Los Angeles Libraries Announce Plan to Eliminate Late Fees

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Been meaning to return that overdue library book but worried about the dent that will put in your pocketbook?

Worry no more, Mayor Eric Garcetti said Friday. Beginning this spring Los Angeles's 73 public library branches will no longer collect fines for overdue books.

"The burden of the fines placed on Angelenos is significant — for students, for families who don't have a lot of spending money, for seniors on a fixed income," Garcetti told a news conference at downtown's Central Library.

The move continues a trend that has seen public libraries in Chicago, Denver, San Francisco and other cities eliminate fines in an effort to make public libraries accessible to more people.

LA libraries currently charge 35 cents a day for overdue books, audio books and magazines and 15 cents for children's books. Late CDs and DVDs accrue fines of $1 a day.

Libraries will still seek reimbursement for lost items.

Library patron Tanisha Hicks told the Los Angeles Times the announcement is welcome news to her.

"I'm so busy sometimes, and sometimes I can't get to the library in time to return a book," the 27-year-old fast-food worker said. "I worry about the fines being charged."

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