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Book lovers rejoice as Christchurch City Council announce fine-free libraries

Christchurch City Council has delighted the city’s bookworms with a decision this month to remove charges on overdue library items. 

Coming into play on March 1, the decision not only removes charges going forward but also wipes all historical charges.
 
“We are joining a growing number of libraries around the country and the globe which are taking away fines to encourage library use. The more people who are taking advantage of everything our libraries have to offer, the better,” Mayor Lianne Dalziel says. “We’ve heard today how fines have become a barrier for some people accessing Christchurch City Libraries, especially for those who cannot pay, and we want to remove that,” she says.  

"The evidence shows that eliminating fines frees up staff to help library users and that people are encouraged to return items. Uncomfortable conversations about why people can't afford to pay fines can instead become an opportunity to discuss the importance of returning library items so others can also benefit from them,'' the Mayor says.

Christchurch is the 17th Council in New Zealand to go fine-free.