Glasgow Life removes late book fines to ensure city’s libraries remain accessible to all

Glasgow Life removes late book fines to ensure city’s libraries remain accessible to all

Fines for late book returns are being abolished to ensure Glasgow’s libraries continue to be accessible to all.

Glasgow Life, the charity responsible for culture and sport in the city, has removed charges for overdue books and cleared outstanding fines for items yet to be returned across all of Glasgow’s 33 public libraries, including The Mitchell Library.

With a growing cost of living crisis, the new approach, which begins this month, is aimed at removing concerns about fines while encouraging more people to use their local library.

The decision reflects a growing global movement to abolish late book fines, which is recognised as a barrier to participation, particularly for families from low-income households. It also supports Glasgow Life’s mission to inspire every citizen and visitor to become engaged and active in a city globally renowned for culture and sport.

Glasgow Life Libraries’ aim is to be as inclusive and accessible as possible, providing highly valued services in communities across the city. Glasgow’s libraries attracted more than 1.2m visits in the 2021-22 operational year, of which 478,000 were made in-person and 747,000 were online.

During this period, some 1.2m books were issued, which included 453,000 e-books, while nearly 460,000 uses of free PCs and Wi-Fi were recorded. More than 1,500 children also took part in the 2021 Summer Reading Challenge.

However, the importance of Glasgow’s libraries extends far beyond the provision of reading resources; delivering vital community learning programmes, digital skills training, health information and help with Universal Credit claims.

Andrew Olney, Glasgow Life’s Head of Communities and Libraries, said:

“Glasgow’s libraries play a fundamental role at the heart of the city’s communities; they’re vital safe spaces providing free access to books, digital resources, information and support which can improve health, wellbeing and social connection.

“Glasgow Life is committed to reducing inequality and we believe everyone, regardless of their financial circumstances, should be able to enjoy reading and all that their local library has to offer. By removing late book fines, we hope this will make Glasgow’s libraries more accessible to all.”