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Borrowers offered book amnesty as Rutland libraries set to reopen

Date Published: 08 April 2021
Oakham Library

Rutland Library Service is offering an amnesty on long overdue books and DVDs as COVID-19 lockdown restrictions are gradually lifted and library buildings reopen.

All of Rutland’s Libraries are due to reopen during the week Monday 12 April, offering an ‘Order and Collect’ service and essential public computer use for registered library users. Borrowers are also being urged to use this an opportunity to refresh their reading materials and bring back any loaned items they may have at home.

More than 5,000 of Rutland’s library items have been out on loan for longer than three months due to lockdown. Almost half of these items are from the service’s children’s collection. Rutland Libraries don’t charge any overdue fines, so there are no nasty bills waiting for anyone who returns their books. 

“Lots of people very wisely stocked up on books or DVDs from local libraries at the start of the pandemic, to see them through lockdown. Some borrowers who’ve been shielding or supporting others might have found it particularly difficult to get to their local library to return books. Bringing library items back late carries no charges or penalties and gives borrowers a chance to start enjoying new books again. 
Many Rutlanders don’t realise that our libraries don’t charge for overdue items, and may be reluctant to return books because they’re worried about late fees. Any items not returned after a year would normally be classed as ‘lost’, whereupon we have to send a bill to the borrower for buying a replacement. However, with this amnesty, even books and DVDs that are way overdue can be returned without any worries at all.” 
Councillor Lucy Stephenson, Cabinet Member for Culture and Leisure at Rutland County Council

Books and DVDs can be returned to any of Rutland’s libraries in Oakham, Uppingham, Ketton or Ryhall or via the Home Delivery Service, and any historical fines will be cancelled.

Anyone who thinks they have lost an overdue book or DVD should talk to library staff who can remove the item and any fines, from their account. Please bring a form of ID such as a bank card or driving licence so that we can update your library membership.

Rutland libraries have a stock of more than 60,000 items, including DVDs and audiobooks, as well as a growing digital collection including eMagazines and eNewspapers. It’s free to join Rutland Libraries - just bring a form of ID and you can borrow up to 24 books for three weeks at a time from any Rutland library.

Although browsing the library shelves will not be possible until restrictions are further eased, borrowers can use the Online Library Catalogue to request items and renew books online. Requesting books for pick up is free if they are in print. The Amnesty on late items will run until 31 July 2021.

For more information about Rutland Library Service or to view the online catalogue, please visit: www.rutland.gov.uk/libraries

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