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CHAMPAIGN — The Champaign Public Library board unanimously approved removing late fees Wednesday night.

Libraries have been increasingly dropping fines to remove an economic barrier to access to library materials.

“I am so proud of the historic (and unanimous) vote we as trustees took tonight to become #FineFree!” trustee Katie Blakeman tweeted.

Under the proposal, due dates still apply, but late fees would not be charged.

However, if items are six weeks overdue, borrowing privileges would be suspended and the customer would be charged a replacement fee based on the cost of the item.

The replacement fee would be waived when the items are returned.

In a memo to the board, library Director Donna Pittman said the move would cost the library $65,000 annually.

But she said the library, which receives most of its revenue from property taxes, could absorb the loss from its savings.