Lie-brary: Is the ban on fines all a sham?

In a word, yes

The University of Sheffield made national headlines with its recent abolishment of library fines – but students have expressed their anger after facing up to £60 charges for late returns. 

The new policy allegedly means books are kept renewed until requested by another student.

At this point, you cannot borrow another book until you have returned the requested one.

IC absolute scandal

IC absolute scandal

This new “no fines” policy has been welcomed by students at the university. However, it appears that we still face being charged if the book has not been returned within a certain time frame.

Several unlucky punters, including second year Geographer Daisy Collingwood, received similar emails from the library services:


Daisy said: “Last year I got sick to death of people trying to par me on StarPlus, requesting I return books that i quite clearly still needed and quite clearly took out first.

“I needed this one to complete my essay, so I was happy to hear about the new “no fines” policy and more than willing to take the account freeze on the chin.

“What the library campaign conveniently didn’t state is you are able to enjoy no fines for a week or two at best, then face the threat of a replacement charge and an abominable £30 administration fee on top. In this case, that would have been £60 for me.

“The ‘no fines’ premise is totally misleading. It feels like a complete scam.

“The IC staff are probably all huddled in a corner of Level 4 cackling and rubbing their hands together over this illegitimate pot of gold”

A spokesperson for the Uni libraries said: “This is not a fine, it is not a penalty for late return – we are simply reclaiming the cost of something that belongs to the University.

“This isn’t new… in the past, when we were charging fines…this process to recover the cost of the book would still apply.”

Either way, it does take the piss a little bit.