This is Why Libraries Matter: Ferguson Library
Today I feel very overwhelmed by world events. So I thought I would take a moment and share with you what the Ferguson Library is doing for its residents, a very important reminder to us all that libraries do in fact matter.
With schools delayed another week because of the protests in Ferguson, the library is opening its doors to students. Several teachers are holding special programs and such from 9 to 4 for the students. I heard on NPR last night that over 80% of the kids qualify for free or reduced lunch, so some of the schools are even opening to serve lunch because it is the only way they will eat during the day. And the Ferguson Llibrary is also reminding its residents that they can come into the library to get a drink of water, keep in touch with loved ones, or just read a book in a safe oasis. Here is some of what I have seen on Twitter:
We are here for all of our residents. If you want to come, get water, read, check email, we are here… http://t.co/56qhtfFoOz
— Ferguson Library (@fergusonlibrary) August 15, 2014
Parents of Walnut Grove Elem students – a few teachers have set up activities 9-4 here at the Ferguson Library until schools open. #Ferguson
— Ferguson Library (@fergusonlibrary) August 19, 2014
Yesterday I tweeted and asked the Ferguson Library if they were taking donations to help provide snacks and drinks to the students they were serving. I would also love to maybe send them some books to hand out to those students so they could take them home and just have their own books, because one thing we know about high poverty areas, and by all accounts Ferguson does have a high poverty level, is that many of the homes in these areas don’t have the money to buy books they can call their own because they are trying to provide the very basic necessities like food and water. There are several food drives happening as we speak to help feed the students of Ferguson:
I haven’t heard back from the Ferguson Library, but I have worked in libraries long enough to know we always need more money, so I am sending a small donation for youth programming any way. If you have ever wanted to support a library, please consider supporting Ferguson Library today as they remind us all that communities do in fact need their libraries.
In the coming days, weeks, months and years, the community of Ferguson will have a lot of processing to do. There will be a lot of information that the librarians will have to work to preserve and archive about this time that will always be a part of their history books, of our history books. They will probably have community wide discussions, need meeting places, and more. And right now, they are doing exactly what their community needs – opening their doors to serve their community.
My hat goes off to you Ferguson Library!
Filed under: Ferguson
About Karen Jensen, MLS
Karen Jensen has been a Teen Services Librarian for almost 30 years. She created TLT in 2011 and is the co-editor of The Whole Library Handbook: Teen Services with Heather Booth (ALA Editions, 2014).
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