The Seattle Public Library Foundation is sponsoring the expansion of initiative called Fresh Start, a program that helps youth ages 12-19 regain access to the Library’s resources by clearing fines and fees.
Many teens have blocked accounts due to late fines or lost items. The existing Fresh Start program provides for a one-time clearing of accumulated fines for overdue books. The new expansion will cover fees associated with lost or misplaced books.
“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. The Library’s research has shown that when a youth account is restored, teens are twice as likely to use the Library. This is a great 2-for-1 program for our donors as well, who can support a teen while adding books to the collection.”
The average balance of a blocked account with a misplaced or lost book is $50, which many families are unable to pay. The Foundation hopes to support the reinstatement of more than 1,000 teen accounts by the end of 2018.
Donors can now make a direct contribution to the Fresh Start program!