When a grand jury decided not to charge police officer Darren Wilson for the killing of Michael Brown just over two weeks ago, the aftershocks of the decision wreaked havoc on the Ferguson community. Pubic schools closed and stores shuttered their windows as protesters took to the streets in the tumultuous aftermath. Throughout it all, however, the Ferguson public library remained open as scheduled.
In the two weeks since the grand jury decision, individuals from around the country looking to help in some way began donating money and books to the Ferguson Municipal Public Library. Social media helped spread the word, and on Monday Ferguson library director Scott Bonner announced the library had received more than $350,000 in contributions. The two-week total nearly matched the library’s annual budget. Here’s more from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
The Ferguson Municipal Public Library, founded in 1930, is in a relatively new building on North Florissant Road, but it can use some capital improvements, Bonner said two weeks ago when donations started coming in through Pay Pal. Carpeting and old computers can use updating, he said. But he has also said that his main goal is to hire a full-time children's librarian who can work on programming. Bonner is the only full-time librarian. He has 12 part-time staff members and a budget of about $400,000.
On Monday, Bonner told the Post-Dispatch: "The Board is meeting tonight to work out next steps and make sure every penny is accounted for and worked into a plan."