Students pay almost £400k in library fines

The  Brotherton Library at Leeds University.
The Brotherton Library at Leeds University.
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universities in Leeds have made almost £400,000 from fining students for overdue library books in the past three years.

Leeds University accrued the most money from overdue books, collecting more than £211,000 in fines since the 2014/2015 academic year.

Leeds Beckett, which collected £147,509, was the second highest, while Leeds Trinity University was third with fines totalling £27,682

A spokesperson for the University of Leeds said: “The university has five libraries and nearly 33,000 students, so our size is a factor in any comparison of library fines, and all fines are invested back into our libraries.”

With fines as little as 10p a day for each day a book is overdue, it shows that students are returning thousands of books late each year.

The universities say that all the fines are ploughed back into library services, with money spent on resources, including books and journals, “that it is benefited directly by the student”.

A spokesperson for Leeds Beckett University said: “Fines are used as a strategy to ensure the prompt return of books and to maximise book availability for all students in a context of sharing resources. Staff are also charged fines at the same level.

“Students generally support the use of fines to encourage their fellow students to bring back books promptly so they all get a chance to use them.”

Students at the University of Leeds only start incurring fines if the borrowed book has been requested by someone else, and they must then fork out £2.50 per day if the item is overdue.

A Leeds University Union spokesperson said: “The cost of student living is an ongoing conversation between us and the university. We will continue to work with the libraries to ensure that students are kept well informed on policies and procedures that may lead to fines and that these are fair and transparent.”