In a world where ignorance, platitude, and oblivion reign . . . the people are turning to one group for hope–The Librarian League. For this group holds the greatest superpower known to man . . . the power of information.
Will The Librarian League be able to defeat the villainous Agent Censorship and bring the people of Earth a brighter, more inspired tomorrow? Let’s find out!
This month Alexandria is honoring a few of the quiet heroes and heroines who continue fighting to defend the fundamental rights that this nation was founded upon–the freedom of speech and the freedom to read.
For all of the heroes that make up The Librarian League, the staff at Alexandria solutes you!
The first heroic librarian we would like to honor is Scott Bonner, Director of the Ferguson Public Library in Missouri.
Scott will be receiving the Lemony Snicket Prize for Noble Librarians Faced with Adversity this Sunday, June 28th, during the annual American Library Association Conference in San Francisco. It is thanks to Scott’s bravery, leadership, and courage that both children and adults had a place of refuge during the protests, riots, and violence that erupted throughout Ferguson after the Michael Brown shooting on August 9, 2014.
The city of Ferguson was shutting down, businesses boarded their windows, and Ferguson-Florissant School District delayed the start of the school year for 12,000 students. Things were looking grim and the people had nowhere to go.
Although his role as director had only begun a few weeks prior to the riots and despite him being the only full-time librarian on staff at the time, Scott chose to keep his library doors open in an effort to provide the people in his community with a safe, positive environment and demonstrate peace in the face of animosity.
As the riots continued, Ferguson Public Library became the city’s sanctuary–offering an array of public services to individuals and small businesses recovering from the destruction around them.
With the help of donations from Goodwill, teacher-volunteers, and their local food bank, Ferguson Public Library was able to provide educational programs to 200 students each day.
Their acts of heroism caught the attention of the entire nation, inspiring nearly $400,000 in donations from across the country–enough to fund an entire year of library expenses.
“In the end, what the media caught in Ferguson was just libraries being libraries. I appreciate the heck out of people saying you’re doing a great job, and every time I hear it I want to say thank you. At the same time, I think librarians that have dealt with things like Hurricane Katrina, or with earthquakes, and that kind of stuff, they have done a lot more than what we’re doing. We’re just being a library. We’re doing community-focused programming, and that is just normal stuff.”
Scott’s actions during the civil unrest that took place last August in Ferguson were selfless, bold, and truly heroic. When asked by Publisher’s Weekly what inspired him to do what he did, his humble response adequately captured the good intentions so many librarians can relate to.
Congratulations Scott Bonner–keep up the good work!