The University Library, alongside its 21 affiliate libraries, collected £98,000 worth of finesEmma Rutter

Cambridge students received £98,478 in library fines across all University libraries for the academic year 2016/17, new data has revealed.

The sum places Cambridge third nationally, behind Oxford and King’s College, London, both of which handed out fines of more than £100,000 each. Oxford’s fines totalled £167,689.

The findings, which come courtesy of freedom of information requests submitted by the i newspaper, show that universities across the country received more than £3.5 million from library fines.

Alongside the central University Library, the University manages a further twenty-one affiliate libraries associated with the UL, including faculty libraries such as the Squire Law Library and the Seeley Historical Library.


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Fine policies differ across each library, with fines varying between 25p and £1 for each working day for overdue books. Notably, the Seeley charges 25p per hour for overdue special subject material, such as primary sources, which can only be borrowed from 2:30pm until 10.30am the next day.

According to the Seeley Historical Library website: “Fines still outstanding at graduation will be treated as debts to the University and affect the award of a degree.” This means that students may even be unable to graduate until they pay off their library fines