22 Jun 2021

Zero overdue fees

As of 1 July 2021 Nelson Public Libraries will no longer be charging overdue fees on items returned late. We haven’t charged overdue fees on items from our children’s collection for some time now so extending this to our adult collections is an exciting initiative that we hope will encourage more of the Nelson community to use our wonderful library service. We recognise that it can be very easy to return books one or two days late without meaning to, and we trust that the majority of our books will still be returned within their regular borrowing period.


Will I still need to pay the fees that are currently owing on my account?

Yes, we will not be waiving overdue fees which were already outstanding on your account.  All fees will stop accruing as of Thursday 1 July 2021.

So, I will no longer get a fee if an item is overdue?

We will no longer be charging the 50c per day overdue fee. However, a full item replacement fee will still be applied when books are not returned 21 days past the due date (7 weeks total). This is to ensure books will still be returned to circulation for the rest of our members to enjoy. This fee is waived on return of the item.

If I have charges on my account, can I still borrow items?

Your library account will allow you to borrow up until there is $10 or more owing on it.  Therefore, if your items have incurred a replacement fee, you won’t be able to use your account until those items have been returned or the amount is paid.

Does this mean I can keep my library books for as long as I want?

No. We hope that you will still return your items on time or renew them if you need to keep them longer. We want our entire library community to benefit from borrowing our collection. People will still be charged $2 to place a hold on an item they really want to read so we have faith in our community that waiving overdue fees will not affect the length of time items are borrowed for. We simply want to remove the barrier that overdue fees pose to some of our library members.

What if other library users don’t bring their books back on time?

Discussions with other NZ libraries, including Upper Hutt and Selwyn, indicate that removing overdue fees has made little difference to item return rates. We will be monitoring our high use collections to ensure popular titles are kept in stock.

Do I still need to renew my items after the loan period is up?

Yes please! Renewing your items is a good way to see if somebody else has requested it (in which case you won’t be able to renew it) and it also gives the library staff a better idea about when we can expect an item back in the library.

What about items with shorter loan periods like DVDs and Bestsellers?

We are no longer charging overdue fees for any Library items. DVDs, Bestsellers and Magazines have shorter loan periods (1-2 weeks), therefore a replacement fee will be applied when items are not returned 10 days past the due date. This fee is waived on return of the item. Most other Library items are loaned for 4 weeks and the replacement fee is applied at 21 days past the due date.

What happens when an item is lost or damaged?

A full item replacement fee is applied when items are not returned 21 days past the due date or 10 days for items with shorter loan periods. This fee is waived on return of the item. Damaged items are reviewed on a case by case basis. If you have damaged a book, please let a staff member know when you return it and we will deal with it from there.