This page is not a current Christchurch City Council document. Please read our disclaimer.
Media Releases
  Media Releases


Tougher new measures to reduce library debt

12 January 2007

Christchurch City Libraries introduces tougher new measures next week to help reduce the amount of debt owed by borrowers.

This debt relates to fines for overdue items and replacement costs for books and items that have not been returned.

In April 2006, the libraries debt topped $1.4 million. This was owed by past and present borrowers. This amount has since been reduced to $857,562.

Christchurch City Libraries Manager Carolyn Robertson said the libraries had been looking at new ways to better manage and reduce the debt related to overdue and non-returned items as this had a significant impact on the library’s capacity to buy new items and replace stock.

“From Monday (15 January), after an item is overdue for three days, the borrower will receive an email or telemessage reminding them they have overdue items.

Five days later customers will again be asked by letter or email to return the items or face being charged the 40c a day, per item overdue fine as well as the replacement cost of the item and a $10 processing fee.

When any items are 31 days overdue, a block will be put on the customer’s library card and they will no longer be able to borrow until the items are returned or paid for.

“If the overdue period extends to 48 days, the customer will be phoned asking them to return the overdue items and after 62 days, any outstanding amounts over $50 will be transferred to a debt collection agency.”

She said by notifying customers earlier and more often about overdue items and fines, the new measures should help customers manage their debts by preventing them building up to unmanageable levels.

“The average debt owed by borrowers is between $20 and $50, the amount having been incurred when a block to their card was set at $20. This amount has now halved to $10. This will also help us reduce the debt.

“With the average cost of replacing a book or audio-visual item being $35 and members able to borrow 20 items at a time, it was not difficult for some debts to mount quickly,” she said.

“These new measures are important in helping to reduce the level of debt owed to the library and ensure the city is able to provide all residents with access to the latest books, magazines and audio-visual items.”

Top of Page ~ Media Release index

This page is not a current Christchurch City Council document. Please read our disclaimer.
© Christchurch City Council, Christchurch, New Zealand | Contact the Council