“The library makes it possible that I have a rich life”

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Libraries are very important in writer Jon McKinley’s everyday life. He uses Highpoint library frequently “to enjoy the great selection of movies, CD’s and books —those things we should all have access to collectively,” he said. But he also talked with us about a time when libraries played a pivotal role in his life.

“I immediately went to the library when I arrived in Seattle because if there’s one thing I need in life it’s reading material. At that time, around 1998, I didn’t know what a PC was. I was intimidated by computers and I thought I might have to take a college course to learn Windows and Word.  I may never have learned if I hadn’t seen the sign for the library’s free classes. I took two hour and a half classes with a group of 35 or 40.

In the first class, we learned how to turn the computer on, start up Word, double-click the mouse and scroll up and down,” he said, laughing at the memory. “When I saw how fun it was I stopped feeling intimidated. That class sure helps me out as a writer because I probably wouldn’t be able to understand my own handwriting today!”

“The library really makes it possible that I have a rich life,” he explained. “I  live humbly and frugally but can feel the excitement of travel and adventure, have the rush of gaining relevant knowledge, and see some wonderful movies because of the library.”

Highpoint branch, which is located in West Seattle next to a large, diverse, mixed income community,  is a convenient neighborhood walking destination [walkscore 66].  “Parks and libraries are some of the last free places we have for community,” McKinley said. “Libraries in our neighborhoods make for happier communities because all people from all walks of life know that its an enrichment that we  have in common and a place that we share between us.”


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