Feeling fine (free) at Boroondara's libraries

A stack of books

Our libraries went fine-free last year, and this is what happened next.

Last year, we scrapped overdue borrowing fines from Boroondara Library Service to encourage members to return all books to our libraries despite their return being late. 

The decision to encourage book returns and their accessibility to the community, over return enforcement, has seen many books returned to the shelves and back in circulation.

While our libraries are free to join, fines have historically been charged to those who fail to return their borrowed items within the allotted timeframe of 3 weeks. The decision was made last year to remove late-fees and encourage library members to not only return any library books gathering dust, but to swap them for something new. 

Since then, our library return chutes have been ringing with returned items, and lapsed members have been reconnecting with our services. Upon moving into their new house, one Boroondara resident recently came across a pile of borrowed library books, hidden in the home’s basement. The return date stamped inside the covers showed that the titles, which included The Complete Beginners Guide to Making Kites by Edward F Dolan Jr and The Complete World of Kites by Bill Thomas, were last borrowed in 1989. 

Despite being on loan for more than 30 years, the books were returned (without charge!), dusted off and welcomed back into circulation. Just in time, perhaps, for the original borrower’s children to check them out.

The returned books re-join Boroondara Library Service’s collection of more than 430,000 hard-copy books – in this state second only in size to the State Library of Victoria’s collection.

Become a library member today

You’ll find something for everyone at each of our 6 library branches. Beyond the ability to reserve and request books, your library membership is your ticket to our collection of e-books and audio books, films and music, newspapers and magazines, and our database of journal articles and research materials.

In addition to our collection, we also offer a free program of events for all ages throughout the year.

With more than 500,000 physical and online items available to borrow, stream and download, there is truly something for every age and stage.

To get started, you can: