Ferndale Voters Say Yes To Library Millage To Restore/Expand Services/Hours


Aug, 3, 2016


Ferndale citizens went to the polls yesterday and voted in support of replacing the Ferndale Area District Library’s millage for 10 years more, starting in 2017, to restore services and boost budgets for materials that had been reduced or cut in 2014. The Ferndale Library Board of Trustees and outgoing Director Jessica Keyser developed a plan earlier in the Spring to restore and increase hours of operation, with a goal of being open to the public seven days-per-week.

The great recession of 2008 was particularly hard on institutions like libraries, because their revenue is tied to a community’s property tax values. Since 2009, net revenue available for library operations is down 35%, leading to significant reductions (like closing on Fridays). Now that the millage (3.5 mils / 10 years) has passed, the Board’s plans can proceed, including purchasing more books, movies and music, and creating a dedicated collection of e-books that will be exclusive to Ferndale residents, dramatically increasing selection and reducing or eliminating waiting lists for our most popular electronic materials.

“The library board is extremely grateful to Ferndale voters for approving the restoration of what was lost during the recession.  This millage allows us to continue to provide a high level of quality to our community and keep up with the increased demand for services and materials that the library has experienced since the building renovation.”

With the increased funding, the Ferndale Library will upgrade the public computer workstations in both the adult lab and Kids Corner, order more on-demand digital resources (like eBooks, Audiobooks and online learning tools) and organize more literacy programs for K-12th grade readers.

This millage rate proposed was based on feedback from the community, from a survey last December, where patrons expressed a desire for more hours, more computer access and more programming. The original rate cost an average Ferndale homeowner $113/year, while the new rate is $210/year (an increase of $8 per month for most households).

Library Director Jessica Keyser says,“We are truly grateful to the community for their overwhelming support of the Library. This election season has been a wonderful opportunity to engage with different groups and individuals, and hear how the Library has been a powerful force in their lives. With restored and enhanced funding, the impact of the Ferndale Area District Library will be even greater!”

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