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Library loans (2018)

Request

  1. What where the ten most popular books borrowed from the House of Commons library in 2015, 2016 and 2017.
     
  2. The number and size of fines issued for late return or non-return of books in 2015, 2016 and 2017.
     

 

Response

  1. The ten most popular books borrowed from the House of Commons library in 2015, 2016 and 2017.
    This information is held by the House of Commons.
    Details of books purchased by and borrowed from the Commons Library are published proactively on our website. This information is complete to October 2017. As the information is reasonably accessible to you otherwise than under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA), your request is refused. In refusing your request the House is applying the exemption set out in section 21 (1) and (2) (a) of the FOIA. This is an absolute exemption and the public interest test does not apply.
    Information covering the period October 2017 to March 2018 is due to be added to this page at the end of April 2018. Until the information is published it is exempt from disclosure under section 22 (1) of the FOIA: the exemption for information held by the public authority with a view to its publication at some future date (whether determined or not). Section 22 is a qualified exemption, and accordingly we have considered whether the public interest is in withholding the information or in disclosing it.
    While there is a public interest in the publication of information where that information might be easy to access and will not prejudice the House, we consider this to be outweighed by both the public interest in the routine disclosure of this information and in permitting public authorities to publish information to a conveniently planned and managed schedule to achieve efficiency and value for money.
  2. The number and size of fines issued for late return or non-return of books in 2015, 2016 and 2017.
    Some of this information is held by the House of Commons. The House of Commons Library does not issue fines for overdue books, but issues a standard charge of £20 for books from its own stock which are presumed lost by their borrowers. The charges for lost books which have been obtained on interlibrary loan are set by the library from which the book was originally borrowed. Very often these charges have been cancelled where a book is returned, however. 
    Information relating to charges issued in connection with lost books in the period from April 2016 to date, including how much of the total charged has been paid, how much has been cancelled and how much is still outstanding.
    Information relating to charges issued in connection with lost books in the financial years 2014/15, 2015/16 and 2016-17 has already been published on our website.  Therefore, this information is again subject to exemption under s.21 of the FOIA, as it has already been made reasonably accessible.