I met and heard Scott Bonner’s story during the ALA conference soon after the Ferguson, MO unrest. As timing would have it, the unrest in Baltimore hadn’t taken place yet. Who would think another librarian leader would also have to make the same type of difficult decision so soon. Kudos to both Mr. Bonner and Dr.Hayden for being such courageous leaders. Clearly the patrons of their facilities have great resources in them and their staff.
On 14th October 2015, Rutgers School of Communication and Information hosted a colloquium called ‘Troubled Times, Tough Choices: Tales from Ferguson and Baltimore’, with speakers Dr. Carla Hayden, CEO of Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore, and Scott Bonner, Director of the Ferguson Municipal Library in Ferguson, Missouri. Both of these libraries are located in places where civil unrest has affected their communities within the last eighteen months; both libraries stayed upon for the duration of the unrest. The theme of the talk was the role of public libraries in the realm of social justice.
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