Amid all of the strife engulfing Ferguson, Missouri, this month, there is one spot in town that has become a refuge for children and parents: the library.
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The Ferguson Library has been an oasis of calm since the town's residents erupted in anger at the police after a Ferguson cop shot and killed an unarmed black teen, Michael Brown, on Aug. 9.
It has used Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook to offer residents a place of respite for them to get bottled water, check their emails, and avoid the unrest developing on Ferguson's streets.
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
As the Ferguson-Florissant School District postponed the start of the school year for more than a week, teachers set up shop at the Ferguson library, providing activities and instruction for children awaiting the start of class.
Today, about 120 children showed up to the library for lessons and activities, though staff only expected about 60. Teachers also began hosting classes in the nearby First Baptist Church.
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
The Library has also emphasized its role as a community institution, placing signs outside the building noting that it stands with community members, at a time when the town's police department has battled protesters with tear gas and rubber bullets.
Residents have praised the efforts of the library and its librarians,who have been positive and helpful throughout the protests.