Have you ever had an overdue library book?

You realize you've had a book for way too long, you bring it to the library to return it, and boom. You're hit with a fee for more than the cost of the book itself.

According to an EBSCO article, overdue books can cost around 17 cents a day. And if you accidentally keep that book for months, it could rack up to a pretty hefty fine.

It becomes an extra bill that you were not expecting. Well, a Massachusetts library is implementing a really creative way to have overdue books returned.

Fees? Nope. Cat Pics.

Rescued baby cat being fed with bottle of milk
Getty Images

The Worcester Public Library is in the middle of March Meowness (a punny play off of March Madness). Included in their March Meowness is their Felines for Fee Forgiveness.

The forgiveness program is allowing people who have damaged or overdue book fees to return those books with no fees. Instead, they are accepting pictures of cats.

So picture this. You took out 10 books during 2020, when you were working from home and stuck inside with the pandemic. You never returned them. You find out that you have racked up a library fee of over a hundred dollars.

Because of the Felines for Fee Forgiveness program, you can do the right thing and return those books for 0 dollars. Instead, the Worcester Public Library will accept photos of cats as fees.

Cocker spaniel relaxing with a cat, Canis familiaris
Getty Images

This sounds silly and fun, but what is the benefit or the reason? Well, for starters, the library wants the books back. Reading actual books is becoming increasingly popular again with younger folks.

And instead of shaming people and charging them for forgetting to return the books, the Worcester Public Library "wanted them to know that it's ok, we understand life happens, we just want them back using our library," according to a People article.

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