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NorthernMNer breaks down his viral "libraries not libertarians" Ferguson tweet

A teacher poses outside the Ferguson Public Library, where she's organizating educational activities for kids whose classes were canceled as a result of the unrest there.
A teacher poses outside the Ferguson Public Library, where she's organizating educational activities for kids whose classes were canceled as a result of the unrest there.

The theme of librarians playing an indispensable role in American democracy has popped up in NorthernMNer's tweets a few times over the years, but never with as much resonance as earlier this week, when one of his tweets on that topic was retweeted well over 600 times.

The context for that viral offering is the ongoing unrest in Ferguson, Missouri, where the officer-involved shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown has led to people protesting in the street on a nightly basis and sparked a national conversation about race and the militarization of American law enforcement.

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Amid all the tension, the Ferguson Municipal Public Library published this Instagram post, which they linked to on Twitter:

That post inspired NorthernMNer, who asked us to keep his true identity a secret, to tweet this:

In the wake of that tweet spreading across Twitter like wildfire, we asked NorthernMNer if he had any inkling he had something viral at his fingertips as he wrote it.

"Not in the slightest," he says, noting that "the interplay of librarian versus libertarian hits a sweet spot of mine that I've touched on before."

With that many retweets, you'd expect to gain a grip of followers as a result, right? But asked how many he added, NorthernMNer says, "Not many! Looks like two [or] three so far."

"Oh well. I'm here for quality, not necessarily quantity," he adds.

But NorthernMNer wants to make sure people appreciate that the real story here isn't about him or his tweet.

"The Ferguson library's tweet itself was very popular, and they are the real heroes of the story here," he says.

Send your story tips to the author, Aaron Rupar. Follow him on Twitter @atrupar.




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