Community & Environment

Libraries go late fee free for kids

Image of children browsing books at the library

Borrowing books from Hamilton City Libraries has never been easier for children and teenagers, thanks to a new fine-free initiative.

Hamilton City Council has said goodbye to overdue fines for its junior and young adult collections.

From today (1 July), those fees are being removed and unpaid overdue debt for those collections will be wiped.

About $30,000 in outstanding debt will be erased over the next few days.

Libraries Director Stephen Pennruscoe said the initiative aims to help shape a city where people thrive, particularly Hamilton’s school-age generations.

“Our libraries are an absolute treasure trove for young learners – they help set our rangatahi up for success. This new change is about removing any barriers we can.”

It can be hard for families to keep track of the items their teenagers and children borrow, Pennruscoe said.

“We don’t want overdue fees to stop families engaging with their local library. And there’s no catch to this initiative – this will simply be a fresh slate. If you’ve had overdue fees for the junior and young adult collections, you don’t anymore.”

While library fines don’t have a big financial impact on some families, it can mean less food on the table for others, Pennruscoe said.

To celebrate the fee waiving, Hamilton’s libraries will run a month-long ‘pay it forward’ campaign.  A foodbank drive, running from each of Hamilton’s six libraries, will be open for non-perishable donations between 1 July and 1 August.

“We want to spread the good cheer and organise a chance for people to give back. We’d love for our library goers to join this pay it forward movement.

“By picking up a few extra packets on your next supermarket trip or selecting a few non-perishable items from your own pantry – you can help those that really need it.”

All contributions will be donated to Waikato Women’s Refuge – Te Whakaruruhau.

The junior and young adult collections at Hamilton’s libraries boast an impressive range of resources, that doesn’t stop at books. The collections include puzzles, magazines, e-books, DVDs, and audiobooks.

To find out more about this fine-free initiative and read our Frequently Asked Questions, you can visit here.

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