The Library Writer
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Nicholas Furr stood anxiously at the door. There was one person in line before him; a dozen homeless persons peered over his shoulder clutching assorted bags and backpacks. Nicholas had left his sister’s house early this morning so that he would have a good place in line at the Reston Regional Library. The homeless shelter was next door, and on hot summer days, like today, the homeless spent their entire day in the air-conditioned library.
The library had ten Internet computers for public use. Each computer had a clipboard where you could sign for a half hour of use. If Nicholas entered the library when the door opened at 10 AM, he could sit at a computer for half an hour and then sign up to use a different computer for a half hour in the afternoon.
One hour a day at a public Internet computer - that was Nicholas’ access to a computer. He was broke. He had a degree in English and no job. He owned two sets of clothing - one to wash and one to wear - and one pair of shoes.