LIBRARY members in Halton will no longer face a financial penalty for returning a book later than expected.

Halton Borough Council is removing library fines from January 8 in a bid to make the library service more accessible.

Halton Library Service has already seen an increase in usage in recent years and it is expected that removing fines on overdue books will increase usage further.

It is hoped removing fines on overdue books will help to improve access for the community and remove barriers for library use. 

Part of the council vision is also to give ‘the opportunity for all to fulfil their potential’ as library fines can be off-putting for all users.

Currently, children do not pay fines in Halton, but this will be expanded to include all library users in a one-year trial period. 
Library users will still be expected to return overdue books before being able to take out any more books. 

Halton Borough Council’s executive board member for libraries Cllr Phil Harris said: “This is a great move forward for our innovative library service and hopefully former library users who haven’t visited their library in a long time because of the fear of fines will make 2019 the year that they return.”

The removal of fines will be for a trial period of 12 months, with a view to make it a permanent change if it is a success.