Chicago Public Library to eliminate overdue fines on books starting Tuesday

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Overdue library fines will now be a thing of the past for Chicago residents.

Starting Tuesday, October 1, the Chicago Public Library will eliminate overdue fines for all CPL-owned items currently in circulation, per an announcement from Mayor Lori Lightfoot's office.

The mayor's office said the move is meant to remove barriers to basic library access especially for youth and low-income patrons.

"Like too many Chicagoans, I know what it is like to grow up in financially-challenging circumstances and understand what it is like to be just one bill or one mistake away from crushing debt," said Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot. "The bold reforms we're taking to make the Chicago Public Library system fine-free and forgive City Sticker debt will end the regressive practices disproportionately impacting those who can least afford it, ensure every Chicagoan can utilize our city's services and resources, and eliminate the cycles of debt and generational poverty because of a few mistakes."

The new policy is part of a series of efforts by Mayor Lightfoot to eliminate regressive fines and fees policies that have historically affected lower income residents.

With this new policy, Chicago becomes the largest city and largest public library system in the U.S. to adopt the policy of eliminating overdue fines.

Library patrons will still be responsible for returning books at the cost of replacing or paying for the value of materials not returned.
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