Don't Have a Hissy Fit Over Book Fees, a Mass. Library Is Accepting Cat Photos in Place of Fines

The Worcester Public Library is hosting multiple cat-themed events as part of its March Meowness month

<p>Purple Collar Pet Photography/Getty</p> A stock photo of a Bengal kitten sitting on a bookshelf

Purple Collar Pet Photography/Getty

A stock photo of a Bengal kitten sitting on a bookshelf
  • Worcester Public Library is forgiving fines for patrons who bring in cat photos

  • The Felines for Fee Forgiveness is part of the Massachusetts library's March Meowness event, which runs through March 30

  • Worcester Public Library cleared over 400 accounts of fines in the first five days of the Felines for Fee Forgiveness program

A Massachusetts library has the purrfect solution for anyone looking to erase unwanted book fees.

Over the weekend, Worcester Public Library (WPL) launched March Meowness, a month-long celebration of cats. The library set up Felines for Fee Forgiveness as part of the cat-themed. Throughout March, library-goers who have racked up fees for lost or damaged items can eliminate their outstanding balance by bringing in cat photos to show the Worcester Public Library's staff.

The library has few rules regarding what kind of feline snapshots they'll accept to forgive fees. According to the library's website, Worcester librarians will accept a photo or drawing of a pet cat, a friend's cat, a famous cat, a shelter cat, or literally any furry friend.

"We will accept honorary cats as well, so you may show us a picture or drawing of a dog, raccoon, orca, capybara, or any other animal," the library shared online.

<p>Catherine Falls Commercial/Getty</p> A stock photo of a black and white cat sitting on a pile of books.

Catherine Falls Commercial/Getty

A stock photo of a black and white cat sitting on a pile of books.

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"We understand accidents can happen, and sometimes fees might hold you back from fully using your public library. We hope that you will join us as we celebrate March Meowness at all of our Worcester Public Library locations," the website added.

Despite not having many cat-related rules, the library stated that items must be WPL-owned, and the waived fees must be from items lost for two months or longer. Library staff members will decide what fees can be waived with cat pictures.

March Meowness kicked off on Saturday, with library-goers learning how to get involved with the Worcester Animal Rescue League and Second Chance Animal Services.

Related: 'Adventurous' Cat Hiding in Vehicle's Engine Is Saved from Car Crusher with Seconds to Spare

Other events will include a Hello Kitty party, a chance to de-stress with cats from the Worcester Animal Rescue League, a Cats movie screening, and more. The cat-themed activities will run through March 30.

In a statement obtained by PEOPLE, WPL explained that the Felines for Fee Forgiveness program was thought up by the library's "New Users Task Force, a multi-department committee formed to introduce the library to new and lapsed users."

"They wanted to get people back to the library and noticed that a lot of our younger patrons had fees from books that were lost during the start of the pandemic. Library fees can be a barrier for some members of our community, so we wanted to run a fee forgiveness program with a low barrier of entry," the library added.

Cat photos are an ideal replacement for cash because they make conversations about library fees fun, not embarrassing or overwhelming.

"We wanted them to know that it's ok, we understand life happens, we just want them back using our library," WPL added.

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People other than WPL patrons have noticed the library's fee forgiveness program. The library told PEOPLE that it has received cat photos from all over the world, including New Zealand, Australia, and Greece.

All cat photos submitted so far, regardless of whether they came from a WPL patron, are on display on a wall of the WPL's main branch.

In the first five days of the fee forgiveness program, which runs through March, WPL said the library cleared over 400 accounts of fines.

"The positive feedback has been wonderful, and the program has already performed better than we hoped it would," WPL shared in reaction to the response.

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Read the original article on People.