Trinity College (TCD) has generated almost €950,000 since 2012 from fining students. These were comprised of late library returns, breaches of codes of conduct, late payment of fees, late registration for modules, parking violations and on-campus accommodation.
Late library returns generated €560,555 alone in fees. Trinity’s Library begin fines at €0.50 per day which then rise to €1 per day after the loan exceeds two weeks. Books from Counter Reserve (Short Loan) Collection items have even higher fines, where students are charged €0.25 for every hour overdue. All readers are also fined the price of the item plus administration charge of €50 when an item from the library is lost. Those attempting to graduate with outstanding fines or overdue books will be sent a “Proctors Letter” and a charger an additional administration fee of €25. Currently in Trinity there is no cap on library fines.
Trinity has raised more money in library fines than any other college in the country since 2012. University College Dublin (UCD) has collect €361,007, Dublin University College (DCU) has generated €278,670 in library fines over the same period and NUI Maynooth students were fined €195,862 between 2011 and 2015. Trinity are yet to release the amount raised on accommodation fines for things such as late payments as well as discipline breaches and hygiene violations.
Annie Hoey, President of the Union of Students in Ireland (USI), has called for a cap on fines to be introduced across the board for colleges libraries, and said she would like to know if the money is being used to improve facilities within the library.” What we would be concerned about is when a fine moves from being reprimanding for late books and it turns into a substantial cost, which puts a student at a severe disadvantage. If it becomes quite apparent that library fines are being simply used as a money-making mechanism, obviously we would have concerns about that.”
Trinity College Dublin’s Students’ Union (TCDSU) are releasing a statement later today.