As part of its savings measures, Thurrock Council’s libraries service is clamping down on customers who don’t return their books, or no not renew them in time.
At the moment, borrowers do not lose their borrowing privileges so long as they keep their fines at £4.99 or below.
From 1 August, this figure will be reduced to £2.99.
Cllr Lynn Worrall, Thurrock’s cabinet member for libraries, said: “If everyone who currently owes between £4.99 and £2.99 paid up, we would get about £1,500 in revenue.
“In these difficult times, every penny counts, but we know most people do not deliberately fail to return their books so we have not gone down the road of zero tolerance like some authorities, although we have to reduce the number of fines outstanding.”
Thurrock Libraries loan books for three weeks free of charge and they can be renewed — via the library pages on Thurrock Council’s website (www.thurrock.gov.uk), by telephone, or in person at any library in Thurrock, Essex or Southend — up to seven times, unless it has been requested by another user.
Fines are charged at 10p per day, but there are no fines on children’s books.
DVDs/CDs/talking books are charged on a weekly basis and the full charge becomes payable as soon as the item goes overdue.