Students at The University of York pay more in library fines than those at most of the top 20 universities in the country.
A study conducted at British universities has revealed that the average annual library fine for University of York students was the fifth highest out of the sixteen universities that responded.
The average library fine for a University of York student in the 2006/07 period was £7.63, compared to £5.86 at Bristol and £1.90 at Cambridge. Students at the London School of Economics paid the highest average at £10.61.
YUSU President Anne-Marie Canning said “I don’t think that library fines are obscene, but if you forget to return a key text, then you are screwed. I sympathise with students who make mistakes and get big, heavy fines.”
Overdue key texts are currently charged at £1.00 for every hour, or part of an hour, while other books are charged at 30p per day.
In the 2006/07 academic year, the University library amassed just under £84,000 in fines, an £8,000 increase on the previous year. “Maybe students here can afford to pay fines, so they take the chance with the books,” suggested Canning.
Recent changes to the lending procedure may assist students who are consistently being hit by fines. A recent Library Committee meeting has decided to lend key texts for ‘dynamic times’ different from the rigid system currently in place, to allow students to borrow journals overnight, and has increased the lending time for photocopies to 4 hours.
It has also been decided to change the lending limit from 10 ordinary loans and 10 non-standard loans to 20 loans of any type, and an increased 60p per day overdue charges if the book in question has been requested.
The study was conducted by Exeter student newspaper Exeposé.