Concrete has discovered that UEA students paid more than £90,000 in library fines last year.

With tuition fees set to rise, the issue of library fines recently surfaced in the national media. No one enjoys slotting their money into the ravenous withdrawal machines when they are demanding loose change. Library fines however, are an integral part of the borrowing system the University maintains. A recent freedom of information request was sent to all of Britain’s universities by the Press Association. 101 universities responded to the request which saw the University of Leeds come out on top with an annual sum of £1,869,340.

The grand total paid by UEA students in fines totalled £92,847.93 between August 2010 to July 2011. Nicholas Lewis, Library Director, commented on the matter: “UEA Library, like all UK higher education institutions, charges fines for overdue items. The main reason for fines is to ensure that books are returned in a timely fashion so as not to disadvantage other students.” He went on to state: “The income of fines tends to be used to enhance a broad range of services according to current priorities. We are working to contain fines by introducing pre-overdue courtesy notices from this January, another response to student requests.”

UEA has a fine limit of £20 and will permit students to borrow a maximum of 10 books at a time for students in their first and second years. Students in their third year may take out 15 books at a time. All members of the Library staff also have the power to impose on the spot fines of £5 for the failure to comply with Library rules and regulations.

Photo by Laura Smith.