Father reading to his children

From 1 July, 2021, Hamilton City Council has removed all overdue fees for Junior and Young Adult collections for Hamilton’s libraries.

This means that items from these collections will no longer accrue daily overdue fines if they are returned late (regardless of the borrower's age).

This initiative aims to remove any barriers preventing families and young people from engaging with their local library. Outstanding overdue fines for these collections will also be waived.

To spread the good cheer, Hamilton City Libraries is running a 'Pay it Forward' food bank drive until 1 August, where anyone can bring cans or other non-perishable food items to any of our libraries. All donations will go to Waikato Womans Refuge - Te Whakaruruhau. This will provide an opportunity for people, especially those affected by the fine removal and waiver, to give back if they want to.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

We want to promote and encourage learning in our school age Hamiltonians. For some, overdue fines might be a barrier to this. It can be hard for families to keep track of the items teenagers and children borrow. We don’t want overdue fines to prevent children and teenagers from returning to our wonderful libraries.

The Junior and Young Adult Collections include:

  • Junior Board Books

  • Junior Picture Books

  • Junior Readers

  • Junior Fiction

  • Junior Non-Fiction

  • Junior Graphic Novels

  • Junior Magazines

  • Junior Puzzles

  • Junior Talking Books

  • Junior CDs

  • Junior DVDs

  • Junior World Language

  • Junior Stack

  • Young Adult Fiction

  • Young Adult Graphic Novels

  • Young Adult Non-Fiction

  • Young Adult Stack.

This change is based on the item type items from the Junior and Young Adult collections won't incur overdue fees, regardless of who has borrowed it.

Yes, this change applies to the collections the item belongs to, not the card type.

Yes, this change applies to the collections the item belongs to, not the card type.

No, this change applies to the collection the item belongs to, not the card type.

Yes, we will no longer collect fines for overdue items for these two collections.

Overdue fines were intended to motivate customers to return books so other customers have access. However, evidence shows they serve as a barrier to access and trust, and many people are ashamed to bring back overdue items and pay the fine. Even without fines, people return their books to avoid being charged a replacement fee, and so that they can continue to use the library. Many libraries around the world are reporting that the same number of items, or even more, are being returned on time since going fine free.

After six weeks items that haven't been returned are assumed lost, and you will be asked to pay the replacement fee for the item.

When you get items out from libraries, it is important they are returned in the same condition. If they get damaged or lost, the guarantor of the child's account (usually the caregiver) may be responsible for paying for a replacement copy or item.

See our Damaged and Incomplete Item Replacement Guidelines.

As with any item borrowed from Hamilton City Libraries, if an item is not returned it will be assumed lost and you will be responsible for paying the replacement cost.

When you get items out from libraries, it is important they are returned in the same condition. If they become damaged or lost, you may be responsible for paying for a replacement copy or part.

See our Damaged and Incomplete Item Replacement Guidelines.

After six weeks items which haven't been returned are assumed lost, and you will be asked to pay the replacement fee for the item.

We have chosen the Junior and Young Adult collections specifically for the fine-free initiative to help foster literacy in school children and promote reading for pleasure to young people.

Some of our collections (Best Sellers, Kit Collection, Pay Magazines and Pay DVDs) incur a loan charge as there is a high demand for these items. After a period of time, Pay Magazines and Pay DVDs move to the free collections. Items in our Best Seller collections are also available in the general (free) lending collections, though there is often a long waiting list. Paying to borrow a Best Seller item means you can borrow it straight away.

No – the Kit Collection is separate to our Junior and Young Adult collections, and while some of the items in this collection are designed for children, it is not an exclusively junior/young adult collection. The items in the Kit Collection are of high value and have a high demand, so they are not included in the fine-free initiative.

You are still able to borrow items if you have $10 or less owing on your library account (or on children's accounts for which you are a guarantor). However, if you owe more than $10, your borrowing privileges will be automatically suspended until the outstanding amount is paid.

We chose the Junior and Young Adult collections specifically for the fine-free initiative to help improve literacy in school-aged children and promote reading for pleasure to young people. We want to remove all barriers to helping our younger generations learn.

Yes, old fines will be wiped. We have decided to waive all outstanding overdue fees for Junior and Young Adult items.

To spread the good cheer, we are encouraging those who have had fees waived to 'pay it forward' by bringing a non-perishable food item to your local library, which will be donated to local food banks.

No, unfortunately this change only applies from 1 July 2021 and does not include previous overdue charges which have already been paid.

This will depend on the details and circumstances. Please get in touch with us to discuss your situation.

No - this will be a fresh slate for overdue fees for Junior and Young Adult items. We are encouraging those who have had fees waived to 'pay it forward' by bringing a non-perishable food item to your local library, which will be donated to local food banks.

It may take some time for the relevant fines to be removed from our system – we have around $30,000 worth of fines to waive.

Please note that we aren’t waiving all previous fines, only overdue fines relating to items from the Junior and Young Adult collections. You may still owe fees relating to adult items or lost and damaged items.

The 28 days is our maximum loan period for our collections, but you do have two chances to re-issue items, if no other library users have placed a hold on them.

Many libraries around the world are reporting that the same number or even more items are being returned on time since becoming fine free. This makes it unlikely waiting times would become longer.

You can renew items up to two times, if no other library users have placed a hold on them.

Yes, the courtesy reminders will not change. If you normally receive email or SMS reminders, you will get a reminder three days before the due date. We will then send reminders for overdue items via post, email, or SMS at one day and 21 days after the due date.

To celebrate the fee waiving, Hamilton’s libraries will run a month-long 'pay it forward' campaign. We have partnered with Waikato Women's Refuge - Te Whakaruruhau for a foodbank drive which will be running from each of Hamilton’s six libraries. It will be open for non-perishable donations between 1 July and 1 August. This will give people the opportunity in an easy and convenient way to give back to the community.

No, all outstanding overdue fees for Junior and Young Adult items will be waived regardless. The pay it forward campaign is simply an opportunity for people to give back to the community, if they’re able to do so.

Fantastic – simply take any non-perishable items you can spare to any of our six libraries across Hamilton. Each library will have a special spot to collect food for local food banks during open hours.

Please note our after-hours return chutes are programmed to accept library items only, so donations cannot be accepted after-hours.