By CBS3 Staff

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Free Library of Philadelphia is saying goodbye to overdue fines. As of Friday, the library has eliminated charging its customers overdue fines for books returned after their due dates.

The Library has also removed all historic overdue fines from customer records.

“By saying goodbye to fines, we’re welcoming back the nearly 88,000 cardholders who are currently unable to take full advantage of the library due to owing fines,” said Siobhan A. Reardon, President and Director of the Free Library. “We’re also anticipating increases in circulation, an uptick in new library card signups, and more overall visits to libraries throughout the city. It’s going to be a positive change in many ways, and I’m so proud that we’ll be one of the largest library systems in the country to eliminate this penalty.”

The library’s Board of Trustees passed the measure in December and have been training staff on the new technical and logistical process.

While the new policy eliminates fines for overdue materials, fees remain for items that are lost or destroyed.

Customers who do not return materials by its due date will receive reminders and after 30 days, the materials will be considered lost.