Decision details

Library Fines

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.


Options/Alternatives considered:-

·       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

Accompanying Documents: