The University of St Andrews made £60,000 from your library fines
2015/2016 was another year for extorting poor, helpless students
In the last academic year, the University of St Andrews received £50,638 of library fines – and that only includes that ones that were paid. The library in St Andrews is known for its stringent return policy – which often comes at the detriment of many students' essay marks.
The short-loan system, meaning you can take a book out for a maximum of four hours at a time, limits the capacity for students to understand the key text. Woe betide you if you read slowly.
The university does offer some leeway with allowing students to hold a book overnight, but if it is delivered even a minute late – a 50p charge per hour.
If you return a short-loan book a day late, you could have your library account suspended, as any fine over £10 means that you account is inactivated until the fine is paid. This, given the universities extensive library income, seems like an unfair policy against students.
Additionally, the university does not store the information for the total amount of library fines for all users – meaning that the fines for visiting or departing students may not be paid at all.
The Freedom of Information representative, from the Press Office stated that "due to the way the Library Services Management operates and the functionality of the reporting system" it is "not possible to provide total number of library fines issued for all library users [sic]".
The 2013/2014 academic year was a bumper period for the St Andrews library, making enough money to purchase several high-speed sports cars whilst students footed the bill. Whilst the university may argue that students are at fault for keeping their books too long, it is worth noting that they may not have had a choice.
The library at full capacity (I'm talking move your bag and slouch in the corner busy), it seats around a thousand students. Given that there are over 10,000 students currently enrolled at the university, in essay deadline season or exam time – there just isn't the space to return or even read the books we are fined for keeping.