Notes from Newcastle: Library has help when you need it

January 2, 2015

My brother has probably always been mentally ill, but it wasn’t until he was in his late 20s that a psychiatrist confirmed his schizophrenia. Adding to his complexity, he is vulnerable with a developmental disability, a wandering soul and a fierce streak of independence.

Before I became his official caregiver in 1999, my family saw him evicted from apartments, thrown in jail and pursued by collection agencies, and he was one bad break away from becoming homeless. Flash forward 15 years and I’m happy to say, with the proper help from a variety of agencies, my brother is stable.

My personal experiences with my brother and my work as a public librarian make me keenly aware of the challenges some of our community members face. The Newcastle Library doesn’t often see the challenging societal issues some of our other King County Library System branches face, but we remain aware the need for assistance exists in every community, regardless of age, ethnicity or income level. Read more