Leeds Libraries is abolishing all fines and ID requirements, making it even easier for local residents to access their services and enjoy everything from free resources to inspiring activities.
From 7 October, as National Libraries Week kicks off, all members returning overdue books will benefit from a ‘fines amnesty’, with historic fines written off.
This will be followed on 17 October by the end of fines and ID requests for new members. Providing proof of identity or address can be a barrier for many people, so this inclusive approach enables residents of all ages and circumstances to benefit from their local libraries. A fine-free policy has succeeded in public libraries around the world, from Chicago to Blackpool.
As the city celebrates a Year of Reading, it is an ideal time to increase access to library collections, alongside the wealth of events and learning opportunities at Leeds Libraries, including support to get online.
Anyone returning a late loan will find the record for Leeds’ most overdue book hard to beat. Builder Rusholme Hutton borrowed The Siege of Troy and the Wanderings of Ulysses from Armley Library around 1883. His grandson returned the weighty tome over a century later.
Andrea Ellison, Chief Librarian:
“Library fines may have been designed to encourage people to return books on time, but even relatively small sums can be a real barrier, causing many to miss out on free services. By changing our policy and also making it easier to join, Leeds Libraries will be accessible to more people than ever during the Leeds Year of Reading and beyond.”
Councillor James Lewis, Executive Member for Resources:
“We want everyone living in Leeds to enjoy the benefits of the library service and promote reading for pleasure. Our communities have access to an amazing range of Leeds Libraries support. We hope more children will join the library and that anyone studying, looking for a job, starting a business or needing help getting online will find it easier to access our service.”
Library services are available locally at Dewsbury Road Community Hub in Beeston, St George’s Centre in Middleton, Hunslet Community Hub off Church Street and Beeston Library on Town Street. Other parts of South Leeds are served by regular visits from the mobile library.
For more information about Leeds Libraries visit leeds.gov.uk/leisure/libraries
This post is based on a press release issued by Leeds City Council