Fees and Charges Policy

Fees and Charges Policy (July 2024)

1. Policy Statement

Most services at Christchurch City Libraries are free to residents and ratepayers of the Christchurch City Council area.  The decisions about the services that will be charged for are based on the Local Government Act 2002 which identifies three types of expenditure and how each type of expenditure should be funded:

  • a. Expenditure which gives rise to general benefits may be funded from rates. General benefits do not accrue to identifiable persons or groups of persons but benefit the community generally.
  • b. Expenditure which gives rise to direct benefits should be funded by contributions from the person or categories of person who benefit from the expenditure.
  • c. Expenditure necessary to control negative effects should be funded by those whose action or inaction caused the negative effects to occur.

Fees and charges are based on the following principles:

  • Services where there is both an individual benefit to the library customer and a benefit to the library (eg. through system efficiencies), a partial charge is applied to the service.
  • Services where an individual charge should apply but where the cost of obtaining the fee from the customer would make the service cost unreasonable and prohibitive to using the service will be provided without charge. Services within this category are reviewed regularly both to ensure that they are still appropriate services for the library to offer and to explore equitable ways to levy the charge.
  • Services which may have an individual benefit, but where the library recognises the difficulty for some customer groups to access the service (e through mobility or financial issues), there will be no charge. This applies to many services available to Youth and Concession members.

The current calculation for the balance between general and individual benefit from the library resources and services means that at least 95% of the operational cost of providing library services is met from rates funding and the remainder is funded from fees, charges, and grants.

Some fees and charges require approval as part of the Christchurch City Council’s Long Term Plan process.  These charges are listed in Council’s Fees and Charges schedule.  Where fees and charges are set at the discretion of the General Manager, Citizens and Community, these will be listed on the library website.

Specialist services (such as Bindery services) will be charged on the basis of the service provided. Customers will be quoted for these services before committing to the work.


The Fees and Charges Policy will be reviewed every three years (at a minimum), to coincide with the Long Term Plan (LTP) planning cycle.

2. Schedule of Fees and Charges

There is no charge to residents and ratepayers of Christchurch City Council for the following library services:

  • Using and enjoying the library facilities.
  • Borrowing of general collection books.
  • Accessing and searching the internet and sending email.
  • General information services.

2.1 Borrowing Charges

2.1.1 Replacement Membership Cards

A membership card is required for borrowing items from the collection.  If the card is lost, it will need to be replaced to continue borrowing from the library.

Charge:  Adult $5.00

Youth $2.50

Concession $2.50 

2.1.2 Lost or Damaged Item

The charge made for a lost or damaged item is calculated from the cost of the item detailed in the library catalogue record, and reflects the cost to the library of replacing or repairing the item. 

A processing or administration fee of $21.00 per item is added to the lost item charge. This covers the cost of staff time taken to check if replacement copy is available, to order and receive a new copy, to update the catalogue record, and to process the item.  It also includes the cost of plasticating or covering dust jackets, and barcoded tags.    

Charges for the repair of damaged items will be set at actual cost recovery.

2.1.3 Overdues

We encourage customers to return their items on time so that they are available for other customers to enjoy them. 

If items are not returned 28 days after the due date, the items will be deemed assumed lost, and the customer will not be able to issue any further items, place holds, or access electronic material until the outstanding items are returned or paid for.

If items are still outstanding 42 days after the due date, the debt may be referred to a Debt Collection Agency.  Customers will be liable for any collection costs incurred to recover amounts owing.  This includes the debt collection referral fee.

2.1.4 Bestseller Collections

All items located in the bestseller collection attract a charge which reflects the premium nature and immediacy of access provided by these items.  The charge applies to all library customers. 

Charge: Adult, Youth & Concession $3.00 per item for 7 day loan 

2.1.5 Audiovisual Collections

There is a charge to borrow items from the DVD, audiobook, and CD general collections.  This charge reflects the additional costs involved in the library providing (and supporting) audiovisual resources.

Charge:  DVD $3.00 per item per 7 day loan
$6.00 per set per 14 day loan
CDs and audiobooks $3.00 per item per 28 day loan
$3.00 per set per 28 day loan

The charge applies to adults and youth when they borrow items in the general collection.  Items in the children and young adult collections are free.

There are no charges to borrow audiovisual items (CDs and DVDs) located in the Nga Pounamu Collection or Pasifika Collection.  This recognises the significance of providing access to these collections.

2.2 Interlibrary Loan

For information about the borrowing conditions of interlibrary loan, refer to the Interloans Policy.

2.2.1 General Conditions

For requests supplied from within New Zealand, the following charges apply.

Charges: Non-urgent requests $13.00 (1st 25 requests in a calendar year)
$30.00 (26th and subsequent requests in a calendar year)
Urgent requests $43.00
Standards $35.00 per standard

Items supplied from New Zealand sources are charged on a partial cost recovery basis.  This reflects that the Library is not able to hold all resources that members may wish to use, but supports their access to other collections held nationally.

For requests supplied from overseas:

Charges:  All items $20.00-$60.00 (approximately)

Overseas items are charged on a cost recovery basis, and vary according to country of origin, exchange rates, agent’s charges, and method of delivery.  Members will be advised of charges before proceeding with a request.

Overdue interlibrary loan items are treated as outlined in section 2.1.3. above

If library members request more than 25 items in one calendar year, an increased charge applies for each item after the 25th.

Occasionally additional charges may be imposed by the supplying library.  These charges will be passed on to the customer. 

2.2.2 Corporate Services

Items received on interloans for corporate members can be supplied by post.  The charge for this service will be based on cost recovery and includes the cost of postage.

2.3 Non-City Borrowers

Most library members are Christchurch City Council ratepayers or residents.  Non-residents who comply with the conditions of membership are eligible to join the library as subscription members.

The charges apply to both adult and youth non-city members.  However, some trusts (eg. Gammack Trust) provide for free membership for youth in adjacent districts. 

2.3.1 Subscription Members

For subscription non-city members:

Charge:  6-month membership $77.00
12-month membership $154.00

This subscription enables non-city members to access most services offered by the library on the same basis as ratepayers and residents, for example the same bestseller and audio-visual item charges will apply.  Subscription members can access all electronic resources except where specifically excluded by the terms of Christchurch City Libraries’ contractual agreements with those suppliers. Some services offered through Outreach and Learning are limited to Christchurch City ratepayers and residents only.

2.4 Printing and Copying

2.4.1 Printing and Photocopying

The Library provides facilities for customers to print and photocopy resources for their research and private study needs.  The costs of providing these services are similar.

Charge: A4 B&W $0.20 per page
 A4 Colour $1.00 per page
A3 B&W $0.40 per page
A3 Colour $2.00 per page

2.4.2 Digital Image Reproduction

The terms of use on the library website will indicate where copies of images may be taken by customers for their research and private study.  In these cases, there is no charge for the customer in taking a digital copy.  However, where staff intervention is required and/or where the image is not available for download from the library website, the following charges apply.

Charge: Electronic delivery of image $30.00 per image
photographer fee if applicable, cost recovery

Image delivered on CD or USB  $30.00 per image
photographer fee if applicable, cost recovery

An administration charge of $75.00 per hour will apply after 30 minutes. 

2.4.3 Scanning

Where customers use library equipment to scan copies for their own use there is no charge.  However, where customers require higher resolution scans using specialist library equipment then cost recovery charges (including staff time) will apply.

2.5 Information Delivery

2.5.1 Research Consultations

Assisting customers to find and use information resources is a core service of the library therefore quick reference enquiries, research searches that take less than 30 minutes and enquiries that involve staff assisting a customer to use the resources of the library are provided free of charge.  Where the research question is more in-depth, then a charge will apply to staff time over 30 minutes.

Charge: First 30 minutes Free
After 30 minutes $75.00 per hour (charged in 30 minute increments of $37.50)
Library staff will ensure that customers are advised of likely costs for additional research before the chargeable work begins.

The customer will also be charged with any additional costs associated with the research eg. photocopying, printing, or postage.

Charges for members of Christchurch City Libraries will be added to their customer account.  Where the requestor is not a member of the Library, payment in advance will be required.

For more extensive and complex research, staff capacity may need to be considered, and alternative options and timeframes offered.

3. Public Programmes

The principles underpinning the fees and charging policy apply equally to the programmes offered by the Library and Auahatanga Creative Spaces.  Charges will be based on the actual programme being offered and will be advertised with the programme.

3.1 Programmes offered at no charge

No charge applies to programmes designed and delivered by the Library, including the Auahatanga Creative Spaces, that promote the:

  • Use of the libraries physical and virtual collections.
  • Practice of reading for enjoyment and help emerging readers extend their reading experience.
  • Principles of information literacy in the effective use of library resources – print, digital and the web.
  • Use of digital literacy to ensure the management, retrieval, and use of electronic information for frequent tasks.
  • Council’s Long Term Plan community outcomes.

3.2 Programmes where customer pays

The customer will pay (based on cost recovery) for programmes designed and delivered by the Library, including the Auahatanga Creative Spaces, that extend beyond the core provisions.  These are programmes that provide:

  • ‘Value added’ with a focus on a creative production process and/or take home product e.g. some holiday programmes.
  • ‘Value added’ learning for an existing provider or business e.g. teacher professional development courses, specialist school programmes, customised programmes.
  • Specialist skill focus courses using applications or software not readily available on a home computer or with limited frequency of use e.g. 3D programmes using 123 Design, Film school using iMovie.

3.3 Subsidised Programmes

Some programmes will be subsidised.  Subsidisation is where the Library offsets the full cost of the programme.  Programmes considered for subsidisation include:

  • ‘Pilot’ programmes offered with the view to future rollout.
  • ‘Trial projects’ either by the Library or in partnership with other learning providers.
  • A project developed within a research context where the research will assist with Christchurch City Council strategic objectives.
  • Specialist programmes based around the testing and development of a new technology tool, learning theory or ICT application.
  • Learner support programmes that ‘bridge the gaps’. The focus is on supporting learners develop basic lifelong learning skills.
  • Specialist programmes that include an information literacy component as part of the learning process.

4. Meeting Rooms and Public Spaces

Christchurch City Libraries has a number of meeting rooms and public spaces available for use by groups and organisations in the local community.  Conditions of use, definitions and eligibility are outlined in the Responsibilities for hiring a CCC venue and City Council fees and charges for libraries 2024/2025

In most instances rates are charged on a per hour basis and are aligned with charges set for other community facilities available for hire through Council.  Three levels of rates are available – Not for profit community groups with no charge for attendees; Not for profit community groups where attendees are charged a fee or payment; and Commercial and private social event hires. 

For larger spaces in Tūranga, a daily rate is also available.

A full list of room hire charges can be found in the City Council fees and charges for libraries 2024/2025

Download the Fees and Charges Policy (July 2024) [203KB PDF]

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