Fort Worth Public Library to stop charging overdue fines

The Fort Worth Public Library is joining a growing number of libraries across the nation that will no longer charge fees for overdue books.

The library system also announced it's forgiving all existing overdue fines.

“We don’t want there to be any obstacles to residents enjoying their Library,” said Fort Worth Public Library Director Manya Shorr in a statement. “Removing the burden of overdue fines is just one step in helping ensure everyone feels free to return to the Library.”

An estimated 18,000 cardholders can now return to the library with a zero balance. Previously, accounts were blocked if cardholders' owned at least $5 in overdue fines.

Moving forward, items not returned after 90 days will be designated “lost” and the patron will be charged a replacement fee.

The new threshold to freeze an account will be $50 worth of charges.