national book week fine free week

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Fine free library week: Amnesty for your overdue books

It’s National Book Week in South Africa this week. And if you’re in Cape Town, you also have a chance to get back in your library’s good books by returning overdue items with no fine.

national book week fine free week

Photo: Pixabay

National Book Week will kick off on Monday, 3 September. The week will also offer a “fine free” week for anyone with overdue books.

We’ve all been there. And we know how mortifying it can be when you’ve got overdue books, no matter how good the excuse.

We could only find confirmation of this being implemented in Cape Town (this article will be updated if it’s national), but these initiatives have previously applied across South Africa.

According to reports, there are over 20 000 books outstanding at public libraries in the Mother City.

If you’re an offender, you can return these overdue items and escape the fine. But any other fines will still need to be paid. Library cards will also be replaced at no cost during National Book Week.

“Currently, there are more than 20 000 items including books, study guides and DVDs that are long overdue at the City’s libraries, valued at around R2 million. Staff are spending too many hours trying to track down patrons who checked out the items. This is time that could have been spent more productively on direct service delivery. Missing items also deprive others from enjoying them,” said the City of Cape Town’s Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security; and Social Services, Alderman JP Smith.

“During the last Fine-free Week earlier this year, libraries retrieved 6 067 items to the value of R283 000.

“National Book Week aims to promote reading, which is a powerful tool in fighting poverty. Literacy and reading are at the heart of education, personal growth and development. Even when a child is encouraged to read for pleasure, it impacts on his educational achievements,” said Smith.

National Book Week takes place during the first week of September every year. This is a dedicated week reserved for the promotion of books and reading.