Detroit Public Library drops overdue fees

Detroit News staff and wire reports

For the first time in its 154-year history, the Detroit Public Library is no longer charging fees on items returned late.

Since Sept. 1, the library system has stopped the overdue penalties except those for damaged or lost items, according to the Detroit Public Library website.

The Detroit Public Library

"With NO FINES, it will now be easier than ever to borrow materials and enjoy the library," according to a notice on the site.

Due dates still matter, though. Visitors cannot check out additional books or other materials until overdue items have been returned, library officials said.

"If you have damaged or lost items or owe collection fees, you will still need to settle your account with the library to reinstate your borrowing privileges," the website read.

Detroit is among three major cities in the United States moving away from the overdue fees practice.

Phoenix announced similar plans this month.

On Tuesday, Chicago is set 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.

mhicks@detroitnews.com