By Ben Sladden
Durham University collected £63,965.75 in library charges in 2016-17, a Freedom of Information (FOI) request has revealed.
The FOI request asked for information on the total amount the University’s Bill Bryson Library received in overdue charges for the 2016-17 academic year, excluding the cost of replacing lost books.
This figure marks a slight reduction from the previous academic year (2015-16) when the library charged almost £65,000 in fines.
Students at other universities have incurred far larger totals. Almost £168,000 of fines were paid to Oxford University last year, as well as almost £114,000 being charged by King’s College London. However, these universities have a larger number of students than Durham.
Universities have previously come under fire for pocketing cash from students through library charges.
In 2015, a National Union of Students spokesman said: “Students are facing a cost of living crisis, course costs and accommodation costs have risen to unamenable levels.
“It is simply unacceptable that they are being punished further in this way and made to fund the books that they have already paid course costs to study.”
On a standard overdue loaned item, the Library charges 20p per day and £1.00 for recalled books.
Photograph by Sam Vickers via Flickr and Creative Commons