We Cordially Invite You…to check out THIS book!

If you subscribe to our monthly eNewsletter, you’ll receive a pair of recommendations from expert literary advisers…, a.k.a.: Librarians.

Here’s a thoughtful review from Reference Librarian Michelle Williamson, co-host of our ongoing Adulting Series

Corey Mintz’s How to Host a Dinner Party

Ferndale Area District Library recently hosted the fifth installment of our Adulting 101 series: Be Our Guest: Dinner Party Pro-tips. We wanted to encourage our community to get back in the habit of in-person entertaining. One book that was key in our preparation was Corey Mintz’s How to Host a Dinner Party. Mintz, a food writer and former restaurant critic for the Toronto Star, wrote a column about weekly dinner parties he hosted with a variety of Canadians: politicians, artists, foodies, and friends. This book is a culmination of the wisdom he gained from all those dinners.

Like good dinner party conversation, the tone of this book is witty, entertaining, and informative. The first chapter begins: “Every terrible dinner party begins with a bad decision.” Mintz is here to save you from bad decisions. From how much space each guest needs at the dinner table (26 in.), to a meticulous prepping game plan (shop twice to keep a calm head and still have fresh ingredients), this book has dinner party organization down to a science. If you’re at a loss for what to serve, Mintz includes several easy and tasty recipes. (We also have a pretty impressive cookbook collection at the library.)

Even if you’ve hosted dinner parties in the past, there are some gems to be found here. Mintz suggests setting a date for the party with one or two people, then offering that date to other guests. It precludes having to coordinate schedules with several other people. Then on the day of the dinner party, invite those two friends to come a half an hour before the party to help you with last minute tasks and to help buffer your labor time and social time. When guests arrive, you’ll avoid the dreaded, “am I the first one here?” and you’ll have extra hands to help with coats and drinks.

The world needs more dinner parties. You should definitely host one. And we have the perfect book to help you do it.

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Artist Espacia Fotiu – New Exhibition On Display (Sept 30 – Nov 5) / Reception (Oct 14)

27913333_547562745619750_7977535721015545293_oArtist Espacia Fotiu

New Exhibition (Sept 30 – Nov 5)
Artist Reception @ Oct 14
Ferndale Library
222 E. Nine Mile Rd
More info  

Reception for Artist Espacia Fotiu’s Dreamlike Watercolor Works at Ferndale Library, Oct 14  (2-4pm) 

Paintings on Display (Sept 30 – Nov 5) Convey Life’s Complexities & Mysteries

Espacia Fotiu is a prolific artist creating dazzlingly minimalist paintings of dreamlike strokes in a tranquil color scheme. A Ferndale High School alumni, this 21-year-old artist already has an impressive resume, with dozens of appearances at esteemed local art festivals and notable gallery spaces.  Fotiu was a finalist in the 2015 Ferndale Chamber of Commerce Artist In You competition–winning a spot on the facade of City Hall where her work has been on display ever since. Through various mediums, she creates mixed-media art and chimerical watercolors of soft but vivid blues, grays, greens and yellows.

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Fotiu said she remains in a constant state of “…profound curiosity towards the mystery and complexities of life.” She draws primary influence from “…a deep sense of the unknown.” Our hearts and minds can swell with contradicting emotions, hope and dread, optimism and uncertainty, love and frustration–that’s the dichotomous and ephemeral impulses that Fotiu is capturing with her art.  

“My paintings reflect my world; filled with expression, confusion, growth, suffering, chaos, and harmony,” said Fotiu. “I convey the potential for beauty and destruction in each painting, which I hope the viewer to see in themselves that same potential. There is nothing to let go of in this world because there is nothing to hold on to.”

She utilizes negative space to give an energy to emptiness and mystery. The gossamer quality of her brush strokes create motifs that provoke us to consider all the things we each grasp tightly to in our lives, while also recognizing the fleeting nature of existence.

“The watercolors allow me to surrender, providing a sense of flow and impermanence,” said Fotiu. “While the ink and other mediums contrast the Immediacy, spontaneity, and transparency of the watercolors with permanence, concentration and order.”

She began showing her works at events like Detroit’s Palmer Park Art Fair and the Wyandotte Street Fair back in 2015. The Ferndale Library Art & Exhibition Committee is thrilled to feature a full show of her work, this Autumn.

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The Biography Section

Welcome to a new feature where, each month, we get to know a staff member at the Ferndale Library. Youth Services Librarian Elissa Zimmer will be conducting fun interviews where staff can share a bit about themselves and their role here at the library.



Jeff Milo

Jeff works as a Circulation Specialist at FADL. He started off working as a Page for 2 ½ years and has been working at FADL for 8 ½ overall!  When he’s not here, he’s a freelance writer for the Detroit Free Press, Metro Times, and Ann Arbor Current.




What do you love about working at FADL?
I love seeing people come in and realize that this is a place that is more than just a building with books. I love seeing that moment when they realize it’s more like a community center than anything else. And I love the opportunity to work in a building that has such a variety of events that appeal to a variety of people. Hosting not just book- or author-related events. I appreciate how the circ staff are equally as enthusiastic about that.

Best or favorite part of your job?
Specifically at Circ, I love it when people realize how much they can find in a library. How much they have access to when I hand them their library card, like museums or parks or e-books, so much more.

What is most misunderstood aspect of your job?/What do people get wrong about your job?
They think that all I’m doing is standing at a desk checking books out. I’m a library marketer or publicist off the desk. I’m also a writer so I love being able to leave the desk and use my skills as a writer for the promotion of the library.

Favorite collection or thing we circulate at FADL?
Anything in the music section…the adult non-fiction music collection. Digitally, I love that you can stream albums through Hoopla . If you don’t want to get Spotify, you can still get your albums’ streaming.

Best book you’ve ever read?/Best Album you’ve ever listened to? ^
My favorite book of all time is this obscure magical realism book by a Canadian author, Michael Crummey, and the book is called Galore. Favorite album of all time, let’s say Talking Heads Remain in Light. No…! Television’s Marquee Moon. Both of those albums! I’m taking them both!

Best show you’ve been to?
There are two-last year at Jazz Fest I saw Kamasi Washington. Just blew my mind.
And then about 10 years ago I saw The Flaming Lips and Sonic Youth at the Fillmore and it was a delight.

What do you love about Ferndale as a community?
I like that there’s a sense of pride here. We’re all aware and appreciate how special of a city this, we’re all ready to support that, embrace that, and it’s a very progressive community where you can be yourself. If you want to be bizarre (#FerndaleNormal) then it’s accepted and I love that. It’s got soul. Which you don’t find everywhere.

How do you spend your days off?
Writing! Cus I’m a freelance music journalist. That also means listening to music. A lot of bike riding and movie watching cus I’m also a movie buff.

Any pets?
I have this one sweet black kitty named Matilda. She just turned 10. She was born in a barn and I adopted her when she was two months old. Oh! And a goldfish. My goldfish is four year old. Her name is Ronin.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
The importance of being present (from a musician). This guy was talking about the value of being present and how it changed his life. Also my parents telling me not to sweat the small stuff. I’ve always been an anxious person so I needed someone to tell me to relax! Some people radiate that out into the world and somehow, I’m an optimist for everyone else. I think that comes from being a reporter on the culture scene and seeing so many artists manifesting their vision into a work of art. So I want to cheer everyone on.

If you were stuck on an island, what three things would you take with you?
Presuming this island isn’t entirely sand, I’m bringing my bike. I would like to bring a typewriter, and a tent. And then I’ll be set.

If I gave you $100, what would you spend it on?  
Right now…fixing my typewriter. It’s antique and all busted up.

Favorite song to sing at karaoke?
A real good one is Simple Minds’ Don’t You Forget About Me. But maybe also David Bowie’s Modern Love. 

Best book-to-movie adaptation?
The Shining.

Chocolate or vanilla?
Vanilla. (Elissa: “…Controversial!”)

Beach or woods?

Favorite season?

Is there anything I didn’t ask that I should have?
I have a compulsion to make really bad jokes. But bad jokes are often the answer to a question nobody asked! 

You can find Jeff at the front Circulation Desk at FADL often making bad puns and purposefully bad jokes (they also appear in writing and Gifs and staff emails). Jeff writes for Detroit Free Press, Ann Arbor Current, Detroit Metro Times, Ferndale Friends. He has a blog you can read and say hi at deepcutzmusic.blogspot.com.

As part of the Biography Section, we invite other staff members to give their kudos to Jeff. Here is what they had to say:

Kelly: Jeff and I have a joint presentation coming up in October at the Michigan Library Association Annual Conference. Jeff really fleshed out the slides and notes while I was on vacation. It was something I was super stressed about, so when I came back to a really solid first draft, I felt so relieved!

Jasmine: How has he helped you? I think a more suitable question is how hasn’t he helped me?! Jeff is very approachable, and always, always willing to help. He has a plethora of ideas and is never afraid to try something new. I love his energy, I love how he goes along with the flow. What makes him a great co-worker? He’s a team player. He will stop what he’s doing to come and help me. His helpfulness and patience are very meaningful. It never comes across that he’s unwilling to roll up his sleeves, and get dirty. He loves what he does, and it shows.

Kerrie: I love his enthusiasm, great attitude, and sense of humor. Work-wise, he’s always willing to cover the desk. He writes great press releases and does an awesome job on social media and with keeping BookFaceFriday alive.

Darlene: “Jeff’s willingness to jump in feet first makes him such an asset on projects! This has been a very busy summer and Jeff seamlessly took over a program for me. Before I realized he was handling all of it and I couldn’t have been more grateful!”

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‘1000 Books Before Kindergarten’ Starts Sept 24

Reading to young children is one of the most powerful ways to boost their brain power. The simple and enjoyable act of sharing a book with a child before they reach kindergarten age helps them learn pre-reading skills, such as understanding the sounds letters make, developing a bigger vocabulary, and building comprehension skills.

Copy of 1000 books before kindergarten

The Ferndale Library’s “1,000 Books Before Kindergarten” program is a fun DIY way for parents to cultivate kindergarten readiness. This is a nationwide challenge encouraging parents and caregivers to regularly read aloud to their children. It not only strengthens the skills they’ll need to succeed, but the endearing act of sharing a book before bedtime with a young one is a sweetly sentimental pastime that can instill a lifelong love of reading and books.

Ferndale Youth Services Librarian Elissa Zimmer said that “…one thousand books may seem like a lot, but if you read just one book a night, you’ll meet your goal in less than 3 years! And if you read three books a night, you could reach your goal in just one year!”

Zimmer, along with fellow librarians Jordan Wright and Jasmine Parker make for a friendly and enthusiastic trio that can readily offer a range of suggestions to help parents and children on their journey toward the 1,000 book goal!

Participants are eligible right up until the day they start kindergarten, so that includes toddlers, but also babies. For every 100 books, kids will receive a prize from librarians in the Kids Corner.

Zimmer said  “We are encouraging use of the free 1kbbk app, but we will also have booklets to track your progress. Once each 100-marker is met, you can show a librarian to collect your prize, and then you’ll also get a leaf to put on our forthcoming giant tree book ladder.”

Parents, you can expect to see an ever-growing tree on a wall in the library’s Kids Corner, full of brightly colored leaves, each representing one kid’s journey towards completing “1,000 Books Before Kindergarten.”   

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‘Three a.m.’ – Short Story Collection of the Spooky & Surreal


Ray Bradbury, in Something Wicked This Way Comes, wrote about “…the soul’s midnight.” Specifically, it’s not the conventional midnight, or 12:00… No, it’s further into the apex of a day’s darkness, the true dead of night… The time that carries with it ineffable dread. No one wants to find themselves suddenly popping awake at 3:00am… Why is that? Our anxiety is supernaturally heightened because the world outside our window, specifically at that time, is so startlingly quiet. To be awake that “late…,” yet still drowsy enough to have our imaginations open to sinister suggestion–as if we see something move in the dark corner, or hear the faintest rustling outside… …that’s the kind of tension that Ophelia Crane is tapping in to…

3:00 am is a collection of strange tales, the kinds of stories “…told over the campfire, during the sleepover, and after the club… …We laugh, relieved because they can’t be real…” Or at least you hope they’re not real!

Imagine a mix of Outer Limits, Creepshow and Are You Afraid of the Dark?…but also if those were directed by Lynch or Cronenberg… Crane creates stories that start off innocent, unassuming, normal, mundane, only to pull the rug out from under you, suddenly turn the lights off, or maybe slam a door shut fast and loudly. You can always feel it, sometimes two pages in, sometimes three or four…, the moment when you’re throttled into the surreal.

While fans of horror would find plenty to love, the overarching vibe isn’t strictly relegated to that genre. She effectively lures you in with a calm narration, until you go down the wrong basement, or answer the wrong doorbell, or visit the wrong beach…you just can’t be too sure that you’re safe… …until you take that deep breath after finishing each story.

Follow her blog about horror films, here: https://iwtfhm.blogspot.com/

And find more info about her other books, here: https://www.opheliacrane.com/

Ophelia Crane is the pen name of one of our Circulation Specialists. The Ferndale Library has all three of her books available for check-out.

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There’s often some misconceptions about a person’s profession. Whether they’re a teacher, a journalist, a nurse, or, say, a librarian…, There is always a lot more to everyone’s job, everyone’s journey, that might go unnoticed day by day. We might think we know what a certain vocation entails, but you gain so much more perspective when you ask the folks who are doing that job.

We wanted to share some responses from our own librarians, with insights into their own personal experiences serving in their role as arbiters of information, as program coordinators, as storytime leaders, as collection curators, and so much more…

Ed Burns, Adult Services Librarian:  For me, the most rewarding and satisfying aspect of librarianship is helping people do something that they would not have known how to do on their own.  It might be finding some needed information, teaching them a computer skill, or figuring out a title to a book they can’t recall. It’s fun to swoop in and save the day.


Elissa Zimmer, Youth Services Librarian:   I enjoy watching kids grow and learn. It’s so rewarding to get to know families and watch their kids go from baby storytime to toddler and then to the other activities for older children.

It’s also great to get out in the community and let people know that the library and its services exist beyond the building’s physical walls. I’ve had the privilege of working with Parks & Rec in this job and in my previous job and making these connections to the surprise of community members is awesome. I’ve popped up at schools obviously, but also at farmer’s markets offering mobile circulation; I’ve also done storytimes at local bakeries and the owners paired the stories with a yummy treat. Being so apparent in the community pays off during my personal time as well. I was at a local coffee shop recently and was scooting around a little one on his bike and he recognized my voice, looked up, and exclaimed, “Look–it’s the librarian!” to his dad.


Susan Paley, Adult Services Librarian:  I like being responsible for the material we give patrons in our collection. I enjoy trying to find the best and most relevant materials for everyone and making sure they can find things they want and need even if they don’t want to ask us. But, if they DO ask, I’m always happy to help with tech related-questions or book and media requests. I find it interesting that so many people hold so much trust in us as librarians and a library overall. They see Ferndale Area District Library on our sign and know we’ll help them out. It is something that applies to everyone.


Jasmine Parker, Youth Services Librarian:  …it’s a very weighted question for me. As a librarian of color I have purposefully made the choice to not apply for certain librarian positions for fear of how I might be treated as a black person by the staff or patrons. In this current era, where the remnants of hatred are still lingering from the aftermath of American slavery, I don’t feel comfortable serving as a librarian just anywhere.

It’s my Christian faith and the patron interactions that keep me going, especially the interactions with children. Their joy and purity have gotten me through many a story time…my enthusiasm with them, many of whom are of a different race, is my way of saying…take that hate! You don’t win today!

I am of the race that was once denied access to a library card in this country…I am the great-great-granddaughter of a woman who only had a fourth grade education. Despite the challenges I may face, [I don’t get to run. I am a gladiator. Gladiators don’t run…Scandal TV Show Reference.] I have such joy in serving the community as a librarian because I know my story. My ancestors story…and yet here I am. What a blessed privilege.

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Teen Welcome Week

Popcorn and a MovieTuesday, September 4th _ 3-6 PM Teens can kick back and relax after their first day of school with fresh, movie theater style popcorn, a movie, and a craft.Sushi 101 w

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