Figures obtained by UniEel have revealed huge fines being spent at University’s across the United Kingdom at library’s. Part of our ongoing study focused on Aberystwyth University, where it was revealed students spent £23,542 on library fines for the period of September 2016 to September 2017. This figure is below average for values seen at UK institutions. Putting this figure into perspective – with around 8,000 students at Aberystwyth, this equates to a spend of £2.94 per student.
With over £20,000 collected in library fines by the University, it is unclear where this money goes. Worse still, the figure in this article relates purely to fines levied for overdue items. Other fines, such as those for lost or damaged books, haven’t been included. While Aberystwyth University is an excellent place to study, library fines is a disappointing and unneeded element of the University experience.
Looking in the grand scheme of things, the figure of £23,542 is actually below average for the value seen at institutions in the United Kingdom! There are serious questions to be asked of the library fine system. There are alternatives.
The main alternative is to operate a banning system, as opposed to a fine system. Not all institutions opt to fine students, instead temporarily banning them from loaning books. This has proven to be more of a deterrent, with students less likely to keep a book past its return date if it would negatively affect them. As things stand, paying a fine of £5 in order to get extra time with a crucial book could be deemed good value when you’ve paid over £9,000 in tuition fees.
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Students are urged to return their library books on time – in order to avoid the scale of fines we’ve seen emanate from the 2016-17 academic year. There is no denying how frustrating it is when the book you have reserved hasn’t been returned on time, but the library fine system is clearly not working. Lower fines, or a switch to the before-mentioned banning process could be recommended. Figures seen at UK institutions is likely to prompt discussion regarding the fairness of library fines.