Birmingham University students paid £28,063 in library fines alone in the last academic year, it has been revealed. This amount equates to an average spend of approximately £0.83 per student! These fines relate purely to overdue books, as opposed to costs for lost/damaged resources. This number also doesn’t take into account the £10.00 replacement fee charge for a lost library card, of which many a patron has fallen victim of down the years. In one positive – this is actually a lower amount than the average value seen at UK institutions.
This is a large amount, and with the high cost of living at the University, this number is likely to cause disappointment to students. The University library also makes considerable money on printing – something that isn’t included in tuition fees, unexpectedly. Students are urged to return items before their due date, which can help to lower the figure witnessed for the 2016-2017 academic year.
It would be fair to speculate too that this number would be substantially higher if the above costs had been taken into account. Printing at University of Birmingham isn’t included in tuition fees, and with the large amount of materials and resources that students print, this would add considerably to the number. As mentioned, the library charges £10.00 for a replacement card, regardless of circumstances. Finally, lost and damaged books also result in fines.
All this after student’s pay £9,000 a year. Not to mention the money spent in the overpriced library café! While it can be both annoying and unfair when someone doesn’t return their book in time, it could be argued a lower fine is fairer on students. Either way, the library continues to be a money-making machine.