Best Albums of 2018 …so far!

I can’t believe it’s almost June!!

I thought it’d be a great time to ask Circulation Specialist Amber, our staff’s resident music buff, to offer some of her “favorite albums of the year…so far…” Amber has a very wide-ranging, eclectic taste in music; even with just three picks, I think she has something for everybody…

268x0wMy Mother the Moon by Dead Horses – Country/Folk

Picture swinging from a tire swing on a farm in Oklahoma, making s’mores at a bonfire with your closest buds. The country, bluegrass and folk roots of My Mother the Moon gives you all this nostalgic, feel-good imagery with each track. The music is humble, grounded, earthy and airy; no fillers or gimmicks, just the purity of the music itself.


The lyrics feel as if they’re being spoken through a mirror between the singer, and her troubled childhood self in a way that everyone can relate to. This album is honestly quite refreshing and spiritual.


Saba_ Care For MeCare for Me by Saba – Rap/Hip-Hop

Saba is clearly a storyteller who is observant and extremely self-reflective. With this album, he opens up to us like a diary on subjects of depression, brokenness, loss and grief.

The rap beats are rhythmic, full and hard hitting, but also hypnotic and smooth. There are definitely some R&B, jazz, neo-soul vibes happening here as well.

The piano in tracks like “LIFE” and “CALIGROPHY” create such a richness in sound that it’s easy on the ears.

This gorgeous music combined with Saba’s lyrical flow – at times flowy and patient, then intense and staccato, is definitely worth a listen.


a3834850802_10New Material by Preoccupations – Post-Punk/Retro

Preoccupations set the bar high with their previous albums, Cassettes and Viet Cong. While these albums fall into the classic rock/pop vibe, New Material has evolved into something almost goth-like with its dark, dreamy atmosphere.

“COMPLIANCE”, the final and only instrumental track on this album, sounds like something out of Nightmare on Elm Street.

It starts off chilling, mysterious and rough. Like falling asleep, being in some creepy boiler room just waiting for Freddy Kruger to emerge from the shadows. Yeah, it’s a little crazy! Think Joy Division or The Cure.

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Sum- sum- summer! Summer Reads for All Ages

by Ms. Ashley~ Head Youth Services Librarian

Summer time brings out the always-enjoyable beach reads, and there are tons and tons of books for kids of all ages that also take place during the summer. Reading great books that take place during the summer can trigger the fondest memories and these books should do the same.

See You Next Year by Andrew Larsen, Illustrated by Todd Stewart

This book is perfect for families that take a yearly summer vacation to the same spot. The nostalgia is really heavy in this story, and reminds me of trips to the beach as a child. A young girl and her family head to the shoreline for their yearly trip, where they always stay at the same motel, visit the same beach, and meet up with the same friends. The book covers all the enjoyable things about summer, swimming, bonfires, park concerts, the inevitable rainy day, and afternoons’ spent writing postcards home. Enjoy the delicate scenery artwork throughout.

Rules of Summer by Shaun Tan

Adorned with extraordinary artwork, this story line involves what NOT to do for the summer. The story is told through illustrations, depicting fantastical situations, such as a giant red rabbit hiding on the page that reads “never leave a red sock on the clothesline.” Two boys fill their summer with these outlandish drawings, rules, and situations, and this book really sparks the imagination of outdoor play during the long summer afternoons. “Rules of Summer” is an excellent example of outstanding artwork elevating the genre of children’s picture books to new heights.

This One Summer by Mariko Tamaki

This graphic novel brings us to a summer cottage; a vacation away from home. “This One Summer” holds a great spot in the growing genre of realistic, illustrative fiction novels for middle/high school readers. It’s a coming of age story revolving around Rose, her summer friend Windy, and some local teenagers who may or may not be up to no good. Rose is at odds with what she likes to do, who she likes to hang out with, and her changing family life.

We Were Liars by E Lockhart

This YA (young-adult) book takes place on a summer island, filled with luxury, money, and drama.  We join the “Liars” (a group of teens) as the main character, Candance, marks her 17th summer on the island.  A mystery manifests: there was a terrible accident two years before that Candance desperately is trying to remember. This group of teens want to be free from their parents, the family money, and all that comes with that, while Candance is confronted with a string of diversions about what actually happened that summer. This book’s ending will leave you stunned, with great writing and an clever plot.

The Parker Inheritance by Varian John son

This new book takes place in current day South Carolina, where Candice has moved for the summer with her mother into her Grandmother’s old home. Her Grandmother, who was once the city manager of Lambert, was fired from her position after chasing down a mysterious treasure.  The book covers race relations in the south, including narrations from old residents ranging from the early 1900s all the way through present day. Candice plans to solve the mystery her Grandmother started to unravel with the help of her neighbor. This book is action packed, and can be classified as mystery, realistic, adventure, and historical fiction all in one!

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Your Public Library: Your Work-Home Away from Working At Home

You may have heard of the side hustle. Common to those under 40, and especially those under 30, a side hustle is often a second job, an individual’s true passion, or a self-employed pursuit they tackle during weekends and late nights when they’re free from their “day job.” Writers, designers, crafters, nonprofit volunteers and aspiring entrepreneurs squeeze in whatever time they find to put their nose to the grindstone and typically glue their eyes to a laptop screen.

Ferndale Library

Pew Research showed that, in 2016, Millennials were visiting libraries and accessing library websites significantly more than their elders, like Gen-X (age 36-51) and Baby Boomers (52-70). Measuring library usage became more nuanced with an expansion into tech resources, primarily free access to the Internet. It’s not surprising that since a majority of those working in the “gig economy” (age 18-35) are using their library more, with a consistent need to communicate with clients, editors, or collaborators via email, Facebook, or Skype. With current trends finding more people working from home or on the go, an optimal proxy workspace, a space that can feel like home, is crucial. Enter: public libraries.


While big chain coffee shops may have eagerly branded themselves as a “third place” for those wanting to be productive outside of work and home, millennials are catching on that the public library is an even more satisfactory spot to get things done. Gig economy workers can even use the library as a launchpad. Computer labs and wi-fi access allow for effective job searches and resume updates. Plus, there’s the physical resources of books–books about entrepreneurship, job markets, the financial market, and DIY organizational skills. All of that, and no requirement to buy a $5 cup of sugary coffee.


Perhaps best of all – Millennial (or Gen-Y) age parents are consistent attendees of early literacy programming, bringing their toddlers and young children along for interactive programs centered around reading. In an era where excessive screen time is a legitimate risk, millennials appear to appreciate the importance of “in real life” interaction  for their children.


The Ferndale Area District Library’s motto has long been: “Cool. Friendly. Free.” And it consistently qualifies for all three! The library’s wi-fi is open to anyone, and there’s only a meager charge to print off documents. If you need to get work done and are looking for some peace and quiet, and maybe a few cool programs, too! Look no further. The millennials have already seemed to figure it out. It’s the best gig in town.


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Launching New Online Catalog on May 29! 

We’ll be upgrading to a new shared online catalog and checkout system during Memorial Day Weekend.  In addition to the features you love about our current catalog, the new system, CARL, will offer easier searching, more relevant results, a catalog designed just for kids, innovative account features, a new mobile catalog, and more!

But this massive upgrade means we’ll be closed Saturday, May 26 through Tuesday, May 29, allowing for millions of records to be transferred successfully.  This will also mean that MeLCat services have been suspended, with a tentative resume date of July 1, 2018.

MeLCat requests will not be allowed during this period, but any previously checked out MeLCat items can still be returned. Thank you for your cooperation as we get ready for our new system.

But don’t worry–any and all holds will transfer to the new system.

A few other announcements: After May 29th, library PINs will be restricted to six or less numbers. Any patrons who currently have a PIN that contains letters or are larger than six numbers will be assigned the last four digits of their phone numbers. When logging into your account in the new catalog, you will also have the option to create an EZ username and password.

Thank you for your patience as we get ready for our new system.  We expect it to be a great improvement for our Library and for YOU!

We’ll be taking care of this big migration over a holiday weekend. The library would have normally been closed on May 28th anyhow, in observance of Memorial Day. But, take note, the library will be closed May 26–May 29 to upgrade our catalog and checkout system.
During this time:
No items will be due during the closure and no fines will accrue.
All of your holds will carry over to the new system.
You will not be able to access your account
You will not be able to renew materials.
The catalog will not be available to search for materials until May 29.

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Sometimes Your Library Saves The Day

…or at least Saves The Document!  

Ferndale Library 

Statistics aren’t stimulating. They’re just dry, dense, and maybe abstract. So it’s no wonder that public libraries can have a tough time proving their impact. Because while local businesses can point to something more apparent like “sales,” the Ferndale Area District Library, and other public institutions, have to hang their hats on stats!

Last week, when an ice-storm brought havoc to power lines and wi-fi connections of SE Michigan, more than 800 Ferndale residents wound up visiting the library on a single Monday, with the majority seeking access to our free wi-fi. Folks needed to check and respond to important emails, print off documents, and even file last minute tax returns.

20180419_153110Meanwhile, it’s noteworthy that Ferndale has averaged adding nearly 200 new library card users per month over the last six months, and were visited by 12,500 people, be they cardholders or just folks seeking Internet access, during the month of April.

When the power goes out, when you can’t access the Internet at home, if you’re stuck during a weekend from work and need to do a little overtime, or whatever the case may be…, public libraries can save the day for you. In the age of Google & Facebook, a prevailing conception seems to be that folks don’t need a library like they once did….The thing is, there may be lots of people who have concluded they’ll never need a library…until they do!  And those are the kinds of visitors we saw on Sunday, Monday & Tuesday, last week, while many residents awaited restoration of electricity.

Are you worried you’re in a pinch? You’re not…
……Not as long as you can get to the library. Or, if you need something printed and are on the go, you can even SEND your documents TO the library, with our new mobile printing app. Anyone can send a print job to the library’s print release station from a mobile device, tablet or computer. Black and white prints are $.10 per page and color prints are $.50. No library card or residency required. You can even print a boarding pass for your upcoming flight! Visit with your mobile device’s browser and click “Mobile Print Service” to get the app, or follow that same step from your laptop or desktop to get started.

new scanning station

Did we mention we also added 600 new items for circulation in April? Because, yes, we can always be called upon to help print, scan, fax, or provide wi-fi, but there’s also a lot of stuff–books, movies, cds, dvds, kids books, audiobooks, and we didn’t even get to the digital files you can download! But we don’t want this press release to go on too much longer – we know stats are boring!

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Interview with Derf Backderf

DerfBackderf_BWstraightInterview: Derf Backderf

Derf Backderf can’t recall a time when he wasn’t drawing. He considers it almost like a “compulsion,” but his inspiration came from wanting to tell stories.  “Storytelling is what comics are,” said Backderf, “so when I first became fascinated with comic books at age 10, that’s when I started thinking about how to tell stories.”



Backderf is best known for his 2012 graphic novel My Friend Dahmer, an award winning, and international bestselling memoir artfully detailing his high school days north of Akron while he was acquainted with a troubled young man named Jeffrey Dahmer.

On Thurs., Apr 12, Backderf visited the Ringwald Theatre in Ferndale to meet participants of The Reading Collective and discuss his lifelong love of drawing, as well as the difficulties encountered in pitching this particular book, this particular subject, to publishers.

“Oh, it was near impossible to sell,” said Backderf. “(My Friend Dahmer) was simply a book that could not be pitched. All a publisher had to hear were the words: ‘Jeffrey Dahmer’ and the first thing that came to mind was murder, cannibalism, and necrophilia, and it was ‘NO THANKS!’”

Backderf’s memoir is just a snapshot of time: illustrations of his days as a high schooler in the mid/late 70’s, becomes a frank and forthright coming of age story wherein our main character keeps an uneasy eye on the introverted, sullen and socially ostracized student, ignored or overlooked in the corner of the cafeteria. “The emotions are very raw, and right there on the page for all to see,” said Backderf.

“This project was, at one time or another, rejected by every publisher in the biz,” Backderf said, “which, of course, I take great delight in reminding them of now. What that taught me was I had to finish it before trying to sell it. That’s what I submitted, the completed first draft. My belief was that a publisher would start to read it out of curiosity, get pulled in and not be able to tear themselves away…and then I’d have them!”

In college, Backderf fell into a journalism major. He started out as a political cartoonist for The Ohio State Lantern and became a staff cartoonist for professional publications like the Cleveland Plain Dealer. In the 90’s, he served in the newsroom at the Akron Beacon Journal in the 90’s and produced a weekly comic strip (The City) up until 2014, which was featured in several publications like The Village Voice and The Chicago Reader. His first graphic novel, 2009’s Punk Rock & Trailer Parks covered the punk rock music scene of Akron. “Mostly what I look for are stories that haven’t yet been told,” said Backderf. “That interests me.”

Backderf said that most people who object to reading My Friend Dahmer are objecting to the concept. “They think it’s a story about (Dahmer)’s crimes, or something that glorifies him, or they think it’s a sleazy, exploitative comic book, like a Serial Killer Archie, or something. It is, of course, none of those things. I don’t have a lot of patience for those who think a work has no right to exist, especially when they know nothing about it.”  

Local libraries like Berkley, Ferndale, Huntington Woods and Oak Park regularly host literary events and book clubs, but it has usually been rare for a graphic novel to receive a spotlight, as it has with The Reading Collective. Maybe it’s been a while since you visited your local library—but you’d be surprised at the expanded graphic novel section, along with an ever widening endorsement of the art form throughout the literary world.

“We’re in a golden age (of graphic novels),” Backderf said. “All I meet are happy throngs of fans and very supportive institutions, such as libraries and schools, and even museums. The media is coming around on the worth of comics, even if they still have an unhealthy obsession with the lowbrow superdude stuff. Attitudes towards comics are still less enlightened than those in parts of Europe, but I see a change.”

Backderf said that this memoir pushed him to raise the bar for his art, particularly because it necessitated a slower pace. “My other books have a frenetic energy, whereas MFD is a slow, steady march to the edge of the abyss. I struggled with that. I had to force myself to slow down and to insert pauses into the page. It was an artistic challenge, but a fun one. I like to push myself. When I decided to make (graphic novels), I approached it with a motto of ‘no fear.’ I wouldn’t shy away from any drawing challenge. Whatever the story called on me to draw, I’d throw myself at it, whether I thought I had the chops to pull it off or not.”

Even though he called himself “an old warhorse,” Backderf emphasized that even that since he didn’t publish his first book until he was 50, he’s still a “fairly young” comics creator. “So, it’s all new to me and the learning curve is great, but that also means the improvement from book to book, at least in terms of drawing, is great too. It’s a lot of fun. I feel like I’ve been given new life.”

This book “put a supercharge” into Backderf’s career and that success, after 30 years of working, gives him an appreciation of “every little thing.” Last fall, as a featured guest at the CXC Comics Festival in Columbus, produced in partnership with his alma mater, Ohio State’s Cartoon Museum, there was a screening of the recently released film adaptation of My Friend Dahmer. When the credits rolled and his name popped on the screen, the sold out crowd cheered. “I felt like a rock star,” said Backderf.

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Samastah Yoga’s Sound Bath (and some Yoga Books to Check Out)

We’ve just hosted another ‘Yoga for Beginners’ program at our library last Tuesday. At the bottom of this post, you can find five prime titles that you can check out from the library if you are interested in learning more, or trying Yoga for yourself…

BUT, if you’d like to get to know Ferndale’s newest Yoga studio, then you can read this feature by the library’s in-house journalist, Jeff Milo, about Samastah Yoga…


Samastah Yoga opened its doors to Ferndale two months ago. It’s owned/overseen by two local Yogis, Joseph Dugan and Maura O’Meallie, former instructors of Yoga Home–which was formerly located in the same space that they renovated and re-energized, at 22751 Woodward Ave.

Dugan is part of an improvisational music group called Sura – and they’ll be central to the energy in the room for an upcoming Sound Bath on Sat., April 28, hosted at Samastah. Attendees can participate in the Sound Bath by just intuitively responding to the subtle vibrations of the music and the individuals throughout the room, be it meditation, drawing, dancing, writing, or just staying completely still–all are welcome.

After the Sound Bath, Dugan, O’Meallie, and their fellow Samastah instructors will have a vegan community chili cook-off! Entering chili cooks are encouraged to donate $5 towards a local youth organization. Meanwhile, its $20 for members and advance ticket buyers to participate in the Sound Bath, or $25 for anyone curious to experience it.
If you have questions, especially about the chili cook-off, you can reach Joe & Maura at

28379842_412910119130743_289448428086186431_nSound Bath^^^

You can anticipate more events that infuse music with Yoga practices, but that’s just the start for Samastah…


“Creating a sense of community is something both of us really care about,” said Dugan. “We also hope to have a variety of speakers and workshops that might not necessarily pertain to Yoga.”

“We already host community dinners,” O’Meallie said, “and we want to do more, like movie nights, even slumber parties. We just want to use the space and let the community in, and get people who aren’t just in it for yoga, but who want a sense of community.”

They host Gentle classes, All Levels classes, as well as faster paced Vinyasa classes, and Nāda classes (which primarily involve sound). “We also have Breathing class, Meditation class,” said Dugan. “We want to open it up and be accessible. Not everyone’s in Yoga for the physical aspects. ‘Asana’ is supposed to prepare you to sit longer, breathe deeper; its when the preoccupations of the mind stop…when your mind stops moving–you’re in Yoga!”

Dugan and O’Meallie met in New Mexico two years ago. They have been instructors for several years and each trained, respectively, over in India. Yoga, as well as physical, mental and spiritual health & well-being have been a big part of their lives for a long time -but now, as owners of Ferndale’s newest Yoga studio, its become an even bigger part.

“People are looking for different things through Yoga,” said O’Meallie. “Within it all, there’s so much, getting stronger, working on physical ailments, the spiritual side…”

Dugan recalled a recent conversation with Namaste Yoga’s owner Linda Makowski, concerning the overarching healing element of practicing Yoga, as he came to the conclusion that  “…there’s enough of us suffering for all of us (Yoga studios) to continue working–we don’t need to compete over the suffering people, we just need to get out there.”

Samastah is eager to bring a fresh and, above all, welcoming vibe to the space at 9 Mile & Woodward. Folks may have attended classes in this space before, but a change has come with Dugan and O’Meallie’s community-centric approach. “Really nice folks all around us,” said Dugan, “–the Ananda Center down the street is amazing, Namaste’s a beautiful place, House of Yoga in Berkley is fantastic…”

But back to chili…. and Sura. This should be a sensational experience for mind, body…., the stomach and tastebuds, the ears, as well as the soul.



Here in the Ferndale Library, you can check out any of these titles….


follow the links below to our online catalog……

The Yoga Handbook

The Science of Yoga

Anatomy of Hatha Yoga

Gentle Yoga: Osteoporosis

Yoga: Mind & Body 

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