Page last updated at 21:31 GMT, Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Tardy readers in 11,000 let off

A week-long amnesty on overdue library books has seen readers in Leicester save almost 11,200 in fines.

Borrowers returned 2,597 overdue books when the city council decided to waive penalties between 20 and 26 October.

Some of the books brought back to libraries should have been returned six years ago.

The council said it did not expect the amnesty to be so successful and hoped people would feel it was safe to use its libraries again.

A total of 1,127 of the overdue books returned were more than five weeks overdue.

The longest overdue book, "The Music Man" vocal score, should have been come back in July 2002.

The value of the stock returned exceeded 18,000.

Head of the library service Andrew Willis said: "Although people said they felt embarrassed, they were also relieved to return their books because it meant they could start using the library service again."

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