College library introduces a fifteen-day fine amnesty

Overdue books can currently be returned to the library without incurring a fine

Trinity’s library has introduced a fifteen-day amnesty on fines for returning overdue books. The amnesty has been introduced as part of efforts to facilitate the return of books which were out on loan during the recent Library security tagging project.

An email was circulated to all students today announcing a fifteen-day library fine amnesty beginning today and running until the 29th February. Any overdue books out on loan during the Library tagging project can be returned to the library during this two-week window and no fines will be incurred.

Any existing fines on books which have already been returned will still stand.

The books can be returned to any Library service counter or any of the designated book return bins in the Berkeley, Lecky, Hamilton and John Stearne Medical Libraries.

In the email circulated this morning, the Head of Reading Room Services and Space, Peter Dudley wrote: “This initiative will improve the long-term security and conservation of our modern collections but will also be an opportunity for students to return overdue books that may otherwise have incurred significant fines, which can often be source of anxiety”.

The amnesty has the support of both Students’ Unions.

The library embarked on the 350,000 euro tagging project in 2019. The process involved the application Radio Frequency ID tags (RFID) to approximately 550,000 books making them easy to locate when lost or in transit. The system overhaul also includes the introduction of new self-issue machines for borrowing and returning books and the installation of new security panels at entrances.

The fine amnesty follows the introduction of a new fine system in 2018, which resulted in a drop of 27,000 euro in fines. The adjusted system allowed students and staff to borrow more books for longer periods of time if they are not requested by other readers.

Currently, the library charges 50c a day on overdue books, rising to 1 euro a day on items which have been recalled by other students.

Between September 2010 and January 2016 Trinity library collected more fines than any other college library in Ireland, amounting to €597,925 over the five and a half year period.