Limerick is last council to introduce library fines

Donal O'Regan

Reporter:

Donal O'Regan

Limerick is last council to introduce library fines

New library system is first of its kind in Europe - Damien Brady, city and county librarian

LIMERICK City and County Council is the last one in the country to introduce fines on late library books but they won’t break the bank.

A new Library Management System across Ireland is being introduced in coming weeks, said city and county librarian, Damien Brady.

“The introduction of the new system called Sierra is a ground breaking initiative, the first of its kind in Europe and will provide significant benefits to the public. All of the individual library collections from every local authority will be included in the new management system, offering the public access to the library collections, resources and digital content of all public libraries in one search,” explained Mr Brady.

With the implementation of a single library system, the quality and strength of library collections will be enhanced, more discerning purchasing will be enabled and resource-sharing between libraries will increase because of the ease with which users will be able to search the wide range of collections, he added. 

“The system will enable the introduction of a number of new services such as a single membership card across all public libraries, universal membership for all children and a virtual library with ebooks, online magazines and language courses all available,” said Mr Brady.

As part of the new national system all procedures, policies and practices have to be aligned for every public library in the country, as the new service is essentially one library system for the whole country.  

“When fully operational there will be fines for overdue books at a rate of five cent per day to a max of €3  per item. However, nobody will need to pay fines if books are returned on time. In addition, if borrowers wish to hold books longer than the loan period, they can renew them at the library desk or by phone.”