Library Comes Up With Purrfect Way to Forgive Lost Books

Worcester Public Library in Massachusetts is granting amnesty if you bring in cat pics
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 6, 2024 1:25 PM CST
Library Comes Up With Purrfect Way to Forgive Lost Books
Peekaboo.   (Getty Images/Sofiia Potanina)

A Massachusetts library has implemented a temporary—and arguably purrfect—forgiveness program for those who've lost or damaged materials they've borrowed. The New York Times reports on the "March Meowness" initiative currently happening at the Worcester Public Library: For this month only, borrowers whose library cards have been deactivated due to unpaid fees for unreturned materials can see their borrowing privileges restored by bringing in a photo, drawing, or even just a magazine clipping of their cat (or somebody else's).

"We understand accidents can happen, and sometimes fees might hold you back from fully using your public library," the library notes on its website. To be eligible, waived items have to have been missing for two months or longer, and patrons with five or more missing items will need to have their case reviewed by a staff supervisor. The notice also warns that "if your lost or damaged items can be viewed as an attempt to restrict access to diverse content," you're not eligible. "Items are not guaranteed to be waived, and forgiveness will be given at the discretion of library staff."

The Times reports the library's main building already sports a "cat wall" hosting all of the various imagery brought in by forgiveness-seeking locals; around 400 accounts were cleared in just the first few days of March. People are also posting pics of cats on the library's Facebook page. The library says about 4,300 cards had been blocked across its seven branches. "The program has already performed better than we hoped it would," the library notes, per People. (More strange stuff stories.)

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