If you’ve been keeping away from your local library out of shame about your book that’s somehow a year overdue, there’s never been a better time to get back reading as fines have been abolished at all libraries.
From the start of this year, library users in Galway and nationwide will no longer be fined for overdue items, and any existing fines have been cancelled.
Ending library fines is part of the Our Public Libraries 2022 strategy which aims to increase the amount of the population making use of public libraries from 16 percent to 30 percent by 2022.
This isn’t to say that there won’t be any consequences for holding on to books past their return date, as library users can still have their membership suspended for overdue books.
If someone currently has suspended membership because of any unpaid fine, they can apply to have that reinstated with this amnesty, provided the book has been returned of course.
Libraries in Galway, including the city library, are managed by Galway County Council as one of the areas where the two local authorities cooperate on services.
This plan was jointly developed by the Department of Rural and Community Development, the County and City Management Association and the Local Government Management Agency.
This move has been welcomed by libraries as a way to not only encourage new members, but to get old library members to return.
Despite the move towards all things digital in recent years, the public library is still a great place to find new things to read that you might never have stumbled across otherwise.
It’s also a great option for parents who want to get their kids into the habit of reading.
Ballinasloe public library posted that “If it’s been a while since you have been in then now is the time to reconnect.”
“We have missed you and are looking forward to seeing you, so please pop in to say hi.”