Image and quote via NPR
Scott Bonner, the library's director and its only full-time librarian, kept the building open to provide programming for local students and to offer adults a safe place in the midst of the tumult. The decision marked a renewal of the library's work in August, when it opened its space to impromptu classes during local schools' long closures during protests this summer. On Tuesday, Bonner said, it was tough to gauge just how visitors were reacting to the news.
"I'm seeing a mix of moods," Bonner told Library Journal. "Our volunteers are excited and optimistic, and here to help, and then I have patrons who come in and literally hold my hands and cry — they just needed someone to hold onto and talk to. And everything in between, including people who are doing the regular walk-in, walk-out stuff."
News of the Ferguson Public Library's opening also prompted an outpouring of donations. Partly spurred by social media support from Neil Gaiman, Rachel Maddow and even the show Reading Rainbow, Bonner told CNNMoney that the library's received donations "in the five digits" since the grand jury announcement. And they continue to flood in.