By Brittany Steadman
Students at BYU with overdue library books may pay more fees than other students around the state.
Although fines at BYU are similar to the fines at other universities, students at BYU may potentially pay more because they are not given a grace period.
“BYU has a different approach than other schools. It may mean that BYU students pay more in fines or it could be that students at BYU are more responsible in getting their books in on time,” said Andy Spackman, circulation manager for the Harold B. Lee Library.
BYU charges $1.00 a day for each item that is checked out. There is a maximum of $10.00 dollars per item.
If the item is still not turned in, the student is charged for the book and is billed an additional $25.00 for service charges.
At the University of Utah, students are charged the same $10.00 fee for books turned in late and a $25.00 service charge when billed for the book.
The difference is students at the University of Utah are given a 28 -day grace period to turn in their items without being charged anything.
“We have a very generous policy as far as universities go,” said Jason Smith, circulation supervisor at the Merrill J. Huntman Library at the University of Utah.
Utah State also has a grace period of seven days for students to turn in overdue books without being charged.
Without a grace period at BYU, students are charged for the books the first day they are overdue.
This can be very expensive for some students at BYU.
Lyn Steadman, 21, a junior majoring in political science from Boise, Idaho, had a costly library experience.
“I had five books checked out and just forgot to turn them in. They were all five days overdue and I had to pay $25.00 dollars in fines,” she said.
Some students think a grace period would be very helpful.
“As students we have to pay for enough as it is. We don”t need library fees to add to it,” said Amy Elisabeth, 23, a senior majoring in public relations from Oklahoma City.
Sometimes students just forget about the books with their busy schedules and the fines can really add up. A grace period would be really helpful Allen said.
Spackman said BYU does not have a grace period because it is the patron”s responsibility to turn books in on time.
“If there is a due date it should be observed and enforced to give others the opportunity to check out the books,” he said.
BYU also makes it easy for books to be renewed if items are needed longer Spackman said.
There are some students at BYU that agree with the fees and the policy BYU has.
Aaron Jarvis, 24, a senior majoring in psychics from Gilbert, Ariz., has paid library fines before but does not think BYU should change their fee rate or have a grace period.
“If books are going to be overdue, students can go online and renew them. Considering the time we have to keep the books and the email reminder the library sends out, it”s not a bad policy,” he said.
Other students have also been able to get away with their fines.
Jen Allen, 21, a junior majoring in English from Oklahoma City, had a $60.00 fine when she forgot to turn in her books as a freshman.
“The people at the circulation desk told me they wouldn”t make me pay because it was the first time I had overdue books,” she said.
This policy is not always offered to all students.
“As a general rule, if a book is late a fine will be paid. We”ve given out plenty of fines to people who have never had overdue books before,” Chelsea Dyreng, circulation supervisor at the library said.
Spackman said there is no policy to waive fines but students can appeal their fees.
“We have a great responsibility to ensure to patrons that books will be available and accounted for,” Spackman said.
Although BYU library fines are greater than public libraries and students at BYU may pay more than students at other universities the money from fines goes to a BYU fund.