Queen's University recoups £50k from overdue library books in a year

Queen's University Belfast recouped over £50,000 last year in fees from overdue library books
Gareth McKeown

More than £50,000 was paid to Queen's University Belfast in fines for overdue library books last year.

The startling figures, which cover the academic year 2015-2016 show that £52,259 was recouped by the university from books returned later than their due date.

The costs, released through a Freedom of Information request seen by the Irish News, reveal that students are the main culprits behind the princely sum.

They account for £47,073 - 90 per cent of the total figure. Staff paid £2,091 in fines to Queens for overdue library books, while the bill for 'other members' totals £3,095.

Queen's University has four libraries in operation across Belfast. These are the main McClay library at College Park, the Medical library, Biomedical library and Agri-food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI) library.

According to the university website you are unable to borrow from any of these libraries if you have outstanding charges on your account of £5 or more. The fine for a standard loan is 10p per day, but this increases to 40p if the book is requested by another borrower.

For books which have a strict two night and seven night limit (McClay Library only) a charge of £2.50 per day is incurred. Any late return on a one week loan at the Biomedical library will cost 50p per day.

When asked where the money recouped has been spent the university said £40,000 was used for an 'e-book Patron Driven Acquisition exercise'.

This is a model of library collection development in which a library only purchases materials when it is clear that someone wants them.

In an ideal transaction, libraries provide the patron with access to search engines, academic databases and/or library catalogs from which they can request items.

"The remainder was reinvested into library services," Queen's University has said.

Enjoy reading the Irish News?

Subscribe now to get full access