Bookworms owe Kingston Council £10,000 in late library fines

Library fines: the Hook Centre

Library fines: the Hook Centre

First published in News
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Surrey Comet: Photograph of the Author by , Senior reporter - Surbiton + Chessington - 020 8722 6313

Bookworms across the borough owe Kingston Council almost £10,000 in library fines.

Parents are the worst offenders, hoarding some children’s books for up to five years, a Freedom of Information request revealed.

The most overdue book was How To Twist A Dragon’s Tale, by Cressida Cowell – which was meant to have been returned in July 2008.

One cheeky reader has held onto their copy of raunchy bestseller Fifty Shades of Grey for more than a year.

The items most overdue in the list, which runs into the thousands, are largely children’s books, for which the council does not charge fines.

Fines for other items, at 21p per day, are capped at £7.

Grace McElwee, library and heritage service manager, said: “There are two schools of thought on fines on children’s books.

“It can be a huge disincentive for parents to use libraries with their children.”

The total amount owed to the council was £9,843.84 as of December 17.

Last year the council consulted on plans to raise fines to 25p per day, with a £10 cap.

The 10 most overdue books:

  • Cressida Cowell - How To Twist A Dragon's Tale 
  • Lauren Child - Utterly Me, Clarice Bean 
  • Enid Blyton - Upper Fourth at Malory Towers 
  • Robin Jarvis - Whortle's Hope  
  • Maureen Lee - Kitty and Her Sisters 
  • Julia Donaldson - Princess Mirror-Belle 
  • Stuart Trotter - Kipper's Surprise 
  • Anna Lester - Stories of Fairies 
  • Ann Bryant - Super Trolley Ride 
  • Vivian French - Princess Chloe and the Primrose Petticoats 

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