Library Materials Debt Collection Policy

1. Purpose

The purpose of the policy is to ensure consistent application of write-offs of late payment of fines that is deemed as not being economical to collect.

2. Scope

This policy applies to outstanding fines from materials loaned to State Library of Western Australia (SLWA) members directly and through the inter-library loans service.  It does not apply to outstanding debts from the SLWA’s commercial operations (e.g. venue hire).

3. Context

Items from the SLWA collections are available for loan to clients directly and through the inter-library loans service. Not all library items are available for loan. Rare, valuable or heavy demand items, as well as all materials from the J.S. Battye Library of West Australian History are available for use only within the State Library building.

As per Treasurer’s Instructions, SLWA must ensure stewardship of its assets. Accordingly, a fee shall be charged to clients who lose or damage library materials. Items are invoiced at replacement cost plus an administration fee. Reasonable attempts are made to contact clients to recover unpaid invoices. Clients with outstanding invoices have a block placed on their record so they are unable to borrow further items until all outstanding items are returned or the invoice paid in full.

4. Policy Statement

It is the policy of the Library Board of Western Australia that:
  • For lost collection items, the SLWA will make reasonable attempts to recover the loaned item(s) or its replacement cost plus an administration fee.
  • For damaged collection items, the SLWA will make reasonable attempts to recover its replacement cost plus an administration fee.
  • Once reasonable attempts are made to recover the debt, and the debt is deemed not recoverable, a recommendation will be made to the Library Board to write-off the outstanding debt (in accordance with the provisions outlined in the Financial Management Act 2006 and Treasurer’s Instructions).

5. Responsibilities

  • The CEO and State Librarian will recommend to the Library Board which debts are to be written-off.
  • Chief Finance Officer will provide advice on the management of this policy.
  • Team Leader Client Services will support the implementation of this policy.

6. Responsibility for this document

Manager Client Services (development, implementation and management of this policy).

7. References

Financial Management Act 2006
Western Australian Treasurer’s Instructions

8. Authorisation and Review

First approved: Library Board of WA September 2017
Review date: Two years from Board approval
Reviewed: XTeam February 2021
Approved: Library Board December 2020
Approved: Library Board March 2021
CIU File: 19/306

Last updated on 6 October 2021