Library in Massachusetts accepts cat photographs instead of library fines

At a Massachusetts library you can pay a fine with a cat photograph (for now). Even pics of Maine Coons!! 😎

Library in Massachusetts accepts cat photographs instead of library fines
Image credit at base of page.

NEWS AND OPINION: this is a very enlightened policy. At the public library in Worcester, Massachusetts, USA, the administrators discovered that a lot of young clients had accumulated large library fines since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.

It would seem that they thought that there was little chance of getting these fees paid and the books returned. They decided, as an alternative, to tell these customers that when they returned the books, instead of paying a library fine they could provide a cat photograph or photographs.

And if they can't photograph a cat they could draw one. It could be a domestic cat or wild cat. The program has been successful with over 400 accounts cleared in the first five days of March.

To qualify for submitting a cat photograph rather than paying a fine for hanging onto library books for too long and not returning them, you have to meet the following criteria:
  • A book needs to have been lost for at least two months for the fee to be waived.
  • And if you've failed to return five or more books a circulation manager will have to review the client's account to check if they are eligible for this waiver of library fees.
The policy is called Felines for Fee Forgiveness. It only applies to books owned by the Worcester public library and it does not apply to other objects owned by this library.

The administrators are encouraging people to leave their cat picture/drawing for display on a community bulletin board presumably inside the library.

News media tell me that in Massachusetts 313 of the state's 367 public libraries are fine-free.

Comment: I suspect that people who have failed to return library books decide to keep them at the end of the day in order to avoid a fine, and/or perhaps avoid the embarrassment of returning it/them very late, or because they want to simply acquire the book i.e. steal it.

Image: credit: Library.JPG#/media/File:Worcester_Public_Library.JPG


Please excuse the occasional typo due to preparing these articles at breakneck speed using Dragon Dictate. I don't have a proof reader.


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