Photos from 2008-2009: Renovation, The Move & our Temporary Location

Library Renovation 148nomoreshelveswrappedupbooksmoversandshelvesRenovation-13Renovation-18Renovation-6Renovation-20Renovation-2110400191_605614591598_1677697_n

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Book Party

Appreciation post for the long-running library book club known as #BookParty

This was really an exceptional and refreshing ongoing program for the Ferndale Library was led by longtime librarian (and now Assistant Director) Darlene Hellenberg and initially served as a launching pad for the (community-wide book club event known as the) Big Read program she’d coordinated in 2010. Book Party would propose something that seemed a bit radical for it’s day: a library event inside of a bar! (Nowadays, it’s not uncommon to see libraries trying increasingly more “edgy” or outside of the box-type things such as this…) It was a partnership that we really valued with a restaurant that was practically our next-door neighbor: The Emory.

51cjdWwEQbL._SX327_BO1,204,203,200_You can get a copy for Recursion, by Blake Crouch, the March 18 Book Party selection, at the circulation desk, with your library card.

book party

Above, you’re seeing a staggering image that collects 62 (of the 63) titles that Book Party featured at its bi-monthly meetings!

“Book party was an amazing experience,” said Griffin Bray, regular attendee, and former Ferndale Library staffer. “The atmosphere was very different from the general idea of book clubs; in addition to discussing our feelings about the book and answering prompts, we had lively conversations about related books, the newest TV shows that we were watching, and life in general. The book party family (everyone was friendly enough and close enough that that term is rather appropriate) was an amazing bunch to hang out with. They made it into more than just an event to discuss what we thought about the main character and turned it into a friendly, inviting setting based around literature and, more importantly, friendship…”

Anyone was welcome to attend these evening meetings, whether they had a Ferndale Library card or any library card–as long as they found the selected title and came prepared to chat about it over some cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, they were IN…

“I only knew one person in Ferndale when I moved here, and they invited me to the first-ever Book Party in 2009, where we discussed “Middlesex” by Jeffrey Eugenides,” said Kricket Hoekstra, Adult Services Librarian at Rochester Hills. “I met people that night, and at subsequent book parties, that have now been my close friends for more than a decade! I loved that it was a relaxed discussion- not awkwardly sitting in a circle speaking one at a time. Obviously I am also a fan of the cocktails and snacks. I especially love the books Darlene chose by local authors or that had a connection to Michigan. I’m sad that it’s an end of an era, but I’m grateful for all the people and books I’ve met because of Book Party. Thank you for 10 and a half amazing years!”

This blog post’s writer observed it as a colleague, but I have to say, it was really inspiring how something like Book Party could refresh the perception of a book club and encourage folks not only to read more, but get them out of their houses, out on the town, and excited about catching up with what became a little community of regular attendees.

Don’t despair though, because this library will continue dreaming up new and exciting programs into a reality for our patrons, whether they’re book clubs, craft events, concerts, or even a podcast! Thanks to everyone who regularly attended the Book Party over the years, and stay tuned for our upcoming schedule of programming for adult patrons later this year for our annual #SummerReading events.

p.s., there will be one final Book Party meeting in May! Stay tuned!

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The Biography Section

IMG_3097 - Copy (1)Andrea is a seasoned librarian who has worked at several libraries in metro Detroit. She has been at Ferndale since 2017, and even though she now works one day a week, her presence is still very much felt here. Andrea orders the 300s in adult non-fiction, which covers the social sciences, and her selections are widely raved about by both patrons and staff.

Andrea has also gone back to school and recently received her Master of Social Work degree and now works as a therapist, which also contributes to the high level of service she provides library patrons. 

Elissa: In our previous conversations, I learned that you were one of the original attendees of FADL’s Book Party. Was that before you started working at FADL?
Andrea: Yes, I was working at Westland at that time.

Elissa: What drew you to that program? I’ve heard it was a magnet for local librarians.
Andrea: Ferndale is home to many librarians and that’s where we socialized. I haven’t attended it in years and I moved out of the city, but I still keep in contact with a lot of those people.

Elissa: What do you love about working at FADL?
Andrea: It’s relaxing for me, a break from my regular job, and I still get to be a librarian. This place is laid-back and well-run. I also get to see a lot of my friends and old neighbors since I moved out of Ferndale.

Elissa: Best or favorite part of your job as a librarian?
Andrea: Ordering for the 300s.

Elissa: What do people get wrong about librarianship?  
Andrea: That it’s centered on the collections and material. That’s a big part, but librarians help in so many additional ways. Library work is adjacent to social work in some ways.

Elissa: You’re now a social worker and are practicing at a local clinic. What are the misconceptions around being a social worker?
Andrea: I have a clinical social work degree and I work as a psychotherapist. Social work is a broad field and some of the biggest misconceptions are that social workers just break up families and are bureaucrats.

Elissa: What do you love about being a therapist and how do you think it informs your work as a librarian? 
Andrea: I love working one-on-one with individuals and watching people grow and make huge breakthroughs. It’s a privilege to be present with people being raw, vulnerable, and trusting. I find it’s more the other way around with my work as a librarian informing my therapy practice. I can often give book recommendations to clients about areas of their lives that they are trying to get a deeper understanding of.

Elissa: Favorite collection or thing we circ at FADL? 
Andrea: 300s, obviously.

Elissa: Best book you’ve ever read? 
Andrea: I don’t think I have a very favorite, but one of the best is Borderlands / La Frontera by Gloria Anzaldúa.

Elissa: What do you love about Ferndale as a community/city?
Andrea: How queer it is.

Elissa: You recently moved into a new house. Does that take over your days off or do you have other fun activities that you spend time on?
Andrea: I don’t currently have an entire day off, but it’s a goal for 2020. My hope is to actually have a whole day off to spend with my wife. I do miss brunch.

Processed with VSCO with a6 presetElissa: Any pets?
Andrea: Yes! A lab named Big Gus and two chihuahuas named Little Gus and Peanut. (pictured, left)

Elissa: What’s the best advice you ever received? 
Andrea: Basically, impact matters more than intent. The impact of our actions, inactions, and words matters way more than our intentions. Ignorance is never an excuse. Do research and know how to apologize when mistakes are made. I don’t know if that’s advice so much as instruction.

Elissa: If you were stuck on an island, what would you take with you? 
Andrea: My wife, books, and dogs.

Elissa: If I gave you $100, what would you spend it on?  
Andrea: Something for the new house. It’s just an endless need. Or on books on trauma and addiction for work. That’s my other endless need.

Elissa: Top three bands?
Andrea: The Clash, Against Me!, Nirvana

Elissa: Favorite song to sing at karaoke?
Andrea: I don’t but if I did, it would be Here I Go Again by Whitesnake.

Elissa: Best book-to-movie adaptation?
Andrea: Maybe The Shining.

Elissa: Chocolate or vanilla?
Andrea: Vanilla

Elissa: Beach or woods? 
Andrea: Woods

Elissa: Favorite season? 
Andrea: Fall

Elissa: Is there anything I should have asked you that I didn’t? 
Andrea: Nah, I’m good.

You can find Andrea at FADL on Saturdays or, once in a blue moon, subbing in during a weekday. Andrea is fascinating to talk to, as you’ll see attested by other staff members. If you are interested in various social issues, Andrea’s ordered a book about it. Check out her collection today, or say hi the next time you’re in on the weekend!

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

Kelly: Andrea brings a thoughtfulness to her work here. She considers everything that people say to her before she responds. She also genuinely seems interested when I talk her ear off about some nonsense! 🙂

Jasmine: On the surface, Andrea may appear quiet, very quiet; but I’ve learned that if you engage her in conversation long enough you will soon learn that she has a lot to say! My fondest memory of her has to be when we were subbing together at Southfield Public Library, and I shared with her the news that I was recently offered a part-time position at FADL, prior to becoming full time. It was then that she shared with me her thoughts about me being the best person for that job, and how she had also shared this with the former YS supervisor. That meant so much to me because Andrea’s a vet. She’s been doing this for a long time, and I knew her feelings were shared with sincerity and genuine support…support that she has continuously offered throughout my time here. I am much obliged to her.

Jeff: Andrea has added some amazing books to the collection, and has substantially enriched the selection available for circulation here in Ferndale, when it comes to the diversity of topics, ideas, and authors reporting on 21st-century social sciences.

Ed: I turned over the job of selecting books for our 300 section to Andrea, and she’s done a great job.  While scouring the catalogs for new books, I often come upon one that grabs me, and then find out that Andrea has already ordered it.  

Susan: Andrea is a super-thoughtful librarian.  She cares deeply about social justice issues and does an excellent job selecting for the 300s, making the section exactly what Ferndale needs and wants to read about.  I’ve learned a lot by reading some of the books she’s chosen. She has always been friendly and approachable.

Anne: Andrea makes sure that any library she is in is a welcoming place for everyone.  She does that by being a friendly  presence, by doing a thorough job of purchasing books, and by being a supportive staff member, just to name a few things.  I am very glad to have her as a colleague.

Michelle: Andrea is a careful thinker. I like discussing the best way to categorize books with her. Her expertise in psychology and recovery trends is also hugely beneficial to our patrons and the collection.

Maggie: I appreciate Andrea’s calm and gentle nature. Her thoughtful work in the Social Sciences section of our collection has made this complete and current resource available to our patrons at a vital time.

Darlene: Andrea’s curation of the 300s is wonderful. She has a great eye for picking books that will interest our patrons. She’s also always on the lookout for fiction and graphic novels that I might have missed. I always appreciate her recommendations.

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Ferndale Library Podcast

Copy of Copy of Copy of a little too quiet (1)

The Ferndale Library’s new podcast premieres on all major podcast apps January 3. We’re excited to bring you exclusive conversations with local authors, each of whom will be releasing new books between April-May of 2020: Josh Malerman, Kathe Koja, and Michael Zadoorian. 

The library also hopes to use the podcast to connect to the grander book-loving community worldwide, kicking off with a premiere episode that features Bird Box author Josh Malerman on Jan. 3.

The podcast’s name,“A Little Too Quiet,” is a nod to the fact that libraries everywhere have evolved beyond the longstanding perception that they are silent institutions meant only for peaceful reading where librarians sternly shush anyone speaking above hushed tones. That’s just not the case anymore, and the new podcast aims to demonstrate the ways in which the Ferndale Library and libraries everywhere have evolved into 21st-century community centers where, yes, occasional loudness is more than accepted.

“A Little Too Quiet” also serves as a way for patrons to stay engaged with their library during the snowier months when travel is more challenging. Now, library patrons can hear from their library while they’re at home, at the gym, or on the go, just by putting in some earbuds. Along with being hosted at the library’s main website, “A Little Too Quiet” will also be available on iTunes, Spotify, and Google Podcasts.  

Subscribe now by searching for “A Little Too Quiet” on your favorite podcast app, or visit: https://alittletooquiet.podbean.com/.

 

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Best Book of the Decade?

It’s been the decade of “content…” Extra extra content! Streaming/digital content! Access to eBooks and downloadable audiobooks for your devices has increased considerably. It’s very likely that lots of us have seen our reading queues swelling up over the last 5-10 years. We’d like to hear from YOU. When you look back at your Goodreads reviews, or if you just go with the most vivid memory that springs to your mind–which book would YOU choose as the Best of the Decade?

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I’ve got a few of my own recommendations below.

2010’s A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan revolutionized narrative structure.

2013’s Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie portrayed the immigrant experience by way of a love story that also served as social commentary.

2016’s The Animators by Kayla Mae Whitaker used one medium (literature) to describe another hyper-stylized medium, while also bringing to life to vibrant characters and their one-of-a-kind friendship.

2018’s Unbury Carol by Josh Malerman was one-part pursuit, one-part Wester, one-part Sleeping Beauty, and altogether thrilling and surreal.

2018’s There, There was compassionate and funny and tragic and eye-opening, all at once, providing interlinked narratives of modern-day Native Americans.

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Ferndale Library’s New Podcast “A Little Too Quiet” Launches January 3

Looking for a new podcast to listen to?

Bird Box Author Josh Malerman Featured in Debut Episode January 3

The Ferndale Library will debut a new podcast on all major podcast apps this winter. “A Little Too Quiet” is a new and exciting way for the library staff to engage with patrons. The enlightening (as well as entertaining) content, produced in-house, might otherwise be formatted for an on-site program or event, but will instead be delivered in audio form. The library also hopes to use the podcast to connect to the grander book-loving community worldwide, kicking off with a premiere episode that features Bird Box author Josh Malerman on Jan. 3.

Click here to listen to the trailer. 

a little too quiet

The podcast’s name, “A Little Too Quiet,” is a nod to the fact that libraries everywhere have evolved beyond the longstanding perception that they are silent institutions meant only for peaceful reading where librarians sternly shush anyone speaking above hushed tones. That’s just not the case anymore, and the new podcast aims to demonstrate the ways in which the Ferndale Library and libraries everywhere have evolved into 21st-century community centers where, yes, occasional loudness is more than accepted. 

Copy of Copy of Copy of a little too quiet (1).png

The Ferndale Library’s new podcast premieres on all major podcast apps January 3. We’re excited to bring you exclusive conversations with local authors, each of whom will be releasing new books between April-May of 2020: Josh Malerman, Kathe Koja, and Michael Zadoorian. 

Episodes will showcase unique library resources, promote library programs and events, and feature discussions on literary news, the special experience of book clubs, the ongoing outreach efforts of Youth Services Librarians, and the history of the library. This coming year, 2020, marks the 90th anniversary of the Ferndale Library. There will be content that unveils the history of the building, while also engaging patrons to share their favorite memories and experiences about the Ferndale Library. There will also be lots of local author interviews, starting with Malerman in the premiere episode, as well as conversations with Michael Zadoorian, Kathe Koja, and more. 

 

josh

“A Little Too Quiet” also serves as a way for patrons to stay engaged with their library during the snowier months when travel is more challenging. Now, library patrons can hear from their library while they’re at home, at the gym, or on the go, just by putting in some earbuds. Along with being hosted at the library’s main website, “A Little Too Quiet” will also be available on iTunes, Spotify, and Google Podcasts.  

 

Subscribe now by searching for “A Little Too Quiet” on your favorite podcast app, or visit: https://alittletooquiet.podbean.com/.

 

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A New Look at Thanksgiving: Non-fiction books for young readers

“1621: A New Look at Thanksgiving” by Catherine O’Neill Grace

Created in partnership by National Geographic and the Plimoth (Plymouth) Plantation Museum, a living history museum in Massachusetts,  this is the only non-fiction book that I would recommend for children or families looking for facts about the first Thanksgiving. In the vast majority of books about the first Thanksgiving, the story is almost always told from the European perspective and generally puts a rosy lens on the whole affair.  No, the Pilgrims didn’t have buckles on their hats. No, the Pilgrims and Wampanoags weren’t friends (a more accurate label would be political allies). And no, they didn’t even eat Turkey (mmm, eel). If you’re looking for a balanced, no baloney, fact-based book about Thanksgiving for kids, this is just about your only option.  For a more in-depth look at the journey of the Pilgrims and the Mayflower, check out Mayflower 1620 by the same partnership.  For the adults out there, I highly recommend Mayflower by Nathaniel Philbrick and the documentary The Pilgrims by Ric Burns.

 

“Squanto’s Journey” by Joseph Bruchac

Tasquantum, or as the Europeans called him, Squanto, is an important player in the Thanksgiving story.  Already fluent in English, Tisquantum was the Patuxet Indian who taught the Pilgrims how to grow and hunt their own food.  Squanto’s Journey, by Native author Joseph Bruchac, is a beautifully illustrated, narrative picture book biography that tells the incredible story of his kidnapping by European explorers, how he was sold into slavery in Spain, how he taught himself English and escaped to England from Spain, and how he managed his way on to an English ship headed back to his homeland.  This book is as much a biography of Tisquantum as it is a book about Thanksgiving, but much time is spent on the harvest feast of 1621 and his benevolent relationship with the Pilgrims. A useful endnote from the author lays out the facts of Squanto’s journey and the First Thanksgiving.

 

“The Thankful Book” by Todd Parr

This isn’t a Thanksgiving book, but it is a book that will help kids learn to be thankful for the things they have, and that’s really what it’s all about, isn’t it?.  We can be thankful for our feet (for running), for music (so we can dance), and even for our underwear (because they are fun to wear on our head).  Parr writes in simple, thoughtful sentences, and the thick bold lines and high contrast illustrations are perfect for showing to the youngest of children.  

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