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No more overdue fees on kids’ library cards

Matilda Library 2

Matilda Henderson, two and a half, signed up for her first library card this week. From July 1 children’s library cards are no longer being charged overdue fees.

It’s winter, but things are heating up at Hastings District Libraries with a number of events planned over the coming weeks, and from this month children’s library cards are no longer charged overdue fees.

Removal of children’s overdue charges has come about through the Long Term Plan process and is just one way Hastings libraries are seeking to enable and encourage public access to the rich source of information and learning that the libraries provide.

Manager community services and programmes Paula Murdoch said Hastings libraries routinely welcome over half a million visitors, issue over 600,000 items, host over 110,000 hours of public internet and wifi, and run over 700 events and programmes annually at the libraries in Hastings, Flaxmere and Havelock North.

“Removing overdue fines for our youngest members is in line with global trends to make sure barriers to young people developing their literacy skills are removed at a crucial stage in their lives.

“It’s been found overseas that removing fines results in more items being borrowed and growth in library membership.

“We encourage parents and caregivers to ensure their children have their own card to use for their items and to ensure children’s items are issued on their cards as the adult cards will still incur overdue charges.”

Ms Murdoch said she hoped the initiative, which started on July 1, would encourage families to get along to their local library, sign their children up for membership, and see what’s new, and what services, programmes and resources were on offer.

In coming weeks there’s a number of programmes running for all the family.

For the adults there’s the Turn Up The Heat winter reading challenge, which runs until August 15, with weekly prizes on offer and four separate challenges that put participants into a grand prize draw.

From now until July 19, there’s a host of activities happening to celebrate Matariki – from storytelling and readings for young and old to art and technology workshops.

The school holidays are nearly upon us and from July 10 to 25 there’s a heap of winter treats to pass the time – from bubble bath mixture making to films, mini golf and scavenger hunts.

For details on all these activities go to www.hastingslibraries.co.nz

7 July 2021

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