The Ferguson Municipal Library, a beacon of peace in a community wracked by unrest, has received a flood of donations in response to its decision to stay open following Monday’s grand jury announcement—more than $175,000, or more than half its annual budget, in just two days.
The public library, which employs only one full-time librarian and serves about 21,000 local residents, acted as an ad-hoc school and community center when other public institutions shut down, reports the St. Louis Dispatch.
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Staff Tweeted Tuesday: “Lots of kids, lots of teachers, lots of knowledge at the #Ferguson library today! Thanks! Support each other & stay safe. #whatlibrariesdo”
On the day the grand jury announced its decision not to indict white police officer Darren Wilson for shooting dead unarmed black teenager Michael Brown, the staff wrote: “Many other orgs closing. But we will stay open to serve people of #Ferguson as long as safe for patrons & staff, up to 8p. Love each other;” and “Normal hours tomorrow. We will have teachers and volunteers here to help kids from 9-3 since [Ferguson-Florissant school district] is closed!”
The community-minded approach garnered online support from luminaries such as author Neil Gaiman, tv host and commentator Rachel Maddow, and the PBS program Reading Rainbow.
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