Fine-free libraries offer more for members

06 Jul 2021

A fines-free initiative introduced to support library members during COVID-19 has been extended indefinitely by City of Newcastle.

Fines for overdue library loans were temporarily suspended as part of City of Newcastle's $5.5 million Community and Economic Resilience Package (CERP), which was announced on 20 March last year as part of a targeted response to the growing impacts of COVID-19.

Fines are seen as a barrier to membership for some of the most disadvantaged members of the community, creating unnecessary stress and discouraging them from engaging with the wide variety of free resources on offer at our libraries.

But since the onset of the pandemic and the removal of the overdue fees, membership at Newcastle Libraries has risen by more than 7,500 people.

The success of the fines-free concept has led to its long-term continuation, creating another incentive for people to sign up to become members.

City of Newcastle and Newcastle Libraries prioritise customer-centred services and positive member experiences, with greater access, increased services and additional ways to connect.

Fees for lost and damaged items continue to apply.

Membership is free and open to anyone who lives, works or regularly travels in the Newcastle region. Find out more about becoming a member at or contact the Libraries team on 4974 5300.