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Chicago Library Amnesty Program Yields $2M Worth of Returned Items

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(CHICAGO) -- A Chicago Public Library amnesty program that allowed members to return overdue items without having to pay any late fees brought in more than 100,000 books, DVDs and other materials.

The library’s fine amnesty -- dubbed “Once in a Blue Moon Amnesty” -- began on Aug. 20 and ended Sept. 7. The value of the 101,301 items returned was estimated at $2 million. Several of the recovered items were checked out in the 1970s and 1980s, the Chicago Tribune newspaper reported.

The library caps fines on each late item at $10, so the total fines waived during the amnesty reportedly was $641,820.

The last fine amnesty conducted by the library took place in 1992.  During that program, the library eliminated all fines on juvenile cards once the overdue items were returned.

There was also a one-week fine amnesty in 1985 that extended to all library patrons. A library news release said 77,000 books worth about $1.5 million were returned.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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