(11 Nov 2020) After eliminating overdue fees late last year, Chicago Public Library employees saw something that made everyone smile: a jump in the return of books overdue for six months or more.
About 1,650 long-overdue books were returned in each of the five months after fines were eliminated Oct. 1, 2019. Before then, about 900 overdue books were returned each month, according to the library.
The library system typically collected between $800,000 and $900,000 a year in late fees. That money is gone, but library official said what’s been gained is more important: valuable books and patrons who might never have returned.
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