Late Library Book? Just Send in a Cute Photo of Your Cat


Cute cat photo
Yes, you read that headline correctly. 

Public libraries in Massachusetts, US are accepting cute pictures of cats in return for late library books. In fact, they will even accept cute cat photos for damaged library books. 

The program is called ‘Feline Fee Forgiveness’. And it is designed to lower the barrier to libraries and offer fee forgiveness. 

At Worcester Public Library hundreds of items were returned within the days of the program beginning. As part of their ‘March Meowness’ celebrations, locals can come into the library and present any photo of a cat, or a drawing, and have their fees waved. 

The program aims to get people back into libraries after attendance dropped during the Pandemic, even if they owe money for a lost or damaged book. And reduce barriers to returning to the library, regardless of a person’s circumstances.

So why cats?

When coming up with ideas to encourage people back into libraries, librarians in Massachusetts asked themselves what better way to welcome people than with soft, cuddly cats?

“A librarian is a book lover, a cardigan lover and a cat lover,” Jason Homer from Worcester Public Library said.

“Our staff has a lot of cats. Some of the staff were in a meeting and they were coming up with ways to bring people back to the library, and they thought, ‘What if we removed as many barriers as possible and told people they could show us a picture of a cat, draw a picture of a cat or just tell us about a cat?’”

And so, the Feline Fee Forgiveness program was created. 


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