From October 12, avid readers in Carterton and South Wairarapa Districts will be able to loan items from four Wairarapa libraries without worrying about overdue charges and reserve fees.

Wairarapa Library Service [WLS] customers in Carterton, Featherston, Greytown, and Martinborough will enjoy greater access to items after Carterton District and South Wairarapa District Councillors voted in favour of the new policy.

In 2019/20, both Councils removed overdue fines on children’s books to keep reading affordable for all and encourage a love of reading in all young families.

Annette Beattie, Library Manager at Wairarapa Library Service, said the Councils want to ensure equity of access for all members of our community, and remove barriers to enjoying their public libraries.

“We know in Wairarapa we have a higher ratio of older community members than the rest of New Zealand, many whom are on a fixed income or for whom the library is a key part of their intellectual or recreational life” Annette said.

“Removal of fees is a clear step towards ensuring our councils are looking after the wellbeing of all our community members.”

WLS will offer a suite of new services to library users, also from October 12.

Customers will also be able to take advantage of the exciting new services provided by WLS’ new library management system.

The package includes the ability to borrow items from 26 libraries across the lower North Island, including Masterton’s district library.

There will also be a new website and Facebook page for WLS.

“The team is very excited to be upgrading to a truly modern system,” Annette said.

“We are looking forward to sharing some very cool new features with library members, and to giving people the opportunity to use libraries throughout the wider region.”

Look out for further updates about the changes on your local council’s website, social media, and in local newspapers.

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