Salford Uni could AXE library fines after collecting only half of £133,000 owed

Salford University are considering scrapping library fines after only collecting just over half of the £133,000 in charges issued last year.

Between 2013 and 2014, academic fines reached an astonishing £133,794, but only £76,075 of that was actually paid back by students.

At the end of October, The University of Sheffield made a bold move and scrapped library fines – something Salford are currently considering. 

A spokesman for Salford University said: “Some UK universities have moved away from imposing fines for late return and are automatically renewing all loans unless the item has been requested; this is something the University is currently considering.”

The fact that just over half the amount of fines were paid back indicates that the system isn’t working, but the spokesman said that there were reasons to account for this.

“There are many reasons why fines are reduced, waived, or not always repaid in full once library staff have talked to students, including sickness, family problems etc.,” he said.

“Library fines act as a deterrent to encourage students to return items required by their peers and can always be avoided by returning or renewing items by the due date.

“Library fines are in place at the University not as a source of income.”

With a degree currently costing £9,000, many students argue that enforcing fines on top of already excessive debts is unfair.

Physics student Oscar Rodmell, 22, who studies at Salford said: “I don’t usually use the library as the physics department has its own.

“However, I was late returning one book and it was actually cheaper to pay for the replacement book charge than the fines. I now own the book!”

Image courtesy of Anthony Buce, with thanks

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