You’re Fined!

Cardiff Uni earns nearly £250,000 a year in library fines, Francesca Blackham reports.

Cardiff University libraries cashed in on a WHOPPING £246,012.83 in library fines from students during the last academic year.

68% of Cardiff students incurred a library fine last year. However, 9,701 of you organised lot did not have any fines at all.

But where does all that money go? 

The income from lost books pays for replacements, the University claims. The rest of the money helps financially support the general running of the libraries.

In response to The Tab’s Freedom of Information request, Cardiff University said that the income from late-returned books ‘contributed to the overall costs of IT and Library services, including staffing, investment in IT and Library services.’

But should library fines be used to fund uni services which should already have their own budget?

At a time when tuition fees have tripled and the cost of being a student continues to rise, it seems wrong that students are footing the maintenance bills as well.

Of course, we all use the library. We all know how important it is to get some peace and quiet away from our distracting student houses. At exam time, you feel you would happily fight someone for that ‘good’ seat at ASSL, Julian Hodge or whatever your preference may be…

But trying to juggle essays and exams inevitably leads to forgetfulness, no matter how many times you remind yourself to return that book that has been sitting on your desk at home for weeks.

The use of library fines to fund university services has cropped up in debates for the last few years. Back in 2011, NUS Wales President Luke Young said it would be “unacceptable” if library fine money was being put towards services that should be funded by university budgets.

Surprisingly, we are not the worst offenders when to comes to forgetting to take our books back.

A recent study of UK universities between 2006 – 2012 found that students at Leeds University were the most forgetful with their library books, racking up a massive £1.8 million bill over six years. Ouch!