Fine-free week smashes returns records

Library patrons responded with enthusiasm to the latest request to return overdue library materials, resulting in a three-fold increase in returned items year-on-year.

The City of Cape Town’s Library and Information Service has been overwhelmed by the public’s response to return overdue library items.

Fine Free Week coincides with SA Library Week, which was celebrated between 18 and 23 March 2019.

During this time, patrons with overdue library materials are afforded the chance to return these items and the fines are waived.

In 2018, a total of 6 067 items were returned, while this year 19 351 items were returned.

2019 Fine Free Week highlights:

Items valued at just under R3,2 million were returned.

The value of fines waived was R149 493,30

Adult patrons returned 10 327 items.

Returned items included 98 study guides, 7 351 adult fiction titles, 7 660 junior fiction titles, 960 DVDs and 335 magazines.

‘We are really grateful to patrons who made the choice to do the right thing and to return their overdue library material. Because of their efforts we now have nearly 20 000 items back in circulation, for the enjoyment of others.

‘In an ideal world, items will be returned on or before the due date, but we are mindful that this is not always possible. Fine Free Week is an opportunity to make amends, and I am blown away by the response this time around. The value of the fines waived pales in comparison to the value of the books, magazines and DVDs that we have recovered through this exercise and so the trade-off is certainly worth it,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Community Services and Health, Councillor Zahid Badroodien.

Among the most popular titles that were returned (more than five copies per title) were Alice in Wonderland, Little Red Riding Hood, The Three Little Pigs and the Grade 12 Geography Study Guide. The full list of titles is available here: http://bit.do/popular-returns

A breakdown by library shows that Brackenfell led the charge with 1 419 items that were returned, followed by Somerset West (1 403) and Strand (1 148).

‘I know that our library staff have worked very hard to find their unreturned items, and that the work continues all year round. I thank them for their commitment and dedication to the cause. In some areas, our members of staff have even gone door-to-door to spread the word about Fine Free Week, but also the services that our libraries offer. They are champions for literacy and for enabling broader horizons and for that, they deserve praise,’ said Councillor Badroodien.

Source: City Of Cape Town