Library donates day of fines to charities
On Friday 4th May all library fines paid off by Durham University students were donated to four charities selected by Library staff.
Money raised totaled £2827.40, exceeding the value of fines cleared on any individual day in six years.
The four charities chosen were Macmillan Cancer Support, Mind, Save the Children and the Woodland Trust, all of which Library staff have been campaigning for throughout the year.
Students were asked to vote in a poll, conducted at the Main Library, on the Library’s DUO page and the Library Facebook page, to select the proportions of money to be designated to each charity.
2571 students voted in the poll, selecting Macmillan Cancer Support as the recipient of £1311.91, 46.4% of the money collected. Save the Children will receive £667, 23.6% of the money donated, with Mind receiving £500 and the Woodland Trust receiving £344.
Library staff members were hopeful that Fines Friday would lead to the return of more books, as books are less readily available during the exam period.
Students could pay off fines at any University library, and were also able to pay fines over £5 online, as per the university’s usual practice.
Some students expressed frustration that fines totalling less than £5 had to be paid in person rather than the more convenient method of online payment.
However, the overall student response was very positive, as many students appeared to be happier to see their money donated to charity than given to the University.
Students with overdue books can be fined anywhere between 20p to £1 daily, depending on the loan period of the book checked out.
Other universities, such as the University of Westminster, prevent students from entering the library if they have overdue books.
Ordinarily, money accrued from the collection of library fines is designated towards services like More Books and Library 24/7, as well as the replacement of missing books.
Durham University accumulates a significant amount of money in annual library fines.
Between 2004 and 2011, the University collected upwards of £1m in fines from overdue books.
The University is amongst the highest collectors of library fines in the country.
Despite this, income from library fines has decreased over the last few years.