evenue generated by library fines fell by nearly £30,000 last year, an Exeposé Freedom of Information (FOI) request has revealed.
In the 2013-2014 academic year, the Library took £76,067 in fines, but only collected £46,785 in 2014-15 – a drop of nearly 40 per cent.
Over the past five years, the University Library has collected over £267,000 in fines, with 2012-13, the year of the Forum Library’s opening, the most profitable with revenue totalling £78,874.
So far this year, students have already racked up fines of up to £2,629.
According to Library Customer Services Manager Kathy Baro, the lower amount of fines in the 2014/15 period may be attributed to the Library’s investment in digital resources, which are not ‘borrowed’ and therefore cannot be returned late.
Loan periods have also been simplified this year, which has involved the elimination of the ‘short loan’ collection, a frequent cause of high fines, while undergraduate borrowing limits were increased to 20 items on 2 November.
Decreases in fines were also attributed to better communication with students, including clearer email content and the use of phone calls to resolve issues.
VP Education Bethan Jones commented: “The Students’ Guild supported the library in its review of fines and loan periods, carrying out extensive student consultation.
“I am delighted that our feedback has been taken on board, including the recommendation to reduce fines.”
Income generated from library fines underpins the overall library resources budget and contributes to investment in electronic resources, books and journals.
A University spokesperson said: “The University works hard to ensure all students benefit equally from the library’s full facilities and resources. Any overdue fines are charged as an incentive to responsible library borrowing, benefitting all users and ensuring items are returned within reasonable timescales.”