New York City libraries to forgive late fees for kids age 17 and under

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Tim Fleischer has the latest on the one-time amnesty event.

Kids and teens are getting a clean slate at libraries across New York City starting Thursday in a one-time amnesty event.

The city's three library systems - the New York Public Library, the Queens Library and the Brooklyn Public Library - say they will forgive all fines for children aged 17 and under and and unblock their library cards.

The JPB Foundation, library officials reveal, is putting up $2.25 million to make up the shortfall in revenue from the fines.

Library officials also say of the 927,000 youth library cardholders, 161,000 have suspended borrowing privileges due to fines of more than $15.

High school students who are over 17 have until November 2 to get their fines cleared.

"It liberates our children to make sure that they feel free, to come through our doors, to take out books and materials and DVD's and not have any blocks or hindrances," said Dennis Walcott, the President and CEO of the Queens Library.

The amnesty period will be brief, as fines will begin accruing on the same day.

"Now we need to engage better with our patrons to make sure that we don't find ourselves in this position again," said Linda Johnson, the President and CEO of the Brooklyn Library.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)
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