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.
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?
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.