Most Overdue Fines Have Been Phased Out

We want you back! On September 20, the FADL eliminated overdue fines for the majority of our materials AND removed old fines on Ferndale Library materials for existing cardholders! If you’ve been avoiding the library, now is the perfect time to come back, even if you have lost books or overdue fines. Give us a call at 248-546-2504, send us an FB Message or come on in and we’ll take a look at your library record…who knows, there may be nothing to worry about AT ALL!


Effective Sep. 20, the Ferndale Library eliminated fines for late returns on a substantial batch of circulating items, including adult fiction and non-fiction books, audiobooks, music CDs, standard-loan DVDs, and all children’s and teen materials. Old overdue fines on Ferndale items have also been removed from existing library card accounts. Fees associated with lost or damaged materials remain.

Fines on overdue returns of the newest materials in the adult collection will still be enforced to assure equitable access to popular titles for Ferndale’s cardholders, but no fines will be assessed for the majority of items currently available on the library’s shelves. 

“Our desire is to offer current cardholders a fresh start and entice residents who haven’t explored the library recently to come see all that we have to offer,” said Jenny Marr, Director of the Ferndale Library. “We don’t judge anyone for having overdue books, because we’ve all been there,” said Marr. “Even though I’m at the library almost every day, I still sometimes miss a due date. We understand how busy people are, and that life happens; we want using the library to be a positive and enjoyable experience.

Charging for late returns is not fiscally motivated, as fines made up only 0.7% of FADL revenue in FY 2019. This decision aligns Ferndale with a growing nationwide movement that includes Chicago and Denver libraries, as well as neighboring communities such as Detroit, Redford and Allen Park. 


“We are so excited to be a part of this initiative,” said Judeen Bartos, President of the FADL Board of Directors. “We believe in expanding access to library materials. Staff will be able to focus more on coordinating quality events and programs that can inform and engage the community. We want them to be able to devote their time, care, and energy toward providing the best service to patrons visiting the library.”

It was a priority for the Board of Directors and staff that all overdue fines be removed from children’s and teen materials, recognizing how difficult it can sometimes be for a family to keep track of every single item they have checked out and when they are due back.

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Scariest Selections for October: Amityville Horror

the ferndale library's scariest selections.png

We’ll be sharing a new “scary book” recommendation via Instagram (and sporadically on Facebook) all throughout the month of October. We’re starting off with this essay by one of our staffers who just read The Amityville Horror


We are all haunted in a way, though it goes unremarked: we’re all haunted by stress or anxiety. And few things can better conjure both of those emotional responses than the experience of moving into a new house. Forget that George and Kathy Lutz had the tremendous misfortune to move their lives (& three young children) into a haunted house back in 1976, (and, along with that, possibly the utmost haunted house in American history); it is a trying enough ordeal just to corral everything from wardrobes to furniture to kitchenware, and transplant one’s habits and routines into a new and possibly foreign-feeling environment.

It is quite another experience to be in an empty space and sense that you are not alone. Especially when you’re in the potentially futile process of trying to ‘nest’ in that new space. Anxiety is a pressure valve that’s wound around a variety of circumstances that we’re all working our way through, and when we are in the process of moving, we are counting down the moments until we’re finally assured that we can rest…., that we are “home.” The Lutzes, however, were violently rejected by the home at 112 Ocean Avenue in Amityville NY.

Yes, there are unexplained noises; there are sightings of glowing red eyes and mysterious hoof prints in the show; there is startling destruction done to doors and a poltergeist-like movement of objects. There is evidence that suggests a demonic presence. But perhaps the most chilling moment, for me, in Jay Anson’s journalistic reporting of these supernaturally-turbulent 4 weeks in the lives of the Lutzes is a moment of anguish, at his wit’s end, George storms through his house, after verbally lashing out against the entities, he makes an appeal to God, asking him to send away “whoever didn’t belong there…” Anson writes that George was relieved that there wasn’t any sinister reaction when he made that plea…leaving me to wonder, as the reader, whether the whole process was already working, that whatever force, devil or God, was already influencing the departure of “those who didn’t belong there.” That those who didn’t belong there…were the Lutzes.

As a reader looking for a “scary book,” this will not be a typical experience. Anson is a journalist who created this narrative from hours of recorded interviews with the Lutzes. While he does arrange his writing as though it were a bit of a fast-paced novel, rather than a work of non-fiction, it winds up toeing the line nicely between a procedural of Americana and the exorbitant dread of dark forces beyond our comprehension. It is, I repeat, a work of non-fiction, but Anson still nevertheless has a knack for suspense by ending his chapters with a cliffhanging hook.

I think what I found most frightening about this book, as should be evoked by all great horror novels in my opinion, is the empathy I felt for the family. Though they have three children, the married couple at the center of the story are still comparatively young and not very worldly; they have a naive stint where they actually ponder whether their innocent dabblings with Transcendental Meditation somehow conjured the hauntings. There’s also a touch of a stubborn sticking-it-out, bah-humbug shrug by George to hunker down and try, with complete failure, to sustain himself and sustain his family’s normal day-to-day and general sanity, amidst utterly disturbing and sometimes physically jolting phenomena.

But most of all, being completely robbed of your sense of safety, your sense of home, is what frightened me the most. Setting aside that these entities are able to physically effect, through the onset of flu-like symptoms, a put-upon Priest who is tasked with blessing the house, as well as the ongoing struggles that George is having with the IRS with his independently-run business… At the end of the day, we all want a sense of comfort, and we all want for the well-being of our loved ones. Terrorized relentlessly for four weeks, the Lutzes were deprived of that chance to attain that comfort. They were living, almost literally, in hell.

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Ferndale Library Hosts Vegan Food Tasting, Discussing Healthy, Sustainable Lifestyles

landscape plant-based 101

VegMichigan’s “Plant-Based 101” Highlights Benefits of Vegan Diets on October 3


VegMichigan will be at the Ferndale Library on Thu., Oct 3, where they’ll be combining a free food tasting with an insightful and interactive discussion about how a plant-based diet can benefit not only one’s overall health but also the environment. VegMichigan is a non-profit organization based in the Metro Detroit area. It was founded nearly 20 years ago; since then, their board and staff have been on a mission to demonstrate the nutritional perks of adopting plant-based (or mostly plant-based) diets, as well as the ethical aspects of switching from a meat-centric regimen. VegMichigan installed a unique display inside the Ferndale Library as an educational campaign to demonstrate just how fulfilling and delicious a vegan lifestyle can be.  


On Oct 3, VegMichigan staff will serve free samples of vegan food while humane educator Kim Korona will present the finer points on how to shift toward a daily routine that is in no way dependent on food or consumer goods that are directly derived from animal products. Audience members can join a discussion with any questions while they sample vegan cuisine, provided by VegMichigan. 


Korona has been a workshop facilitator for the Institute for Humane Education, providing training on how to live a life that does the most good and the least harm to people, other species, and the planet. She received a B.A. from Goddard College in Vermont and a Masters in Education from Cambridge in Massachusetts. While working at HEART, (a non-profit education organization) for the past decade, she has developed curricula and other educational resources that promote compassion, critical thinking, and empowerment through topics related to animal protection, environmental ethics, and social justice. She has been vegetarian for 20 years, vegan for 17 years, and believes that together we can create a healthier, more compassionate, equitable, and sustainable world for all through our personal choices and on a systemic level. 
Registration is required for this event. Please call 248-546-2504 to register, or visit the Event Page at : 

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Zero Waste Meet Up – Sept 25


Local permaculturalist & ecologist Rachel Engel invited us to her homestead to demonstrate the results of a Zero Waste Lifestyle.

For residents concerned about the environment, this is a way for you to be empowered to take action…

There’s tens of millions of acres in the hands of Resident’s in average-sized neighborhoods like Ferndale and that’s an encouraging starting point for a collective effort to make a powerful impact.

Zero Waste lifestyles enhance the practice of self-reliance and provides that practitioner with healthy homegrown food sources, providing an abundance of resources that can reduce monthly utility bills.

Plus, as a lifestyle, it’s a one-of-a-kind source of joy and fulfillment
Learn more about how you can adopt a Zero Waste Lifestyle on Wednesday, September 25, at 6:30pm, at the Ferndale Library.


“My boss is the bees and the butterflies and the chickens,” Engel said. “The lifestyle is really awesome in comparison to working 8-days a week and running really fast to stay in place, versus being self-reliant and not having to work as much to earn that same amount, because we live in abundance.”

Engel and other permaculturists will be talking about how homesteading provides an abundance that can reduce monthly bills. And there is a financial component: “…we are currently in a time and place where a lot of people are living in debt cycles with no hope of getting out,” said Engel. “This has the reverse effect. We’ve eliminated our electricity bill, we’ve cut our water bill and food bill in half, and I used to be sick a 1/3 of the year and now I’m never sick. That’s a huge benefit right there.”

Attendees at the Zero Waste meet-up can anticipate finding solutions and resources and recipes, with tips on composting, making beauty products, and cleaning products, with hands-on examples on how to do this. And the world wants us to buy things and in reality most of what we’re paying for is the plastic packaging and the marketing, versus being able to create something much better ourselves.

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The Biography Section

Elissa2Elissa Zimmer
The Biography Section features interviews with Ferndale Library staff members; it celebrates the role they play and their contributions to the day-to-day work of the library, but also gives you a chance to get to know them better. This monthly feature was started last year by Youth Services Librarian Elissa Zimmer, and she is in the spotlight for October. 

Elissa graduated from Wayne State and worked at the Fraser Public Library for four years; she started here in Ferndale in late 2016 as a part-time librarian, transitioned to a sub, but came back in to join our staff full-time in June of 2018. She coordinates a variety of programs and is develops our collections of juvenile picture books, board books, elementary-level fiction and graphic novels for young readers.

What do you love about working at FADL?
Did you know that I haven’t prepared any answers…? Even though I do this all the time! But, I love the creativity that comes with it, and the spontaneity of my team… I love the freedom that I have to do new and different things in my job.

Best or favorite part of your job?
It depends on the day! But:…the laughter that I share with my coworkers is one of the highlights of my job and I think also being able to watch kids grow, and forging relationships with families…

What was the biggest motivation for you to become a librarian?
(Pauses)… I just liked books so much and I liked hanging out in libraries when i was a kid; I guess I wanted to bring that to further generations of kids.

Why was it important to you to start the Biography Section?
Because people were tired of the (original employee-of-the-month format) and I thought that it would be nice to have something that would cycle through the entire staff, so that everyone would feel included, and seen, and valued. And I also like being able to interview people! 

What is the most misunderstood aspect of your job?/What do people get wrong about your job?
I’m gonna speak specifically to Youth Services; sometimes people don’t realize that we do so many storytimes; obviously we’ve got storytimes for toddlers, but they might not realize we’re also doing storytimes for babies, and we also have the Music & Movement class which also correlates with early literacy and growing those reading skills. Also, not related to Youth Services, but…people might not know that we also have to provide help with computer skills.

Favorite collection or thing we circulate at FADL?
As the person who has…..over 100 items checked out right now? It’s very hard to pick a favorite…I’ve definitely grown an appreciation for nonfiction. But I also really like picture books; people get excited about picture books, you can’t keep them on the shelf!

Favorite thing that you’ve contributed to FADL, be it a program or a new collection or even just a single book that you added?
This isn’t specific to me but I’m happy to work in such a well-supported and well funded place where I don’t have to be picky; I get to be part of building collections that reflect the diversity of the world, whether that’s diversity that is present in this community or in the wider world. I think it’s beneficial that (young readers) are exposed to a range of different cultures from around the world. 

Best book you’ve ever read?
I always go back to Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine. It is such an interesting retelling of the Cinderella story and I feel like Levine also just invented such interesting creatures…cuz there’s an ogre in it, and fairies and elves. I think I was in 5th or 6th grade when I read it, and I reread it a lot afterward. 

What do you love about Ferndale as a community/city?
People love the library! That’s pretty nice. Also, it’s a pretty inclusive community, it’s progressive but still with a sort of small town feel…, which is nice–it doesn’t feel swallowed in the mix of the rest of Metro Detroit. 

How do you spend your days off?
Hanging out with my cats, watching TV on the couch, cooking…, doing yoga… I cook all kinds of stuff, but I’m definitely not a baker because with baking you need to be very precise and I just like to throw a little bit of this and that in there and improvise. (She reports, immediately after this interview, that she’s about to bake some scones). With yoga, two of my friends dragged me to a class six  years ago. I wound up specifically getting into (B.K.S.) Iyengar Yoga, and that was actually through a Google doodle for his birthday in December of 2015.

You just mentioned cats, which answers the pets question on your survey. How many, and what are their names?
Three cats… (pauses to roll eyes at self): I fit the (librarian) stereotype! Their names are Suman, Truman, and Evie.

What’s the best advice you ever received?
Even if you fail it’s not a bad thing if you still learn something from it… 

If you were stuck on an island, what would you take with you?
A book… Chai… and…, I don’t know–I really don’t plan on ever being stuck on an island. 

If I gave you $100, what would you spend it on?
Probably clothes… or…. a nice meal out…. And probably some coffee. I feel that makes me sounds so basic…but it’s probably true…

Top three bands?
Right now: James Blake / Chris Thile / Patrick Wolf

Patrick Wolf! Nice! Did you see him when he came to the Magic Bag about 10 years ago?
No, but I met him! When I studied abroad in London, my junior year of college. I was studying English and British History. I’m an anglophile…I’m obsessed with British culture. 

…like Harry Potter & Downton Abbey?
No, no. Deeper than that. Those are just surface level. I’ve watched just about every British mystery series–they do it so well! But anyway, my goal, literally since I was a kid, was to go to England and study there. I finally made that a reality.

Favorite song to sing at karaoke?
I don’t have one. I’d just join in with a group (of friends).  

Best book-to-movie adaptation?
That’s not a question for me… We should take that one out. I just don’t watch a lot of movies, and pretty much any book to movie adaption I’ve wound up mad about. Outlander, though, the TV series, was pretty true to the book, but after season 2 they completely veered off from it and it was really aggravating… 

Chocolate or vanilla?
Chocolate. You already knew I’d say that. (the Interviewer once chose vanilla and was rebuked for it)

Beach or woods?

Favorite season?

Favorite pizza topping?
Curried cauliflower

tlccontentFavorite Picture Book that came out this year?
I love the trend of female empowerment that is happening in picture books lately. Dear Girl  by Amy Krouse Rosenthal! 

I Will Be Fierce by Bea Birdsong

Rock What Ya Got by Samantha Berger


You can find Elissa in the Kids Corner where she leads storytimes and answers reference questions for parents and young readers. Sometimes she’s in the Community Room, though, leading our ‘Uprooted: Music & Movement’ storytimes, and also she’s sometimes collaborating with Adult Services Librarians for a variety of other programs. She wears a lot of hats, (metaphorically, not figuratively…, in fact, we didn’t cover the topic of how she doesn’t wear hats in this interview, but that’s for next year. Thanks for reading).

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

Kerrie: Elissa‘s a fun person to be around and I enjoy working with her. I like that she keeps me busy with her gigantic book orders for me to process. Her fashion sense is top-notch and I am often entertained by her random dances and gestures throughout the day.

Marigold: Elissa is such a fun, energetic person! Anytime you’re around her, laughter will ensue.

Ed: I appreciate Elissa‘s positive energy and the way she continually looks for ways that she can improve herself professionally while benefiting the library at the same time.

Jordan: Elissa’s super creative and is always searching to expand the kind of programs YS offers. She’s consistently willing to help out her coworkers in any way she can and has her hands in a ton of different projects all around the library.

Kathleen: Elissa has the most EXPLOSIVE laugh I’ve ever heard! Sometimes I think someone is crying out for help, and then when I realize it’s Elissa’s laugh, I’m delighted. She has an openness to fun – even the enjoyment she gets from de-newing books, so she greets me with anticipation when I enter the children’s area. She appreciates concerns I bring to her and keeps me informed on the progress of changes she makes. She worked at the library for awhile, then left, and came back, and I’m so glad she did!

Everett: When you first meet Elissa you see a chipper, humorful, enthusiastic individual, but once you get to know her you find that she is also highly resilient, a team player, and eager to learn new things (and actually put that learning to good use). She is full of surprises and I think that is one thing that makes her not just a good librarian, but a great person to work with. Keep being you Elissa!

Tekedra: Elissa is wonderfully silly, endlessly creative and a real cheerleader for Ferndale Library and her position within the YS programs. She works hard to make the youth program exciting and engaging for the patrons. She never fails to make me laugh and to remind me of how important we are to the community. ❤

Andrea: Elissa is always great for mood boosting, always bringing positive energy to liven up the library. She’s always doing the interviewing for the Biography Section and it’s nice seeing her get the proper recognition for what she does.

Susan: Elissa is lots of fun to work with. She brings a great energy to YS whether it is doing uprooted, thinking up fun programs for kids and teens (hello, escape rooms, hot-sauce tasting, and cursive writing class). Plus. she reads A LOT of books in her collection and the library in general, so she’s super-prepared when it comes to reader advisory for kids and teens. She likes to look for ways to jump-start new library projects. She was the brains behind these interviews 🙂 She is also very organized when it comes to cooking and sharing recipes, ask her for ideas and she’ll happily connect you with one of her many foodie blogs, food-related instagram or websites she’s discovered.

Kelly: Elissa is the ultimate team player. She’s always looping people into teams, including as many people as possible in discussions and brainstorming. I’ve also never seen anyone check out as many books as she does.

Michelle: I’m always impressed with the way Elissa brings big ideas to life. She’s ambitiously imaginative, yet detail-oriented enough to execute things smoothly. Plus she’s just super cool and fun work with.

Jasmine: Eiissa is a Readers’ Advisory Juggernaut! Her love of reading has definitely rubbed off on me, and motivated me to read more books than ever.

Darlene: Elissa’s enthusiasm is contagious. She’s always eager to do more and try new and challenging tasks. Her desire to grow as a librarian and a leader is inspiring and also keeps me on my toes. She’s also a great lunch buddy, keeps the tissues full in the kitchen, and makes the best faces!

Aby: Elissa is great! She always gets me to laugh and she’s easy to talk to. I can also say that she holds the record for reading the most books. Every delivery has at least a small stack of things for her. It makes me want to read more, and her book suggestions are always on point.

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Ferndale Library Partners with Affirmations for Reading Rainbow Book Club

For ages 13-22
First Meeting Hosted at Affirmations on Fri., Sept 27, at 3:30pm, Discussing “And She Was”



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September is Library Card Sign-Up Month

That means it’s time for all Ferndale Residents to sign-up, if you haven’t already! Maybe you already have a card? You can come in and renew it this month! Here are a few testimonials of active library card users to inspire you…

_Having our library cards has given my family a sense of belonging..._

“As a new stay-at-home parent my library card was (and still is) the key to having a consistent and enriching activity to engage in with my son, serving to show him the concepts of creativity and community simultaneously. Quite the bargain!”
Storm R.

“Having our library cards has given my family a sense of belonging. Our kids are loved by the library staff and know it is a safe place to learn, explore, and question. We are thankful for our library.”
Sylvia O.


“When I was a kid, my Mom convinced me that going to the library was a huge treat — and that getting your own library card was an honor. I was pretty much a library obsessive, and to the extent I’m any good at what I do now, I credit it to the fact that I was a compulsive reader as a youngster. Once I got that first card — second grade, I think — limits were put on how many books I was allowed to take out at one time. In one instance, I tried to do 19 and got ixnayed. …Thank you Roseville Public Library! And Mom!”
Steve B.


“Every summer in elementary school the library held a campaign where the more you read you earned points towards various prizes, the top one of which was admission to the local Astroworld theme park. I went basically every year thanks to the program, so I got to read AND I got to ride roller-coasters.”
Shiraz A.

“My first memory of the library is being a small child, gazing up at War and Peace, which in my memory is about a thousand feet above me and must weigh nearly as many pounds, and vowing that I would someday read it. I still haven’t, but that’s because access to libraries has placed so many other more pressing reads directly into my arms. Now, with books overflowing in every corner of my home and a bank account that can’t sustain this habit, I turn to the library instead and every time I feel like that child being wowed by the possibility of War and Peace all over again.”
Ana G.

“I’m currently reading one of the best biographies of my entire life. I would have never found Becoming Superman if it wasn’t for the carefully curated collection at the library. Thank you library card.”
Julia M.

“My dad taught me that a library card could help me drink deep from the well of knowledge. My first memories were going with him as he researched dead relatives on mircofilm from old newspapers. After he taught me how to use the card catalog, I would always come home with a stack of books on things I was interested in. Years later, I joined my local library board – advocated for funding, improvements and community engagement.”
Rob S.M.
Copy of CourtyardSpruceUpArbor8-9-18KB


“It’s how I researched before the internet and how I occupy my kids on rainy days.”
Jason O.

“I used to walk to the library as a kid and they let me take out as many books as I wanted, although they had a set limit. In high school I would finish my reading and essays before the rest of the class and the teacher would let me go to the library. It is my special place.”
June A.

“Fond childhood memory: My sister and I would walk to the library on Saturday and each of us would choose our books. We would check out the maximum number allowed at one time, which I think was twelve each. When we got home we would curl up on our beds to read, each with our pile of books. By the end of the day, Mady would have all my books piled on her side of the room. Most Saturdays we would both get through our stack of books in a matter of hours.”
Mary F.

“Being a music nerd it has open my ears to sooo many new music (oldies and newbies). I used to be in the Library once every two weeks just to go in a rent out CDs just to download them to my iTunes. It’s very easy to find classic albums/artists when you first get into a genre like Jazz!!!! (I am still doing this to this very day!!! Forget about streaming services!!)”
Jake C.
“A few years ago, the library supplied all our materials for the preschool my son and I started/ran (just the two of us and all his stuffies). We would pick a subject for the week, go to the library and look up every kid’s book with that subject and take out 10-15 of every genre (fiction, nonfiction, fantasy, comic) and read them that week alongside field trips, and projects. It created an incredible foundation for him – learning about one subject from every angle – that we wouldn’t have been able to provide without the library.”
Annie B.

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