Region Owes Pounds 300,000 in Unpaid Library Fines

The Journal (Newcastle, England), October 31, 2011 | Go to article overview

Region Owes Pounds 300,000 in Unpaid Library Fines


READERS have racked up more than a quarter of a million pounds in unpaid library book fines in the North East.

A Freedom of Information request revealed that libraries are owed some pounds 295,501 by borrowers failing to bring the books back.

Following a typical library system that charges 15p for each day a book is not returned, the grand total means books in the region are collectively overdue by some 1,970,000 days - or the equivalent of 5,397 years.

Councils in Newcastle and Gateshead alone are owed pounds 12,403 and pounds 16,921 respectively, while more responsible borrowers in South Tyneside still owe a significant amount of pounds 3,530. Durham libraries are owed pounds 14,050, while North Tyneside libraries are missing 311,423.

The total figure was added up from data from 11 North East councils.

However, library chiefs said the majority of readers borrow responsibly and exceptions are made for extenuating circumstances such as illness.

David Fay, Newcastle City Council's city libraries manager, said: "We wait for up to a year, and then the books are removed from the system. …

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