No more overdue fines!

No more fines 320pxAre overdue fines holding you back? We’re starting a new chapter.

Hobsons Bay Libraries are delighted to announce that we will no longer be applying fines for overdue library items.

Like a growing number of libraries around Australia and the wider world, we acknowledge that for many people library fines can have significant financial impacts. Overdue fines can be a barrier to library services, pushing away those community members who need us most. We want our libraries to be welcoming and accessible to everyone, which is why Hobsons Bay City Council has made the decision to remove library overdue fines.

Any previously outstanding overdue fines have now been waived and no further fines will be accrued. Standard loan periods and due dates will still apply and customers with two or more overdue items will be restricted from further borrowing and accessing public PCs until the items are returned. Charges for lost or damaged library items will remain in place.

We’re looking forward to welcoming back members who may have kept away due to outstanding fines, and to improving the library experience for all members, old and new.

Frequently asked questions

Why is Hobsons Bay Libraries removing overdue fines?
By removing overdue fines, we are removing a barrier to the free access of resources that support the information, educational, recreational and cultural needs of the Hobsons Bay community.

This move is in line with the state and national trend away from overdue library fines with more than 20 of Victoria’s 45 public library services no longer applying fines. Feedback from libraries who have adopted this new policy has been overwhelmingly positive, with many libraries experiencing an increase in loans and new members.


Will I need to pay off my old fines for overdue items?
No. All existing fines for overdue library items have now been waived. Please note that charges for lost or damaged items will still apply.

Can I get a refund for previously paid overdue fines?
No. Our new policy applies only to existing and future overdue library items.


Will I still be charged for lost or damaged items?
Yes. As a condition of your library membership, any lost or damaged items will incur replacement charges.


I can still see fines on my library account. Why?
While we have removed all fines for overdue items, fees will still apply for damaged or lost library materials. Please log in to your account for a detailed explanation of your existing fines or contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  


What’s to stop people from just keeping their borrowed items forever?
Research has found library fines do not necessarily encourage the prompt return of library items, rather that they can discourage people from returning to the library altogether.

Customers will be restricted from further borrowing and from using the library’s public computers if there are more than two overdue items on their card.

To borrow more items or use a computer, you will need to either return your overdue items, or renew them.
You will also be unable to borrow if you have outstanding charges for lost or damaged charges over $5.00.


What about the Food for Fines program?
The Food for Fines program has now been replaced by a Festive Food and Toy Drive. While donations will no longer be accepted in place of library fines, we will still welcome donations of non-perishable food items and toys which will be given to local families in need in the lead up to the festive season. Details of our 2021 Festive Food and Toy Drive will be available in November. 

We were overwhelemed by the success of our first Festive Food and Toy Drive, held in 2020. Thanks to the generous support of our Hobsons Bay community, more than 1500 items of food and toys were distributed by West Welcome Wagon and emergency relief providers to local families in need. Thank you to everyone who donated.