Coalisland library members fined £4,000 for overdue books

Members of Coalisland library have been fined almost £4,000 for overdue books in the past two years.

A total of £3,965.15 in fines has been collected from library members between April 2009 and the end of June this year.

The library dished out 3,816 fines for overdue books and services to a total of 1,262 members during the period.

The number of Coalisland library users penalised with fines increased by 13% from 505 in 2009/10 to 575 in 2010/11.

Over this period however, the number of fines fell from 1,710 in 2009/10 to 1,613 last year – a drop of almost 6%.

And the value of library fines also decreased by 8% during this time.

At Dungannon library meanwhile, 2,986 members were fined 10,822 times over the past two years and three months, totalling £11,296.13 in library fines.

Unlike at Coalisland library, the number of members using the Dungannon being fined fell by 3% from 1,308 in 2009/10 to 1,263 last year.

The number of library fines also decreased, falling from 5,173 in 2009/10 to 4,617 in 2010/11 – a drop of almost 10%.

And the monetary value of the penalties imposed fell by 6% from £5,270.89 in £4,945.79 last year.

The information was obtained by Coalisland Post through a freedom of information request submitted to the Northern Ireland Library Authority.

In the information request response, a spokeswoman for the library authority said they operate a consistent policy of charges for overdue items across all its libraries.

Under current policies, library members are charged 10 pence for every day a borrowed book is overdue, up to a maximum charge of £5 per book.

Other library services, such as photocopying, DVD rental and internet access, have varied charges.

Explaining the charges, a spokeswoman said: “Library members can borrow books, audio books and language courses free of charge.  The loan period for books and audio books is three weeks.  The loan period for language courses is six weeks.  CDs and DVDs are hired on a weekly basis.  Maximum charges are set for the late return of items.

“Libraries NI reviews its charges for the late return and hire of items annually.  When a borrower has accumulated £10 of outstanding charges they are prevented from using the full range of library services until the account is reduced to below this amount.”

What do you think of the figures? Have you ever had a whopping library fine to pay for an overdue book? Let us know your views by commenting below


 Library fines given to members:

Coalisland Library
Number of people given fines5055751821262
Number of library fines171016134933816
Monetary value of library fines£1,830.36£1,677.88£456.91£3,965.15
Dungannon Library
Number of people given fines130812634152986
Number of library fines51734617103210822
Monetary value of library fines£5,270.89£4,945.79£1,079.45£11,296.13

*April 1st 2011 – June 30th 2011



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