Stories from the Rainier Beach Library



"We Move a Lot"

People move a lot. Rents are raised and families are forced out, moving to a cheaper part of town, moving in with relatives. Many kids lead highly nomadic existences, shuttling from Mama to Daddy to Grandma and assorted Aunties in the endless juggling act of poverty-stricken families.

It's impossible to keep track of library cards, library books, homework. After lost book charges get too high, kids can't check out any more. It's heart-breaking to watch the light go out of a child's eyes when she has to leave an eagerly-sought book behind. Library employees sometimes secretly pay the charges.

One twelve-year-old boy walked some fifteen miles to visit our library after his family moved further out, to Burien. We mapped the location of the Burien Library for him and copied out the telephone number and made him promise that he would ride the bus home and next time telephone the Burien Library and ask for directions to the library. Of course, maybe it wasn't so much the library that he was looking for but the faces that he knew.

<<back   1   2   3   4   5   6   7   next>>