Changes to overdue items

From 1 July 2020, Willoughby City Library has not charged fines for overdue items, on a trial basis.
Effective from 22 February 2023, we have made further changes to overdue items. We want to resolve overdue items quickly and easily so you can freely access what you want, when you want. These changes are as follows.

1. You may renew overdue library items up to 7 days after the due date.

2. If you have not returned or renewed items 7 days after the due date:

- Replacement costs will be applied to your library card

- Your library privileges will be suspended and you will be unable to access any Library resources.

To both reinstate your privileges and remove replacement costs from your card, simply return your items as soon as possible to your nearest library branch.


  Can I renew items myself when they are overdue?  Do I have to pay replacement costs even if I return my items to the Library? When are my privileges restored, and replacement costs removed from my library card? 
 Before 22 February 2023  No  Yes, after items are 90 days overdue  After replacement costs are paid
 After 22 February 2023  Yes, up to 7 days after the due date  No   After items are returned to the Library


Library items are shared resources for everyone. For us to provide our community with a great borrowing experience, we rely on you to return items on time.

What is a replacement cost?

Although Willoughby City Library stopped charging fines for overdue items from 1 July 2020, replacement costs have always been applicable and are a normal part of library practice.  

Replacement costs consist of the value of the item, plus a processing fee. The processing fee varies depending on the format of the item that requires replacing. View our fees and charges for more information.

Why are you not charging overdue fines?

  • We want all our members to enjoy access to our free resources including books, magazines, DVDs, as well as our digital collections, and by changing our approach to overdue items we expect more people will borrow and access all the great resources and services we offer.
  • Removing overdue fines will help to address social, equity and access issues, and encourage people to return any overdue items without fear of fines.
  • By no longer charging overdue fines, we hope to create or re-establish a connection with non-users of the library.
  • The original purpose of overdue fines is to encourage the timely return of items.
  • Our research showed that fines are not necessarily the best way to ensure timely return of items. 

What happens if my library privileges are suspended?

If your library privileges are suspended you will be unable to borrow any items, or access any of the Library’s digital collections. 

To reinstate your library privileges, simply return your items to the nearest library branch as soon as possible. 

How do I renew my items?

It’s easy to renew items by: 

Items may be renewed twice if they are not reserved by other members, or part of the Fast Read collection. 

How do I know when my items are due?

Due dates are displayed for all items on the self-check machine screens when you borrow them. The self-check machines also print receipts when you borrow items. 

Check the due date of your items by:

Can I receive library notices and what do you send?

The Library automatically sends electronic notices for overdue items and reservations, as well as courtesy date due reminder emails. 

To ensure you receive notices and courtesy due date reminders, you should: 

  • Register your email address and mobile phone number by logging in to your account online, or phone a library branch
  • Keep your contact details up to date.

Courtesy reminder emails can be set in your account preferences to 3, 5 or 7 days prior to the due date (email only). 

Standard notifications will be sent: 

  • 1 day after your items are due 
  • 7 days after your items are due. 

Reservation notifications are sent as soon as your items are ready for collection. 

Do the changes in overdue items apply to all members?

Yes. These changes apply to all Willoughby City Library members – children, young adults, adults and seniors. 

Why do I still have overdue fines on my account? Do I have to pay them?

The changes in overdue fines came into effect on Tuesday 28 July 2020, and were backdated to 1 July 2020. 

Any overdue fines owing on your account will be for items that were overdue prior to 1 July 2020. You will still need to pay any overdue fines owing prior to 1 July 2020. 

I have lost a library item – what should I do?

Notify the Library of the lost item. You will be charged the replacement cost of the item.  

A list of fees and charges is available online. 

I found a lost item which I already paid for.

If you find a lost item you have already paid for, you can keep the item. We cannot refund items that have been paid for. 

How do I pay any of my charges?

You may pay at Chatswood, Artarmon and Northbridge Libraries using EFTPOS or credit card. All Council services and facilities are cashless.


If you have any further questions, please contact the Library via phone 02 9777 7900 or email