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 the University of Bath, where it was revealed students spent £711.70 on library fines during the 2016-17 academic year. This figure is well below the average figure seen across UK institutions. Putting this figure into perspective – with approximately 16,000 students at Bath, this equates to a spend of around £0.04 per student.
It is worth noting that the figure of just over £700 purely takes into account fines for overdue items. Other fines, such as those for lost or damaged books/resources, have not been considered. This figure is much lower compared to other institutions, yet it is still frustrating to spend money on library fines. While there are several great things about being a student in Bath, this is a disappointing aspect of University.
It should be noted that not all University’s 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!
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. Fines at Bath can be considered quite harsh – rising to £5 per day for short-term loans that are overdue – so it is a relief that students have seemingly largely returned their books on time.
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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.