This week we have Jenny Marr, FADL’s Director. As a director, she wears many hats, so not only will you find her in her office, but helping out at the two Reference desks as well as at Circ, or even changing light bulbs! Back from several years in Kansas, she’s happy to be in Michigan again, closer to family and friends.
What do you love about working at FADL?
The staff all have different interests and passions. I feel constantly inspired by the ideas they come up with for programs, social media, and the collections. Part of my job is to make the staff successful at their jobs, and it’s a real joy to work with everyone. I come to work every day knowing that the staff are all working to make the library a better (and more fun) place for the community.
Best or favorite part of your job?
I like long-range planning. Although there’s a lot of satisfaction to be had from checking items off of a to-do list, it’s nothing compared to the feeling of accomplishment from completing a project after months of work. I love taking an idea or a dream and working through the challenges until it becomes a reality.
What is the most misunderstood aspect of your job?/What do people get wrong about your job?
People think I read a lot of books because I work in a library. I wish that were true! I’m in what I call “literary debt” which means I have more books on my “to read” list than I have time to actually read. Working in a library just lets me see more books and makes the list longer.
Favorite collection or thing we circ at FADL?
RB Digital Magazines. I don’t think most people know about this service, but it’s amazing. You can download free magazines onto your phone, tablet or computer and they don’t have to be returned. I love always having a good magazine available when I’m waiting somewhere, and it’s great to not have a stack of magazines piling up.
Best book you’ve ever read?
A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens. It’s the first book where I felt the need to slow down and savor the language. Definitely the best opening line I’ve ever read in a book. It’s also the first time I read a book that didn’t have a happy ending. Both unsettling and thought-provoking. My favorite quote is “A day wasted on others is not wasted on one’s self.” It’s a good reminder about the value of helping other people.
What do you love about Ferndale as a community/city?
It’s so vibrant. I love that the library is part of the downtown so there are always people walking around. I love the pride that everyone has for Ferndale. I think residents really take personal responsibility for participating and engaging within the community. It makes me work harder.
How do you spend your days off?
I like to explore. My day to day is usually scheduled and deadline-oriented so it’s a real luxury to just wander without worrying about what time it is. My goal this year is to work through the Michigan Activity Pass (MAP) destinations, available through the library.
Not currently. I had 2 cats, they were named after Red Wings hockey players.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
Don’t sweat the small stuff. When I start getting stressed about something I ask myself “what’s the worst that could happen?” Once I make a plan for that, I feel better and can move forward.
If you were stuck on an island, what would you take with you?
A satellite phone.
If I gave you $100, what would you spend it on?
I’d go out to brunch with my family. Having lived out of state for several years before moving back to Michigan, I appreciate time spent with them more than anything else.
Top three bands/movies?
Any band Chris Cornell is in
Stark Raving Mad
Favorite song to sing at karaoke?
Colorful by The Verve Pipe.
Best book-to-movie adaptation?
First, the book is always better. If I suspend what I know from the novel, I can enjoy watching Dune (David Lynch version) repeatedly. I think they need to make more movies based on Clive Cussler novels.
Chocolate or vanilla?
Vanilla. You can always add chocolate to it.
Beach or woods?
Beach. The warm sun and the sound of waves are perfect for taking a nap.
Spring. I’m usually ready for it on January 1st.
Look for Jenny around the library in her various duties and don’t be afraid to say hi!
As part of the Biography Section, we invite other staff members to give their kudos to Jenny…. Here is what they had to say:
Susan: I think Jenny brings a lively energy to work every day. She’s smart, demonstrates that she truly is invested in the success of the library, the patrons, Ferndale in general and most importantly, us as a staff. She really knows what we need, what the patrons and the library need and how to go for it and figure out how to make a vision into a successful plan of action (like the back room renovation, and getting our raises secured). She is kind and thoughtful. She even changed my spot on the staff pick shelf to make it easier for me to reach it, and she always answers questions for me and on the reference desk. We like having her help us there too. She has also spent extra time waiting with me after work. Overall, having Jenny as the director makes me feel good about coming to work every day and makes me want to do the best I can in my position.
Kerrie: I appreciate that Jenny is always willing to help other departments when we’re short-handed or just need an extra hand. She also worked hard on the building sale and bond refinancing which will save us lots of money for years to come.
Jasmine: I love how organized Jenny is, and that she graciously sends out funny email reminders when timesheets are due. And I also love her sarcastic humor. I sometimes stick my head in her office to hear what funny thing will come out of her mouth next.
Darlene: Jenny’s attention to detail and her ability to see all the moving parts of programs and projects blows my mind. I am more big picture and never think of nearly 1/2 of the things she comes up with. She’s definitely seen me out of potential scraps I would have gotten myself into.