LIBRARY fines are to be increased and DVDrentalsscrapped under a proposed newshake-up of the borough’s library services.

Charges for late returns were frozen last year and so this year’s price hike, of just under six per cent, takes account of two year’s worth of inflation, a Bolton Council report says.

A charge for a late book will go up from 17 pence to 18 pence per day, if the proposals are approved.

Fines for children’s books will be frozen at two pence as will charges for pensioners which currently stand at six pence per item per day.

The report, which is due to be considered by councillors next week, says that income from library fines has been gradually reducing over the past few years, after users became able to renew books online.

In the report, libraries boss Stephanie Crossley said: “Members will be aware that access to library services is now 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, which means that the traditional source of income, overdue charges, is diminishing year by year.”

The report also reveals that DVD rentals could be scrapped, due to competition from internet downloads and postal services, and lack of funds to buy new DVDs.

Eight libraries currently offer DVD rental, with weekly loans costing £1.60 and the latest releases costing £2.70 for a daily rental.

The report added: “It is proposed to retain hire and fine charges at the current level and review the sustainability of the service, given reductions in the resources fund.”

Almost £300,000 of library fines were issued by Bolton Council over the last three years, The Bolton News revealed last month. The figures came to light following a Freedom of Information request to the council and include late fees for books, DVDs, CDs and audiobooks since 2008