If you have not been back to one of Wollongong's libraries because you are worried about paying the fine for that overdue book then you can breathe a sigh of relief.
Wollongong City Council will no longer charge library members for an overdue fee for the items they forget to return and will waive past fines.
That change is expected to come into effect once the draft budget goes out for public exhibition and is endorsed by council.
Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbery said about one million items were borrowed annually from Wollongong libraries but only 0.2 per cent were not returned.
"By removing the overdue fees, council wants to encourage people to return the books to the library," he said. "We want people to reestablish a connection with the service.
"We find, those can't afford to pay the fine often then no longer attend. We want to encourage people to come in to the library and we don't want it to be a punitive space. We want to restore goodwill."
Overdue fees were 50 cents per day.
Cr Bradbery said the decision had been made after seeing other councils' success with removing overdue fees. The Sydney of City Library reported an increase in long-overdue items being returned and more borrowing.
He said libraries managers around the state had not reported an increase in the loss of stock after making the move.
"We have $7 million worth of materials in our libraries, which is about 300,000 items, and we are confident this decision will not have a negative impact on our libraries but will create better goodwill and connections with the library spaces," he said.