Figures obtained by UniEel have shown that students from the University of Reading spent heavily on library fines during the 2016-17 academic year. Students spent a total of £45,297.83! This figure is above average for values seen at UK institutions. To put this figure into perspective, this equates to a spend of approximately £3.02 per student. This figure takes into account both fines for overdue items – and the cost of replacing lost/damaged resources.
This amount will certainly come as a disappointment for students. The discontent at the library was exacerbated by the University’s bizarre decision to continue construction work on the old library during the exam season – causing significant noise and disruption. While Reading has its positives, this huge amount is a cost that student’s could do without. Some University’s don’t fine students for being overdue with books, instead banning them temporarily. It should also be noted the University library makes a substantial profit on areas such as 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.
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These fines come on top of the thousands of pounds in tuition fees spent each year by student’s. 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, or even a switch to the banning system successfully implemented at the University of Westminster. This figure could prompt discussion regarding the fairness of library fines. At least with every passing day, leaving the URS building gets one step closer.