Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: No
Is subject to call in?: Yes
The Cabinet gave consideration to a report of the Head of Heritage, Libraries and Arts which proposed the removal of library fines, to remove barriers to information, resources and opportunities for some of the most deprived
communities in Oldham.
The Cabinet were informed that there was a current debate within public libraries concerning the negative impact of charging fines for the late return of books. Evidence suggested that fines could become a barrier to accessing library services rather than an incentive to return books on time and that those
that could afford to pay the fines continued to use the service, whilst those that were arguably in most need of the service, from deprived communities, were then barred and discouraged from using it.
The Cabinet noted the arguments for and against the employment of library fines, as outlined.
· Option 1a) To continue with current fines policy
· Option 1b) To continue with current fines policy and undertake an amnesty.
· Option 2a) To abolish library fines
· Option 3b) To trial the removal of fines for a year
RESOLVED that library fines be abolished.
Publication date: 23/07/2019
Date of decision: 22/07/2019
Decided at meeting: 22/07/2019 - Cabinet
Effective from: 31/07/2019