Fine-free libraries to begin in Leeds

As part of National Libraries Week, Leeds City Council has announced that it is abolishing all fines and ID requirements at its libraries.

As such, all members returning overdue books will benefit from a ‘fines amnesty’, with historic fines written off, meaning that local residents will have better access to library services and enjoy everything from free resources to inspiring activities. From 17 October, fines and ID requests for new members will end.

A fine-free policy has succeeded in public libraries around the world, from Chicago to Blackpool.

Andrea Ellison, chief librarian: “Library fines may have been designed to encourage people to return books on time, but even relatively small sums can be a real barrier, causing many to miss out on free services. By changing our policy and also making it easier to join, Leeds Libraries will be accessible to more people than ever during the Leeds Year of Reading and beyond.”

James Lewis, executive member for Resources: “We want everyone living in Leeds to enjoy the benefits of the library service and promote reading for pleasure. Our communities have access to an amazing range of Leeds Libraries support. We hope more children will join the library and that anyone studying, looking for a job, starting a business or needing help getting online will find it easier to access our service.”