Figures obtained by UniEel have revealed huge fines being spent at University’s across the United Kingdom at library’s. However, thankfully, not all institution’s operate library fines. An example is the University of Sheffield. Library fines were abolished in 2014, and have not resurfaced since. Some institutions in the United Kingdom have seen fines topping £100,000 for students, on top of rising living costs, and the £9,000 tuition fee. The University of Sheffield’s stance on library fines is welcomed.
The move back in 2014 was to create a more ‘user-friendly’ library. The library’s Assistant Director for customer relations Alison Little correctly suggested that some student’s would happily spend a fine in order to keep a book. She went on to say the fines ‘didn’t serve a useful purpose’ – again correct. The University has since implemented a temporary banning system – a system which has worked successfully for years at the University of Westminster for example.
A common complaint of students is that they are unsure where the money spent on library fines ends up. The banning system adopted here is a much fairer way to officiate a library.
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Students across the UK are urged to return their library books on time – in order to avoid the level of fines we’ve witnessed courtesy of the 2016-17 academic year. While it is undoubtedly annoying when you have reserved a book, only for it not to have been returned, the library fine system is clearly not working. As Sheffield have shown, a switch to the before-mentioned banning system works better, and even acts as a better deterrent. Figures seen at UK institutions is likely to prompt discussion regarding the fairness of library fines.