Figures obtained by UniEel have revealed huge fines being spent at University’s across the United Kingdom at library’s. At the University of Surrey, it was revealed that students spent £6,797.15 on library fines during the 2016-17 academic year. This figure is well below the average amount seen across institutions in the United Kingdom. To put this figure into perspective, with around 15,000 students at Surrey, this equates to a spend of approximately £0.45 per student. It is also important to note that this figure purely takes into account fines for overdue items. Other fines, such as those for lost or damaged books, haven’t been considered.
In an age where education is at an unprecedented high for cost, having to spend money on library fines is disappointing. While the figure was admittedly much lower at Surrey than the majority of institutions, the additional cost is still frustrating. Furthermore, not all University’s charge fines for overdue items – with the University of Westminster an example of an institution that instead temporarily bans students from taking out books.
A banning system surely offers more of a deterrent. Sometimes student’s could argue that a monetary fine is worthwhile due to the additional time spent with a book. Yet a ban would severely affect them for future assignments/exams. It is often unclear where the money gained from library fines ends up.
- 18 Times Tracy Beaker Summed Up Your Life At University
- 8 Things You Thought Would Be Included In Your Tuition Fee… But Weren’t
- 14 Things That Will Happen In Student Halls
Students 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. A switch to the before-mentioned banning system could work better, and act as a better deterrent. At the very least, more transparency could be expected for where the money spent on library fines actually goes. Figures seen at UK institutions is likely to prompt discussion regarding the fairness of library fines.