In 2018, a staggering 20 193 items valued at R1 774 993,70 were not returned to libraries. The City’s Library and Information Service hopes the lure of Fine Free Week, which coincides with South African Library Week, will see most if not all of these items returned.
This year, the theme for Library Week is Collaborate @ Your Library. The City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Community Services and Health, Councillor Zaid Badroodie has urged patrons to take hands with librarians to make access to information a reality by returning those items that are long overdue.
No questions will be asked and any fines that have accrued on these items will be waived.
SA Library Week was initiated in 2001 for libraries across the country to use as an opportunity to market their services and to promote the important role that libraries play in a democratic society by advancing literacy, making the basic human right of freedom of access to information a reality, and promoting tolerance and respect among all South Africans.
“Library Week also coincides with Human Rights Day. The Bill of Rights recognises the freedom of access to information as a basic human right. It is therefore concerning that four of the top titles not returned last year are study guides. By not returning items, someone else is being deprived of the right to access those materials and, in this case, are denied an educational resource.”
Patrons are reminded that, while no fines will be charged, previous fines will not be written off during this week. This means if you take back currently overdue items, you will not pay a fine on those materials returned.
However, if you have already accrued a fine for late/lost or damaged items returned to the library previously, you will still be liable to pay that fine.