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New chapter as Perth and Kinross libraries scrap fines over cost of living crisis

Loch Leven Community Library in Kinross is among the sites scrapping late fees.
Loch Leven Community Library in Kinross is among the sites scrapping late fees.

They have been a common feature of libraries for decades.

But now, people borrowing books in Perth and Kinross will no longer have to worry about racking up fines.

Culture Perth and Kinross is scrapping fees for returning books late at all its sites – in an attempt to help with the cost of living crisis.

Thousands of pounds in late fees

In the year before Covid-19, libraries in the region raked in £12,500 in fines – with the figure dropping to £5,400 for 2021/22 as the number of books borrowed plummeted.

Helen Smout, chief executive, says the move will make libraries more “welcoming and inclusive places”.

She said: “The traditional systems of library fines have always seemed to be contrary to these values, and I am delighted that we have been able to remove another potential barrier to making use of the wonderful free resources which libraries offer.

Helen Smout.
Helen Smout.

“At a time when more people are finding themselves struggling with the rising costs of living, Culture Perth and Kinross hope that ending fines will remove one of the barriers that may prevent people from using their libraries, making them accessible, inclusive and welcoming to everyone living or working in the region.”

Culture Perth and Kinross says users will not be allowed to borrow another book until overdue items are returned.

And if a borrowed book is lost, they will be expected to pay for a replacement.

Users can renew books in person, over the phone or through their online library account.

cost

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