This library will let you pay your fines with cat pictures

A gray cat lies on an open book.

If cat pictures counted as currency, would you be rich? One Massachusetts city is now accepting photos of cats instead of cash. At the seven locations of the Worcester Public Library, patrons can now use such images to clear any fines resulting from damage to or loss of books.

Dubbed March Meowness, the special initiative lasts the entire month of March. While the library does not charge fines for overdue books, it does for lost or damaged ones. However, now you can have your debt forgiven if you simply give them a picture of a cat, small or big. It doesn’t even have to be yours.

“We want you back at the library, so we are offering one month of fee forgiveness for lost or damaged items from Worcester Public Library!” reads an announcement on the library’s site. “Show us a picture of your cat, a famous cat, a picture you drew of a cat, a shelter cat — any cat, and we will forgive WPL fees on your library account.”

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Cat photos or even drawings of a cat can be left on the community bulletin board or emailed to library staff, according to the announcement.

In addition to the unconventional payment system, March Meowness features plenty more feline fun in the form of a number of cat-themed events. At the kickoff event on March 2, patrons learned about how to get involved with the Worcester Animal Rescue League and Second Chance Animal Services as well as make cat toys. They could even experience a cat eye makeup tutorial.

Two cats cuddling together on a chair at home.

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“We librarians love our cats,” Worcester Public Library Executive Director Jason Homer told WBUR. “We’re really learning on the fact that, all in all, librarians are cat people … So we thought, let’s lean in on the joke, let’s be part of the joke and let’s have fun together.”

The cat-themed activities continue all month long. Kids can participate in the Hello Kitty Party, which includes crafts, snacks and activities on March 5. Of course, Hello Kitty attire is encouraged.

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For those looking for a more educational element, the library is hosting “Understanding Your Cat” with Dr. Rachel Gellar of All Cats All the Time, a nonprofit dedicated to promoting the adoption of cats and preventing their surrender and abandonment. Dr. Gellar is a cat behaviorist for shelters all over the world and will help attendees decode their cats’ sometimes baffling behavior on March 23.

Other events include crafts, a “Cats” movie screening, a de-stressing event with cats from the Worcester Animal Rescue League, pop-up painting, and a scavenger hunt at four of the branch locations. If you’re lucky enough to live in the area, you’ll want to check these out!

Animals, Curiosity, Life, News, Pets
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About the Author
Kate Streit
Kate Streit lives in Chicago. She enjoys stand-up comedy, mystery novels, memoirs, summer and pumpkin spice anything. Visit Scripps News to see more of Kate's work.

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