Ferguson Library Stays Open as Schools and Services Close

Ferguson Peace
A pedestrian walks past a business with a painted storefront in Ferguson, Missouri. Jim Young/Reuters

In the aftermath of the violent protests that erupted in Ferguson, Missouri last night following the Grand Jury's decision not to indict police officer Darren Wilson in the fatal shooting of unarmed teenager Michael Brown, the city's schools and public services have decided to close.

But one place, the Ferguson Municipal Public Library, has chosen to remain open in order to help children who have nowhere to go.

The wrote on their Facebook page:

And also reached out to the community via Twitter:

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.

— Ferguson Library (@fergusonlibrary) November 24, 2014

Moved by the library's commitment to its community, many on Twitter called on others to make donations.

Newsweek spoke with the library's director, Scott Bonner, who says the library is currently very busy. "Right now we have our usual crowd plus a whole lot of volunteers and quite a few students...we've been slowly building up on the number of students as a matter of the word getting out and then people trying to assess whether or not they feel safe coming out," he said.

He also thanked all of those who have made donations to the library. "We've had stunning donations, just an amazingly generous inflow of donations. When I checked less than half an hour ago, more than 1,200 people had donated, all in small amounts - clearly what they could," he said. "Every dollar of that is going to go towards serving the community one way or another."

He spoke of plans to build more community programming, as well as make some much needed improvements around the library that he called "Way, way, way overdue."