• Media release

26 Jun 2023

fine free photo pleased teenage girl holds heap textbooks being high spirit wears denim overalls poses against pink background

From 01 July 2023, all overdue fines will be wiped at Southland District Libraries in a quest to make our services more accessible for the community.

The initiative to eliminate overdue fines brings us proudly into line with best practice nationally and will ensure access to library services for everyone. We’re joining over 35 other public libraries in Aotearoa NZ who are already fine free.

The impact has been positive with our library counterparts in Invercargill and further north experiencing an increase in membership and use once the barriers relating to fines are removed.

Library fines undermine one of the core principles of public libraries – the provision of free and universal access to information. It can be a real hurdle for people and the reality is, often those who need the library service the most are the people who can least afford to pay fines.

It’s a clean slate so, for anyone who hasn’t used the library because of fines, it’s the perfect time to make a fresh start and come in to enjoy the vast range of books and services on offer.

Fees for requesting an item from another SDC library have also been scrapped and all collections are now free to borrow, including books, boardgames, DVDs, audiobooks, magazines and jigsaws.

Lost and damaged items, together with borrowing books from libraries outside the SDC network, will continue to incur charges.

Back to News & stories