Figures obtained by UniEel have revealed huge fines being spent at Universities across the United Kingdom at library’s. Part of our ongoing study focused on De Montfort University, where it was revealed students spent £47,160 on library fines during the 2016-17 academic year. This figure is just above average for values seen at UK institutions. Putting this figure into perspective – with approximately 21,000 students at De Montfort, this equates to a spend of around £2.25 per student.
So, £47,160 has been spent on library fines at De Montfort University. However, we should note, that unlike many other Universities in our study, this total includes fines for overdue items alongside other fines, such as those levied for lost or damaged books, and even for student’s caught eating hot food! In any case, this total is a large amount – and will be a source of disappointment for students at the institution.
Furthermore, not all Universities adopt a fine system – with the University of Westminster an example of an institution that instead temporarily bans students from taking out books. This would surely offer enough of a deterrent. It is often unclear where the money gained from library fines ends up. The University doesn’t include printing costs in the library in the tuition fee – one of several things we expected!
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Students are urged to return their library books on time – with overdue books often being the most frequent cause of a fine – 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.