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Libraries – latest updates

Read about the latest updates and news for Westminster’s libraries and the Archives Centre.

Published on: 7 March 2022

Last updated: 8 March 2022

Automatic renewals process is ending

Our book renewals process is returning as life gets back to normal

On 15 March 2022, our libraries will end automatic renewals and return to an overdue fines procedure across our bi-borough service as part of our plans to return to our usual service provision, in light of pandemic restrictions easing across the UK, and in line with many other libraries returning to usual.

How we supported our library members throughout the pandemic

Back in March 2020 and in response to the first Covid-19 lockdown and the full closure of all our libraries, we implemented automatic renewals on all lending items out on loan and not already overdue, meaning that no overdue charges were incurred on any items borrowed throughout the pandemic. We have continued this system since we reopened in July 2020 until now. 

Why we are ending automatic renewals on 15 March 2022

  • This will ensure hold requests are fulfilled in a timely manner as our system won’t allow further renewals on items that have been requested by another customer. Ultimately, this helps to give our members a fair and equal chance to share and read the items they would like access to and encourages people to return the items they have borrowed from us
  • The return to our usual processes also means that our customers with items out on loan will automatically receive courtesy email reminders or SMS messages (for those who have signed up with a valid email address or mobile phone number, informing them of the imminent due date). If your email address is not up to date, please speak to a member of library staff in your local library to correct it.

How will this affect me and what shall I do next?

You will not be affected if you have no overdue items. However, here’s three steps for you to action if you are unsure:

  1. Check your library account and return your items 

From 15 March 2022, we will no longer automatically renew items. Here’s a list to give you an idea of when you need to return your items, but your library account will give you the correct information too.

Current due date charge Please return by this date to incur no charge
11 March 2022 16 March 2022
12 March 2022 17 March 2022
13 March 2022   18 March 2022
14 March 2022   19 March 2022
15 March 2022   20 March 2022    

  Please note: maximum overdue fine

  • Maximum overdue fine limit aged 18+  is £10.00
  • Maximum overdue fine limit 16-17yrs is £2.00

2. Please return your overdue items

If you have an overdue item, we will email you in advance of 15 March 2022 to let you know that you have an overdue item. Please return it by the new due date to your local library by using one of our kiosks or by talking to a member of library staff, to ensure you are not charged.

3. Check your email is up to date

If your email address is not up to date on your account, please speak to a member of library staff to ensure you get our courtesy emails in future. 

How can I find out more?

Please speak to a member of library staff in your local library or email: [email protected]