services and activities, including reading groups, author events, sensory storytimes, craft workshops, digital activities, cultural events through our live@thelibrary programme and inspiring events such as TEDxOldham and Fun Palaces.
To find out more about the exciting new activities taking place in Oldham Libraries just sign up to our monthly Love Libraries email. This can be done in your local library, or online by visiting www.oldham.gov.uk/libraries
Or if you’re looking for activities across the borough sign up to the monthly Love Oldham here: www.oldham.gov.uk/email