Scott Bonner, director of Ferguson Municipal Public Library.
During an AMA (Ask Me Anything) on Reddit Saturday, the director of the Ferguson Municipal Public Library—which has become a symbol of resilience in a community rocked by protests—mentioned that The Fault in Our Stars is among the top-read Young Adult novels currently at the library.
As an unexpected result, the author of the popular book-turned-movie, John Green, offered to send signed copies of his works to the library, which has been providing extra programming in the wake of violent protests earlier this week. Ferguson has been rocked by ongoing demonstrations—which became more peaceful as the days passed— since the grand jury announced Monday it would not indict Darren Wilson, the Ferguson police officer that killed unarmed teen Mike Brown.
"Hi hi! John Green, author of The Fault in Our Stars here," Green wrote on Reddit. "Signed copies of all my books headed your way!"
Director about to do Ask Me Anything at http://t.co/c7wID9noRO so please ask questions! #Ferguson #whatlibrariesdopic.twitter.com/V84WEbfvXd— Ferguson Library (@fergusonlibrary) November 29, 2014
Scott Bonner, the library's director, shared his gratitude for the gesture during the AMA, but he also divulged how his staff is coping with the increased need for services, how the library functions monetarily as well as some personal tidbits about his love for table-top role-playing games (think Dungeons & Dragons).
The library is busier than ever, Bonner, who became director in July—the month before Brown was killed—said, adding that it has only closed one day since Brown's shooting, Aug. 11. Although, there was a half day last Tuesday. If staff call in because they are too scared to come to work, he treats it like a sick day, he said.
The library conducted a day-school program for children earlier this week when schools closed Tuesday after violent rioting Monday night.
"I will say that it is quiet and safe during the daytime, and most of the town is quiet at night, too. Where the protests are happening is NO JOKE, but that is localized in time and place," Bonner wrote. "Things are pretty political — it seems that no one can say anything without someone else reading their mind and making a bunch of false assumptions based on it."
Library officials are working on expanding programming—which was thin before Bonner started—especially for teens. In October it launched a teen council, which named itself The Super Squad Awesome Team!, and Bonner envisions a board game and table-top role-playing club.
When asked if the library would launch a Minecraft club, Bonner said: "Minecraft is awesome. Yes, need that."
You can read the full AMA on Reddit.
Tags: MISSOURI, PROTESTS IN FERGUSON, U.S., US & World