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 the University of Aberdeen, where it was revealed students spent £25,015 on library fines during the 2016-17 academic year. This figure is below the average figure seen across UK institutions. Putting this figure into perspective – with around 14,000 students at Aberdeen, this equates to a spend of approximately £1.79 per student.
Overall, overdue library items resulted in over £25,000 worth of fines. Yet this isn’t the entire story, unbelievably! This figure doesn’t take into account other fines, such as those for lost or damaged books/resources. To ensure consistency in our overall study, these have been omitted. This huge figure is disappointing to see.
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!
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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.