Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Libraries Respond to Community Needs in Times of Crisis | American Libraries Magazine

A patron stopped librarian Melanie Townsend Diggs on
Wednesday afternoon with good news: He had used a library computer to
apply for some jobs Tuesday morning, and before he even got home that
day, he had gotten a call for an interview.

A pretty typical moment for most librarians, Diggs says, except that
Tuesday morning, April 28, was no typical day. Just 12 hours before,
rioting had erupted across the street from the Pennsylvania Avenue
branch of the Enoch Pratt Free Library, when protests against the
high-profile death of Baltimore resident Freddie Gray turned violent. As
a CVS drugstore burned and the turmoil played out, Diggs kept her
patrons safe, quietly locking the doors and letting them out later when
the violence subsided.  

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