During the protests and destruction that raged after the death of Michael Brown, even when schools were closed, the Ferguson Municipal Public Library stayed open. And now it's being rewarded.
A grand jury last month declined to indict Darren Wilson, the police officer who shot Brown on Aug. 9 in Ferguson, Mo. Since then, library has received more than $350,000 in donations.
That sum, which has arrived in a matter of weeks, is about 85% of the library's annual budget. Library director Scott Bonner told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that his board was meeting Monday night "to work out next steps and make sure every penny is accounted for and worked into a plan."
In addition to the flood of cash donations, the library has been the beneficiary of a number of book drives. And authors themselves -- including bestselling young adult authors John Green, Veronica Roth and Jay Asher -- are donating signed copies of their books to the library.
Social media played a big part in bringing attention to the Ferguson library's efforts. Ashley Ford (@iSmashFizzle) of Buzzfeed news tweeted "There are many ways to show support to ... Ferguson. My way is to donate to their library," and the idea went viral.
"If I sparked it, everyone else was the fire," Ford has since said. She also notes, "This has been the first time I've been able to help anything in such a large way."