Fresh Start: Fine Forgiveness for Teens at The Seattle Public Library
release date: 07/06/2018
Teens ages 12-19 can get a Fresh Start with their Library fines! Since 1999, the Fresh Start program has given teens ages a one-time chance to clear their overdue fines. Earlier this year, thanks to support from The Seattle Public Library Foundation, the program expanded to forgive fees for lost items.
"We’ve found that the vast majority of teens don’t return to the Library once their account has been blocked," said Bo Kinney, Circulation Services Manager. "But almost every teen who has received a Fresh Start has kept their account clear of fines and fees, and many of them have become regular library users."
After the expanded program began on March 22, 2018, 400 teen patrons have received a Fresh Start. Of those, 169 patrons had at least one lost book on their account that they got cleared.
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, supportspl.org, 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 www.spl.org/freshstart.