Goldfields Libraries scraps late fees | Goldfields Library Corporation

Goldfields Libraries scraps late fees

Tuesday 23 August 2022

Goldfields Libraries is proud to join the growing number of public libraries no longer charging late fees for overdue items.

The change was officially implemented on July 1, 2022, but the library service hasn’t charged overdue fines since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It’s a big step for us, and a really significant one,” says Jess Saunders, Castlemaine Library Manager. “Library fines are a financial barrier for many people, and we’d like to make access free for everyone, so I’m happy they’re finally gone!”

Goldfields Libraries CEO Mark Hands agrees. “Public libraries are all about providing free and universal access to information. Life is hectic. A small fine just because you returned a library book a few days late shouldn’t be a barrier to library access, but for some, it is. Removing fines means everyone can enjoy the library without worry, borrow as many books and DVDs as they can carry, and keep coming back for more!”

The Library Board approved the change after reports from other library services have shown that removing fines has resulted in an increase in visitation, borrowing and returns.

“We’re following the lead of many other public libraries, and it’s becoming clear that library fines do not encourage borrowers to bring their items back on time. In fact, it may deter them from borrowing at all,” says Mr Hands.

“Other library services have done the math and found that the cost of imposing fines was actually greater than the revenue they collected.”

Instead of accruing fines, members will not be able to borrow or reserve if they have items more than 21 days overdue on their account. Charges will still apply for lost or damaged items.

Historical fines have also been wiped from borrower’s cards.

“That means you can now come in and start afresh, knowing that those pesky fines are gone forever,” says Mr Hands.

There’s never been a better time to return yourself to the library!

To find out more information, visit

No more late fees