Ferguson library will open to kids despite Michael Brown shooting protests

25/11/14

Books on a table

After police and protestors take to the streets during the "worst night" of rioting, schools and public services in Ferguson are shutting down.

One place though - the public library - has promised to stick to opening hours as long as staff can keep it running.

Volunteers and teachers have offered to "help kids" who have nowhere to go.

Demonstrations began across the US after a grand jury announced it would not charge police officer Darren Wilson with the death of Michael Brown.

Tweet from @fergusonlibrary reading: "Normal hours tomorrow. We will have teachers and volunteers here to help kids from 9 - 3 since FFSD is closed! #Ferguson."

"Because of the grand jury decision, many organisations will be closed, but the Ferguson Municipal Public Library will stay open as long as it is safe for patrons and staff," the library wrote on its Facebook page.

"If the Ferguson-Florissant schools close, we will be hosting activities for the children. We will do everything in our power to serve our community.

"Stay strong and love each other."

Michael Brown, the 18 year old who was shot dead in Ferguson, Missouri
Image caption Michael Brown had recently graduated from high school when he was shot dead

The library is also organising a book swap for Tuesday evening and has called for more volunteers and donations from people wanting to help.

They have also been sharing inspirational messages online, encouraging followers to "love" one another.

Despite the demonstrations that broke out on Monday evening, after the grand jury's decision was revealed, the library staff promised to keep the service open for as long as they could.

Tweet from @fergusonlibrary reading: "Many other orgs closing. But we will stay open to serve people of #Ferguson as long as safe for patrons & staff, up to 8p. Love each other."

The American Library Association has said how "proud" they are of staff at the library in Ferguson.

"Truly the heart of the community, serving everyone. #whatlibrariesdo," they wrote on the Association's Facebook page.

In addition to the library's service, churches in Ferguson have also promised to open and serve food and provide support for children while schools are cancelled.

There were weeks of unrest earlier this year after Mr Brown was shot by police officer Darren Wilson on 9 August.

Police with guns and an armoured vehicle

Despite appeal for calm from President Barack Obama, Ferguson has seen its worst night of rioting so far.

Shots have been fired and cars and buildings have been set on fire.

After the announcement, Mr Brown's family issued a statement saying they were "profoundly disappointed that the killer of our child will not face the consequence of his actions".

Police have said there was a struggle between the teenager and the officer before the shooting.

Thousands of other people have also been involved in protests in cities around the country, including Los Angeles, New York and Washington DC.

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