Library users paid out more than £500k

Billericay Library

Billericay Library

First published in News by

LIBRARY users have paid out more than £500,000 in fines over the past six years for losing items and failing to return books on time, new figures show.

Essex County Council raked in £457,000 from people who use libraries in Basildon, Castle Point, and Rochford, while Thurrock’s total was £83,000.

Southend Council could not supply figures for its libraries.

Basildon libraries fined its users £253,000 between 2007 and 2013, Castle Point’s four libraries dished out £101,000 worth of fines and Rochford almost £106,000.

County Hall made the most cash from fines dished out at Billericay library – bringing in a total of £81,000 in the sixyear period.

However, the most money brought in in one year was at Rayleigh Library, where users were fined £12,866 in 2008/09 and £12,122 two years later.

People are fined for offences including late return fees, charges for lost items and charges for damaged items.

Despite the numbers, the trend is improving, particularly in Basildon where revenue from fines has dropped from £47,000 in 2007/08 to £30,000 in 2012/13.

The Echo approached Southend Council for the amount it had fined individuals, but the authority said the statistics were unavailable.

Essex County Council said cash brought in through fines is pumped back into the county’s libraries – paying for staff wages, purchasing stock and all the other costs of providing a public library service.

An Essex County Council spokesperson said: “Essex Libraries offers members the option to renew items online, on the telephone or in person.

“The vast majority of library members return their loan items on time and because we have introduced different ways (such as online renewals), this can help customers avoid inadvertently building up fines.”

Meanwhile, some users have been banned from libraries for offences including inappropriate computer use. The statistics, covering the last six years, reveal more than 50 people were told to stay away from libraries.

Nineteen people were banned in Basildon libraries – for offences including rowdy behaviour, abusive behaviour, abusive and intimidating behaviour, verbal abuse, disruptive abuse, threatening behaviour, and inappropriate computer use.

Ten people were banned from Castle Point libraries, on Canvey, Great Tarpots, Hadleigh and South Benfleet, for the same reasons.

The bans stretched from three to six months, although two individuals were banned for longer than six months. Both Rochford and Rayleigh libraries banned ten individuals between 2009 and 2013 for offences including abusive and disruptive behaviour, abusive behaviour to other customers and vandalism.

An Essex County Council spokesman said: “The ban from using the library service is a last resort, and is only used once all other means of addressing the issues concerned have

Comments (2)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

2:10pm Tue 18 Mar 14

carnmountyouknowitmakessense says...

Not bad, when you consider the fines were paid in cash
Not bad, when you consider the fines were paid in cash carnmountyouknowitmakessense
  • Score: 0

2:35pm Tue 18 Mar 14

DogsMessInLeigh says...

carnmountyouknowitma
kessense
wrote:
Not bad, when you consider the fines were paid in cash
i agree, i am surprised that they got so much back in, its how it should be though, what about all those 100's of thousands of missing books from Southend Library's reported on here months back, no wonder Southend clammed up when asked.
[quote][p][bold]carnmountyouknowitma kessense[/bold] wrote: Not bad, when you consider the fines were paid in cash[/p][/quote]i agree, i am surprised that they got so much back in, its how it should be though, what about all those 100's of thousands of missing books from Southend Library's reported on here months back, no wonder Southend clammed up when asked. DogsMessInLeigh
  • Score: 2

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree