Frankston City councillors have voted to abolish library fines in a move to ensure all residents have access to essential library services, including resources to assist with job-seeking and schooling. “We know the library has been a great source of comfort to many people during the pandemic lockdown,” said Mayor Kris Bolam, “but around 21 per cent of our community had fines on their library membership, which discouraged active use of the library.
“As part of a package of support for the community, council abolished fines and also waived past fines. We hope to welcome back many more people as library members to borrow books, access study support via Studiosity, learn a new language and enjoy all that Frankston City Libraries has to offer without fear of being penalised. It’s been a really difficult few months for many residents and this is just another way we are able to make life that little bit easier for them.”
Frankston City Libraries manager Tammy Goodwin said: “At the start of this year we asked the Frankston City community to participate in our library survey. We received an overwhelming number of responses telling us that having a fine was a reason to no longer engage with library services. We know that people can feel embarrassed if they’ve incurred a library fine and we don’t want our members feeling they can no longer enjoy all that the library has to offer.”
Frankston resident Liz said the removal of fines was heartening for parents and all bookworms. “It takes the pressure of getting books back by a particular day,” Liz said. “We’re all busy. It takes away the stress and financial pressure.”
Liz said her 11-year-old daughter, Ella, was a prolific reader and loved borrowing as many books as possible during frequent library visits. “She’s always reserving books and borrows the maximum every time.”
Removing library fines means members will now be limited to borrowing 40 physical items, and lost item charges remain. Visit the Frankston City Libraries website for more information or phone 9784 1020.