Today we're expanding Fresh Start! Since 1999, the Fresh Start program has given teens ages 12-19 a one-time chance to clear their overdue fines. Now, thanks to support from The Seattle Public Library Foundation, we can forgive fees for lost items.

"Teens use the library as a third place," said Chief Librarian Marcellus Turner. "They do homework here, use computers, check out books and more. Fresh Start clears a teen's Library account, so there aren't any fines or fees. Our data shows that teens with cleared Library fines are twice as likely to use the Library, so this program is a really wonderful thing for Seattle-area families."

"Like any parent, caregiver or teacher can attest to, sometimes teens can make mistakes, and things can happen," said Jonna Ward, CEO of The Seattle Public Library Foundation. "This program helps remove access barriers by giving young people a second chance. Plus it’s a win-win for our donors, who can help out a teen while adding a book to the collection."

About Fresh Start

When Library accounts have an unpaid balance of $15 or more, they are blocked from checking out materials. This helps us make sure that Library materials are available for everyone. Many teens have blocked accounts due to late fines or lost items. The average balance on a blocked account is over $50, which many families are unable to pay.

With Fresh Start, we can offer teens a one-time clearing of all fines. And thanks to The Seattle Public Library Foundation, we can now also clear charges for lost items.

For Teens with Fines and Fees

If you are aged 12-19 and have a Library account blocked due to late fines or lost items, stop by any Library location or contact us online to request a Fresh Start. This is a one-time opportunity to get your account cleared of fines and fees.

Donate to Fresh Start
You can help a young person get back on track! Donations can be made online at The Seattle Public Library Foundation’s website,, or patrons can contribute to Fresh Start when paying their fines (online or in-person). Find out how you can support this program and help teens start using the Library again at

To learn more about how The Seattle Public Library Foundation and its programs to support the Library, visit or call 206-386-4130.