The library system found 25% of new card holders stopped using the library after their first fine.
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The library system found 25% of new card holders stopped using the library after their first fine.

A west Georgia library system will be in the first in the state to eliminate overdue fines.

Chattahoochee Valley Libraries are erasing all past overdue fines and will stop charging patrons 25 cents a day for late books. 

GPB's Sophia Saliby explains why the library system decided to eliminate overdue fines.

Library Director Alan Harkness said they’re following a national trend in making libraries more accessible.

"People that make choices between rent or food and paying overdue fines, we really want them not to [have to] make that choice," he said.

Library patrons will still have to pay to replace lost or unreturned books.

The libraries serve Muscogee, Chattahoochee, Marion and Stewart counties.  Only 1% of the system’s current operating budget comes from fines. 

The new policy will go into effect Aug. 15.

Harkness said other library systems in the state have expressed interest in making a similar switch.