FINES for overdue books will soon be consigned to the pages of history.
The Central Northern Libraries group will no longer issue overdue fees in a move which is "in line with trends" in the sector.
Tamworth Regional Council information and collections librarian, Shiralee Franks, said abolishing overdue fees was a way to remove a barrier to borrowing for some members of the community.
"Abolishing overdue fees has gained momentum recently with 25 public libraries around NSW no longer charging fees for items returned late," she said.
"Those libraries have reported a growth in membership."
Ms Franks said the move aimed "to have books in people's homes rather than on library shelves".
"We all found that overdue fees tended to impact some of the most vulnerable people in our communities and largely did not have the effect of prompting the return of overdue items," she said.
"The overdue fees produced little in terms of revenue and they did not serve our group's vision of investing in the future of our communities by creating an environment for learning, innovation and social connection."
The libraries will also reduce the loan limit for each borrower from 50 items to 20 items.
Loan periods remain unchanged with the exception of renewals.
Items are now able to be renewed for two weeks, and up to five times, if the item has not been reserved by another borrower.
The library group has been rolling out a range of new technology recently, including speedier loaning technology and a new app.
The app can be downloaded from either Google Play Store or the Apple store by searching for "CNR Library".
The app will allow people to renew borrowed items, check on reservations, access their library's e-resources and check for upcoming events.
The Central Northern Libraries group includes facilities in the Tamworth, Walcha, Narrabri, Liverpool Plains, Uralla and Gwydir council areas.