Mayor suggests ending overdue library book fees in St. Paul, Minn.

St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter is proposing a clean slate for the 51,000 delinquent library cardholders who owe money for overdue books at the city's public libraries.  

The Star Tribune reports that Carter's proposal would forgive more than $2.5 million in accumulated library fees and eliminate fines for overdue books altogether. He's asking the City Council to approve $215,000 in extra library funding for next year. It would replace fines collected each year.

The mayor proposed a $20 million library budget for 2019, a 3.2 percent increase from this year. 

Carter says the changes "will unlock the doors to our libraries" so that everyone in the community can afford to check out a book. 

The St. Paul City Council will decide on Carter's plan in October.

Library users would still be asked to pay for lost or damaged items.