Campus Digest: Library fines see first hike in 12 years

On May 1, Western Libraries will raise the daily fine rates for regular loans from 50 cents to 75 cents and recall fines from $2 to $3. Not all daily fines rates will change; hourly and short loan fines will remain at $2. Western Libraries has not raised fines in more than 12 years.

Despite an explosion in electronic collections at Western Libraries, more than 600,000 physical items were checked out during the 2011-12 academic year.

Rate changes grew out of a recommendation made after a review of Western Libraries policies in 2011, to align Western with other academic institutions.

“Physical library materials continue to be in demand, and fines are one way to ensure fair and equitable access to these materials for our campus community, providing an incentive for items from this shared resource to be returned on time,” said Jennifer Robinson, Western Libraries communications and outreach librarian.

While library fines are considered revenue for the library, the monies don’t contribute in any significant way to the library budget, Robinson said.

Western Libraries has made it easy to avoid library fines by introducing several services designed to help users manage the materials they borrow. For example, through ‘My Library Account,’ accessible through the Shared Library Catalogue and the Library website, including the mobile site, library users can log in and see items currently checked out to their account as well as any pending recalls. Through ‘My Library Account,’ users can also renew library materials online before their due date without having to bring material back to the library.

Western Libraries sends courtesy notices to users through email and/or SMS text message three days before regular loan items are due. Recall notices, which indicate that another borrower has requested an item you have checked out, specify the new due date for your item.

To learn more about the features available through ‘My Library Account,’ visit Learn more about new fine rates via

•    Faculty, students and community members are invited to attend the annual ‘Seed Your Startup’ business pitch competition hosted by The Student Success Centre and BizInc. Seed Your Startup encourages the transition from entrepreneurial ideas to formalized action plans, awarding one student project a $5,000 entrepreneurial grant and business advisory services to pursue their proposal in London during summer 2013.
The event is scheduled for 1:30-4:30 p.m. today (April 11) in the Mustang Lounge at Western. Winners will be announced at the Ernst & Young After Party at 5 p.m. at The Spoke.
Of the 50 proposals submitted by current Western University and Fanshawe College students, five finalists have been selected to work closely with the Success Centre and BizInc to refine their idea and polish their pitch for the final presentation. Finalists will compete in front of a panel of judges from the community at the Seed Your Startup open door event.
“We are so impressed with the calibre of proposals we reviewed this year,” said John Pollock, BizInc. director. “There is a strong culture of entrepreneurship on our campuses, and Seed Your Startup is a great way to showcase this talent to London.”

•    Melissa Bartlett has been named head coach of the Mustangs women’s volleyball program. She takes over for David Edwards, who announced his retirement last month.
Her father, Randy Bartlett, played for the Mustangs men’s volleyball team from 1975-79, including captaining the 1979 team that won the OUA Championship.
Bartlett spent the past two seasons as the head coach of the Team Ontario Under-18 women’s program. In addition to her time with Team Ontario, she has also spent the past three seasons as both a head and assistant coach at Chatham-Kent Secondary School and the Chatham Ballhawks club programs.

•    Planning your estate and not quite sure where to start? Just curious about the process? Western Libraries is celebrating Leave a Legacy month by hosting an information session 10:30 a.m.-12 p.m. May 8 in the David S. Chu International Student Centre, Western Student Services, Room 2130. All are welcome so come and explore this important topic. Cate Grainger (Harrison Pensa LLB), Dennis Hinschberger (RBC Dominion Securities) and Chris Delaney (RBC Wealth Management) will present advice on making estate plans to honour our wishes and offer maximum impact. Space is limited; RSVP to by Friday, April 19.

•    Lawson Health Research Institute scientist Alexandre Legros and Chemistry professor François Lagugné-Labarthet have been named among 25 North American scholars serving as ambassadors of PromoDoc, a European Union-sponsored initiative seeking to promote doctoral studies in member states.
“We both have benefited from an international education at the highest level and we are convinced – from personal and academic perspectives – of the added value of a truly international curriculum,” Legros said. “We are very enthusiastic to provide opportunities and share our experience and knowledge on studying abroad as well as to encourage and help young Canadian and American scientists to engage into the European doctoral adventure.”
Funded by the European Commission, PromoDoc focuses on the promotion of European higher education at the doctoral level to global students, especially in the Canada, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan and the United States.
Visit for details.

•    Western Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) students Suzanne Fernando and Alexandra Ferguson, along with members of Librarians Without Borders from across North America, will travel to the Miguel Angel Asturias Academy in Quetzeltenango (Xela), Guatemala April 13-28 to collaborate on the development and operation of a school library.
With the support of Western’s chapter, LWB has partnered with the Asturias Academy since 2009 to support the academy’s vision to build a sustainable community library in the school. This year’s on-site work marks a major transition for their library as it attempts to implement a cataloging, searching and borrowing technologies (and training the staff on these tools) to enable students to locate and check out books for the very first time.
Last year, Western students Shannon Marrinan and Monica Gagne journeyed to the school to work out details for creating a library-lending project, cataloguing donated books, working on library curriculum with teachers and creating K’iche audio books.