The University Library customer services are proposing to increase fines and introduce changes to the book loan system from 3 September.
Fines for late return of requested books will rise by over 550 per cent to £5 per day, and until requested books are returned a block on the student’s account will be imposed.
All ordinary books except key texts, audio visual, and reference books, will be available in four-week loans, with 24-hour and one-week loans abolished.
The proposed changes permit an unlimited number of renewals on unrequested ordinary books. However, if at any point the book is requested the loan period will be shortened to three days. This is a decrease from the current five-day allowance.
Jackie Knowles, Library Customer Services Manager, clarified: “The four week loan is not guaranteed and will be shortened if requests are made at any time, whether it is one day after you take it out or weeks after you take it out”.
Students will also be expected to post requested books back during holiday periods.
Michelle Blake, Head of Relationship Management, said she was “investigating the cost of subsidising postal returns” but that “we haven’t got anything concrete yet”.
According to Blake, income from fines will be used exclusively for the acquisition of highly demanded books.
“We want to develop a system which is fair for all groups of library users” and “communication will matter quite centrally”.
In the academic year 2010-2011 only 11 per cent of Library fines were from ordinary loans. A document outlining proposal, given to the YUSU Academic Assembly last Wednesday, said: “In the majority of cases we are charging fines on material that comes back late but that no one else is waiting for.”
According to Knowles the proposal is a response to falling student satisfaction with library services. The 2011 National Student Survey measured a 74 per cent satisfaction rate with Library resources.
Library senior managers have already signed off the proposals, and academic departments are currently being consulted.