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Chicago mayor moves to eradicate overdue library fees

CHICAGO (AP) — Chicago is about to become the largest U.S. city to eliminate overdue fees for library books and other items in an effort to remove barriers that deter youth and low-income patrons.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced Monday that the Chicago Public Library will also erase any outstanding overdue fees. The city's current library system blocks card holders when they owe a fine of $10 or more.

The new system begins Tuesday.

Library officials say one in every three library card holders in the library's South District is banned from withdrawing items. Only one of every six library card users in the North District is also locked out.

One in five of those blocked cards belongs to a child under the age of 14.

Detroit and Phoenix announced similar plans this month.