Cessnock City Library will no longer charge fines for overdue books

GREATER ACCESS: Library services coordinator Rose-marie Walters and customer Col Chapman at the checkout at Cessnock Library.
GREATER ACCESS: Library services coordinator Rose-marie Walters and customer Col Chapman at the checkout at Cessnock Library.

Cessnock City Library will no longer fine customers for returning books late, in an effort to encourage greater access to the library's services and remove barriers for people most in need.

Library services coordinator Rose-marie Walters said most borrowers return their books on time, and will continue to do so without the fear of a financial penalty.

"Discontinuing overdue fines is an important step in encouraging our community to interact with our libraries in a positive manner and enjoy all the benefits they have to offer," Ms Walters said.

The library has also made borrowing even simpler by making it free to reserve any of the 80,000-plus items in its online catalogue, including books, magazines, CDs and DVDs, and even cake tins from the baking collection.

In addition, the library has implemented automatic renewals. Three days before items are due (provided there are no future reservations), they will automatically renew for the normal loan period. The library circulation system will auto-renew borrowers' loans twice.

"We hope these changes encourage more community members to visit and become members of our fantastic libraries," Ms Walters said.