The Biography Section


pictured: One of Anne’s two cats, Milo

Anne Kabel 
Anne Kabel is a substitute librarian who has worked at FADL for a year and a half. Prior to her time with us, she was the Head Librarian of Adult Services at Southfield Public Library for four years; she worked there for a total of 14 years. Before that, she served as a Reference Librarian at the Baldwin Public Library in Birmingham. She has been a Ferndale resident for 40+ years.


How long have you worked in libraries?
Probably about 45 years total. I knew that’s what I wanted to do from the get-go, so when I was in college, I worked in the public library. I went to University of Michigan for my graduate degree and worked there, too.

What do you love about working at FADL?
I like that it’s small but mighty. There’s a lot of resources that we can offer, and we will do anything we can to make sure the patron gets what they need.

Best or favorite part of your job?
Helping somebody find a good book to read, that’s the very favorite thing. Second is that they get what they need, whatever that is.   I also like that this jobs makes me a whiz at trivia games!

What is most misunderstood aspect of your job?/What do people get wrong about your job?
We really don’t just sit and read all day!

Favorite collection or thing we circ at FADL?
Some of my favorite things are mysteries, so I like our mystery collection.

As someone with years of perspective, what is the biggest way you’ve seen libraries change?
I think [the biggest thing] is being computerized and digitized and that we’re able to put our fingers on books much more quickly than when I started out. Being hooked up with other libraries in the area and around the state helps with the speediness of this.

Where do you think libraries are going in the future?
I think we’re going to stay in people’s lives, our mission might change a little bit, as it has over the last decade or two. We’ll always be there to provide the information people are looking for.

Best book you’ve ever read?
The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell. It’s a science fiction book in which humanity goes out into space to meet non-Earthlings. It shows the flaws in us, as well as the strengths as we meet these new beings. (This book is available in our collection.)

What do you love about Ferndale as a community/city?
I like that we change, that’s we aren’t stuck in the same old ruts. As a community, even though we’ve had some rocky times, we’re pretty accepting of everybody.

How do you spend your days off?
I travel, I read, I quilt (baby quilts), I like watching old movies. We are often in Tulsa, visiting our son and daughter-in-law and our three grandkids there.  I’m sometimes watch our granddaughters, Maggie and Rose, who are here in Ferndale.

Any pets?
We have two cats–Abby and Milo (Elissa: This is funny because another staff member, Jeff Milo, informally known as “Milo” is Anne’s nephew.) But the cat came from a shelter with the name in place already. Jeff said he was honored to share the name.

What’s the best advice you ever received?
You don’t have to finish a book!

If you were stuck on an island, what would you take with you?
Books, my husband, and sunscreen. (Elissa: I like how he came in  second!)

If I gave you $100, what would you spend it on?
Right now, flowers for the garden. Perennials that work in the shade: black-eyed Susans and plants to attract butterflies.

Best book-to-movie adaptation?
The Shipping News by Annie Proulx (we have both the book and the movie available in our collections).

Chocolate or vanilla?

Beach or woods?
(Anne pauses.) Can it be woods leading up to a beach?

Favorite season?

 You can you find Anne subbing here and there throughout the week on either the Adult or Youth Reference desks. If you know of a good mystery to recommend or if you’re seeking to solve one yourself, let Anne know! She also works with the Good Neighbor’s Garden up at Martin Road Park, where that group has a plot, so you might find her pottering around there or in her front yard. Anne is excited about the Seed Library we’ve just launched here at FADL

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

Kelly: Anne is always friendly even though we don’t see each other much. She’s always game to work on weird little projects. She always asks questions when she doesn’t know our policy/procedure. She’s got a good vibe and seems genuinely happy to be here!

Andrea: One of the best bosses, ever! (She was my boss at Southfield)

Darlene: I love having Anne on our team. She’s so easy going and cheerful. She’s got years of experience under her librarian belt and is always happy to lend a hand on projects.

Jeff: Anne is my aunt, she’s like a second mother to me…, but I have to say, her career has made me so proud to be a library staffer. She’s kind, compassionate and wise.

Aby: Anne is super super sweet. She always has a smile for everyone and it can really make your day a whole lot better when she shoots one your way. Patrons love her and are always happy to ask her for help. Basically Anne is amazing!

Jasmine: Anne is super approachable and efficient. She was kind of enough to take on a YA call number project for me, and it seemed like she had fun completing it! I’ve asked her to do small things, but no matter the size she smiles and does it, with joy. I love how polite she can be, and that she’s willing to assist in whatever way she can. Her helpfulness is such an asset to the library.

Nicole: I have SO many nice things to say about Anne, but here’s something short and sweet: Anne Kabel is an all-star librarian. Apart from her infectious enthusiasm and genuine kind-hearted nature- she has a subtle, convincing way of describing what she has read that makes you want to read things you would have otherwise never considered. As a librarian, this is a coveted skill, but also I think the sign of someone who reads with a truly open mind. I admire Anne’s patience and dedication to her community. Thank you for always putting a smile on my face, Anne!

Ed: Anne has been such a help to me on some big projects I’ve asked her to get in on.  I value her experience, expertise and reliability.


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Ferndale Library Hosts Workshop Addressing Teen Mental Health Issues, May 4

Teens of the 21st century are growing up with distinct strains and anxieties unique to the digital landscape. Considering the extent to which teens interact with the world over social media, they are at risk for depression, lowered self-esteem, and even suicide, after weathering things like cyberbulling, pressures to keep up with friends, body dysmorphia from glamour magazines, or “the fear of missing out.”


The Ferndale Library is hosting a Teen Mental Health Workshop on Saturday, May 4, at 1pm. Keisha Jackson, founder of Caleb’s Kids’ Foundation will be facilitating a multi-faceted program of discussions and activities, including an interactive “Faces of Me” workshop that is tailored to better help teens identify signs of suicide risk. Jackson’s foundation is a nonprofit organization whose work emphasizes suicide prevention and mental illness awareness in youth. While the teen-only portion of the workshop goes from 1-2:15pm, parents are welcomed and encouraged to join in for a light lunch and anonymous Q&A session beginning at 2:30pm.

Along with a panel discussion led and moderated by Jackson and a Ferndale Youth Services Librarian, the “Faces Of Me” workshop is designed to ease the tensions faced by teens and remind them that they are not alone when it comes to feelings of uneasiness, shyness, or self-doubt. Teens can choose to participate or passively attend; the goal is to create a safe space for this important dialogue, giving teens the chance to listen and be heard. Registration is not required.

For more information on Caleb’s Kids, visit:

Follow the Youth Services Programming at:

No registration required.

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Ferndale Library Cardholders Can Access New Online Resource: Creativebug


is the newest online resource offered to Ferndale Library Cardholders (via, where you can nurture your creative side with more than 1000 video classes in painting, knitting, crafting, sewing and more. You can now find projects for every occasion with this premiere resource for DIY, crafters and makers. There are new classes released every day, so be sure to regularly check out this new Ferndale Library online resource. You can easily acess it by visiting our main website, and find the link to “Online Resources” (on the righthand side of the page). If you are at home or on the go, you can enter your library card information, but if you visit us and utilize it in our computer lab, you’ll be able to access these classes instantly.

Untitled design


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Visual Artist Finds Systems In Chaos with Textured Images

53267053_2362124790675982_9066851913781215232_nEvan Jon Condron is a visual artist working and residing in Detroit, Michigan, exploring a variety of mediums and their application. His works vary from minimal, to clustered, captivating a viewer with a Rorschach-like splay of markings over vibrant or earthy/grey coloring. His work will be on display at the Ferndale Library starting March 31, with a Reception on April 28 at 2 pm. The Ferndale Library regularly hosts exhibitions by local artists throughout the year, including special events where patrons can meet the author and purchase works on display.


Condron’s work is an experiment in texture and pattern that rejects traditional materials. He creatively utilizes found, cheap or free materials such as house paint, spackle, wood, and drop cloth. The aggressive mark-making visible on his canvas, as well as noticeable cancellations, coalesce in such a way to demonstrate how these seemingly random textures can create a composition that finds a system in the chaos of material.

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Condron recently marked his first year as an Artist in Residence at The Forge, a community-focused collective based in the Grandmont Rosedale neighborhood of Detroit that focuses on collaboration, and creative career development. Since childhood, Condron has also been entirely obsessed with cartoons and comics. Developing a major fascination with the form and the ability to use characters to communicate a message, Evan has been illustrating a wide variety of topics from politics to personal dilemma.

Meet the Artist / Closing Reception on Sunday, April 28th (2pm-4pm)
More info:

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Chris Dupont Interview (Performing 4/5 @ Ferndale Library)

Appearing in this month’s Ann Arbor Current

Chris 1.23.19_-22

Water can be purifying, it can clean and soothe and nourish. It can also be something so formidable as to wear its way through soil and rock. Fittingly, then, Chris DuPont has titled his forthcoming album, Floodplains, evoking a subtle but potent force of nature where a river mimics the unpredictable bends of life, depositing and eroding metaphorical gravels of emotion along its channel banks.



Similarly, if you’ll allow this writer to bring in more elemental imagery, the Ann Arbor-based neo-folk troubadour has a voice that’s temperate enough to cradle a feather caught up in a breeze, but the substance of his lyrics, particularly on his 2015 album Outlier, could bring a gale that could snap oak branches. We may be tying up our nature references, but that’s inspired particularly by the unique sensory reactions triggered by a Chris DuPont song, the exposure, the chill, the brilliance of sunlight, the tempestuous winds, the ponderous overcast gray clouds, it’s all there, albeit in words and instrumental phrasings from austere guitar, cello and violin, moving the words, melodies, and production style of a DuPont song. But what’s at the core of a DuPont song?

“Restoration is definitely a big theme,” said DuPont. “I really love the idea of projecting hope; projecting the belief that things will be well. Even if it’s more a belief that I project rather than internalize, putting it into a song can then bring you closer to internalizing that hope. The theme of redeeming what’s broken (in my songs) hits a deep level of resonance, and, to me, my biggest fulfillment is seeing it connect with another human being, whether in person at a show or getting a message about it later.”

I know you’re four paragraphs into this article, but the real metaphor we should have brought in, with those streaming floodwaters, was memory. “I’m fascinated by memory,” said DuPont. “Memories can mesmerize you; they can throw you off course. We’re in a really interesting time, now, especially in the states, where people aren’t seeing eye to eye, and that lack of harmony comes from just human memory being really deceptive, seeing through cracked lenses.” As a songwriter, often writing from memory and creating 4-minute mini-memoirs set to melody and arranged orchestral/electro compositions, DuPont said that he wants to be “straight up in telling it the way I remember them.”

DuPont has been performing around Michigan for several years and has ventured away from our local scenes and onto the road several times for short and extended tours over the last four years. If you hear his music (streaming with the online version of this article), you might be surprised to discover that this angelic-voiced, ambient-heavy, cinematically-sweeping folk composer came up through the worlds and cultures of skateboarding and post-hardcore punk bands. You never know where that river will take you, though, right? His band and his frequent collaborators, include multi-instrumentalists and vocalists (Luke Jackson, Katie VanDusen, Billy Harrington, Tony Pace, Christina Furtado, and his wife, Betsy King) adding everything from pianos and lap steel, to violins, cellos and drums.

“There are some pretty big ideas being tossed in here,” said DuPont of Floodplains, “so it becomes a question of where I put the lens. One song may only be a microcosm of a bigger subject I want to tackle, but a song makes it a more face-to-face dialogue that, if it can connect with someone, then they can project their own memory and their own experience and possibly reinterpret it for themselves better than I could.”

DuPont admits that such unflinching addresses of slowly-healing wounds can “take a toll….It takes staying strong and encouraged in what you’re doing. I can’t pretend to be something I’m not. And there’s a line between the discipline of songwriting, the impulse to add sonic momentum and something to tap your toes to, versus the impulse to obey the song as something that wants to be written. I think sincerity is the common denominator, and a willingness to grow and try new things and be generous with an audience and honor where you came from. But also plow straight ahead. With Floodplains, I’m trying to give it everything it deserves, but also not be afraid to explore other aspects of where I came from, from previous projects, just to unclog the arteries.”

DuPont crowdsourced the funding for his album from fans, but the expediency in which it the financing goals were met would demonstrate the eagerness his fans have for hearing a follow-up to Outlier. DuPont is humbled and amazed by the support, he said. He indicated a shift in the years ahead, though, opting toward singles in EPs in the forthcoming years. Those yet-to-be-released songs will likely find DuPont more openly blending the worlds of baroque & Americana with penchants for ambient electronica, but that’s further down the proverbial plain. DuPont’s latest Floodplains, will be out in the late fall; it was engineered by Nick Gunty of Frances Luke Accord. Find concert dates updated at:

Chris DuPont’s next performance is at the Ferndale Area District Library, April 5th


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Fort Night


Our Youth Services Librarians hosted a super fun fort building night on Monday. Kids brought their blankets to the library and decorated the shelves of picture books with a forest of connected tent-like forts. We also read some stories to this creative 12-and-under crowd. Here are a few photos. 


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The Biography Section

Gideon (1)Welcome back to the ongoing monthly “Biography Section,” administered by Youth Services Librarian Ms. Elissa!

This month, we’re featuring Library Page Gideon Bray

Gideon is a page here at FADL, which means he is in a mobile position–responsible for shelving of books, checking the book drop, and locking up at night. Once having flowing locks, in the last few months, he has chopped them off in favor a shorter ‘do, but you’ll still see his hair streaming behind him, as he’s known for zipping through the stacks and efficiently executing his duties.

How long have you worked at FADL?
I’ve worked here since Summer 2016.

What do you love about working at FADL?
It’s actually one of the most relaxing things I do in my day–with school and driving, etc. I’m pretty busy otherwise.

What is most misunderstood aspect of your job?/What do people get wrong about your job?
While it’s not a super complex job, there’s still a system to it. It’s simple but important, and if you don’t follow it, then you won’t be able to find anything. Though contrary to this fact, I once heard a little girl in the Kids Corner say, “Just put it where you think it goes, it’ll probably be close enough!” People also think I can do a lot more than I think I can do, like checkout books, etc.

Favorite collection or thing we circ at FADL?
Probably just the CDs-I’ve always enjoyed listening to music of all differents kinds. When you’re shelving, you find something you’ve never heard of otherwise.

tlccontentBest book you’ve ever read?
I really enjoyed a series called The Malazan Book of the Fallen by Steven Erikson (Ferndale has the first volume! It’s a looooong series.)




What do you love about Ferndale as a community/city? As someone who has grown up here, what’s stuck out to you living here?
For the most part, it’s been a pretty nice place to be. Most of the people I’ve met here are really nice and really cool people in general. It’s been interesting to watch how the makeup of downtown has changed over the years–a lot of places have come and gone, new places pop up. The Rust Belt is great.

How do you spend your days off?
Schoolwork for the most part. I actually had to give up one of my library shifts because I am at school for a 12-hour day.

You’re one of the younger members of staff who is early on in your college career. What are you hoping to be when you graduate?
I’m currently studying at Walsh for a BA in Accounting, and I’m still in the very early stages so I need to figure out what to do from there. I want to get certified as a CPA in the future. I might stick around longer to get a Master’s degree. There’s a lot of different ways I could go.

Any pets?
I’ve had a small aquarium for a long time and it’s really only has one fish in there now. The one fish was really nasty to the others and it ate them and here we are. It’s sad.

If I gave you $100, what would you spend it on?
I’d probably set it aside and use it to pay for classes.
Elissa: Super responsible
Broke college student life. For the foreseeable future. Unless I win the lottery or something.

Top three bands?
Rabbit Junk
Daft Punk 
Foo Fighters 

Favorite song to sing at karaoke?
I’ve only done karaoke once but I’m bad at singing.

Chocolate or vanilla?

Beach or woods?
Woods – it’s nice and quiet there.

Favorite season?

Is there anything else you would want people to know about you or anything else I haven’t asked yet?
There’s a lot of things I want to try–I’ve been drawing for awhile and I want to go somewhere with that. I picked up the guitar, too. There’s so much I want to do but I’m lacking time and drive to do it; it’s hard to focus on one thing when there’s school and work to think about. One thing at a time.

Elissa: There’s a clue to one of Gideon’s talents below in the staff comments!

You can find Gideon moving around the library, cart out in front. He is frequently asked to do small things around the building, so you never know where he’ll pop up! Say hi and recommend a good album for him to listen to!

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

Ed: In addition to being a fine book shelver, Gideon has some other talents that folks here probably don’t know about.  A few years ago, I stumbled upon Gideon at a craft show, where he had a table of fish that he’d carved from wood. I bought a trout to give to my stepfather for Christmas.  My stepfather, an avid fisherman and craftsman, was quite impressed with the quality of Gideon’s work. Gideon also plays the harmonica.

Jeff: Gideon is an acutely efficient ninja-like Page; carts can be full of returned items and he whisks through to reorder them back onto the shelves for patrons within his albeit short shifts here in the afternoons. I’m always impressed. He also is a great and dedicated attendant of the entire building when it comes to closing time, making sure everything’s picked up and every patron is notified of the impending closing-of-the-doors.

Jasmine: Gideon is so stealthy. He has a way of making his way through the shelves without me even realizing it! I just look up or bump into him  while he’s hard at work. I find him to be very focused and committed to executing his job duties, and with great precision.

Kerrie: Gideon is super quick and efficient, and always on the ball about the book drop and other things like that. We never have to worry about him slacking off.  

Susan: Gideon always works very efficiently to put materials away for us and is particularly helpful during closing in the evenings when we need to make sure the library is clear and the fireplace is turned off.  He is very thoughtful. I’ve definitely appreciated the times when he has waited for me at the end of the day when everyone is leaving the building. There was even one time time when he (and Elissa) came back in the building to see if I was okay because no one knew where I was.  Thank you, Gideon!

Amber: Gideon has some of the best work ethic I’ve ever seen! He is always on task, extremely helpful in doing whatever is needed and incredibly polite. He’s very quiet and focused, but always pleasant and has a smile on his face whenever you talk to him.

Kelly: Gideon is the best of both worlds. He shelves quickly and efficiently, but he’s also zany and funny. I love having him here because I know he’ll do a great job, no matter what I ask him to do.

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