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updated: 8/7/2012 7:55 AM

Chicago offers amnesty on overdue books

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Associated Press

The Chicago Public Library is offering an amnesty program on overdue materials for the first time in 20 years.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel says it'll allow schoolchildren a chance to start the year with a clean slate and not be discouraged from using the library because fines are owed.

The "Once in a Blue Moon Amnesty" program coincides with the astronomical phenomenon that takes place Aug. 31. The second full moon this month is known as a "blue moon."

The amnesty program runs from Aug. 20 through Sept. 7. Fines will be waived on all overdue books, CDs, DVDs and other materials regardless of how long they are overdue.

Patrons who have lost items must pay replacement costs.

Officials say the library is owed $1.4 million in fines.

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