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 Brunel University London, where it was revealed students spent £21,721.32 on library fines during the 2016-17 academic year. This figure is below the average figure witnessed across UK institutions. Putting this figure into perspective – with around 14,000 students at Brunel, this equates to a spend of approximately £1.55 per student.
So, over £20,000 worth of library fines were levied last year at Brunel. Moreover, this figure relates purely to fines collected for overdue items. Other fines, such as those for lost or damaged books/resources, have been omitted from this study. Therefore, the entire library fines figure might be much higher.
This figure, while lower than that of many other institutions in the United Kingdom, will still come as a disappointment for students. While London is evidently a great place to be a student, with the cost of education at an all-time high, this additional cost isn’t useful for students.
It should be noted that 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 – 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.