University library banks over £50k in fines

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Credit: Alvin Leong

Katy Scott
News Editor

The total amount banked by the Glasgow University Library from fines for overdue items last year was £58,519.90. In the same academic year, the University of Strathclyde only collected £17,158.23 in library fines.

The sums were collected over the academic session 2015/16. It excludes the cost of replacing lost items and only consists of the fines incurred from members returning books later than their due date.

The University of Glasgow did not provide a breakdown of the fees as it did not hold such information. However, the University of Strathclyde revealed that £7,239.17 of their sum came from undergraduate students, £6,061.73 came from postgraduate students and £1,147.65 came from university staff. A further £2,429.68 was attributed to “Unknown” and £280 to “Other”. The University of Strathclyde Library transferred to a new management system in May 2016 which has resulted in some user categories no longer being held and are therefore listed as “Unknown”. The “Other” category may refer to external users of the library, such as local educational establishments in agreement with the University of Strathclyde Library.

At the University of Glasgow, money gathered from the fines goes towards the University Library general consumables budget. Overdue high demand items incur charges of 50p an hour to a maximum of £10. If standard or one week loan books are overdue, library members will be charged 5p per day, increasing to 20p per day after seven days, to a maximum of £5. The standard replacement cost of one book is £25, with the cost of replacing an inter-library loan book reaching £175.

An unpaid fine of £20 or more on a library account will prevent the user from borrowing, renewing or placing holds on items.

Books can be renewed up to five times via the University Library website or in the building itself. Members will receive emails alerting them when their items are due to be returned and if fines are accumulating. When books are more than 35 days overdue, a bill will be sent for the cost of replacing them.