UCL students cough up £400,000 fee for late books

On average, us students have lost a whopping twenty-five quid each to late book fees

Fees library money News

It has come to light that UCL students have paid an eye-watering £402,710 in late library fees since September 2010, amounting to roughly £25.00 per student.

The figures were published by the University of London after a freedom of information request by the Tab last month and include money spent on late, damaged or lost books.

They reveal that in the academic year 2012-13 UCL students paid an exorbitant £167,000 in fees, more than the combined figure for the two previous years.

So far this year, the library has trousered  £77,670 – or £4000 a week – from students.

The figures raise questions as to whether it is appropriate to charge students these sums of money, with increasing pressure to ensure it is at least reinvested into UCL student services.

President of Debating Society Em Hilton commented ‘that money they are earning from fines should go back into restocking the library’.  There is presently no guarantee it is being reinvested in UCL Libraries or even student services, however.

A degree of critcism has been leveraged on students to reduce their profligacy when it comes to books, with Hilton adding ‘the library needs to just have more books that are reference only i.e. can’t take home so that students aren’t always waiting around for books’.

The most a student could conceivably cough up for standard loan books is a £0.20 a day, though UCL Libraries charge a less sweet sounding £0.50 an hour for short term loans – so a culture change is likely in order on both sides.

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