Ferguson library donations top $350,000

Demonstrators partially block West Florissant Avenue in Ferguson, Mo., on Nov. 22.
(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

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.”

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