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The Awesome Mitten-Ferndale Area District Library

Ferndale Area District Library Makes Libraries Fun Again

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    This year, the previously named Ferndale Public Library transitioned into the Ferndale Area District Library. While the change might not be immediately felt by guests, according to library director Jessica Keyser, it is a positive step in the right direction. This change, which makes the library a partner with the Ferndale Public Schools and the City of Ferndale, means the library can seek additional funding, add additional communities, and ultimately provide more services.

    The Awesome Mitten-Ferndale Area District Library
    Photo courtesy of Cheryl Boland

    Last year, the library garnered some impressive statistics:

    • Approximately 160,000 people visited the library.
    • There were 309 programs, with a total attendance of 6,440 people.
    • 175,766 items were circulated including e-books, print books, DVDs, CDs, and audio books.
    • 47,000 people used the computers.
    • 10,077 Ferndale residents had active library cards.
    The Awesome Mitten-Ferndale Area District Library
    Photo courtesy of Cheryl Boland

    The Library’s mission is to “inform, enrich, entertain, and empower.” In order to accomplish this, the library implements traditional programming such as the youth summer reading program that works to prevent “summer learning slide” by keeping kids excited about reading via themed programs with prizes and events. Also, the library utilizes less traditional methods like a cutting edge program such as the monthly book party, that meets at a local restaurant, or the monthly sewing club.

    The Awesome Mitten-Ferndale Area District Library
    Photo courtesy of Cheryl Boland

    One notable way the library is particularly innovative is its music program. The Start Here Saturdays program, running through the fall and winter, is an after-hours concert featuring local music. The program began in 2010 and is now a model used by other libraries around the country. In fact, Kelly Bennett, the library’s Circulation Supervisor who also spearheads the music program has presented at a statewide and a national conference on the topic of how libraries can incorporate concerts into their events.

    The Awesome Mitten-Ferndale Area District Library
    Photo courtesy of Cheryl Boland

    Keyser feels the library strives to be “the living room of the community, a safe place where people can feel inspired.” Part of being a safe place is welcoming youth; teens gather at the library after school and on the weekends. One Wednesday a month, the library hosts a teen open mic concert where participants sing, perform spoken word, and read poetry.

    The Awesome Mitten-Ferndale Area District Library
    Photo courtesy of Kelly Bennett, Ferndale Area District Library

    The library also hosts rotating art exhibits consisting of four special exhibits per year, usually featuring local artists. Exhibits are kicked off with a reception for the artists to celebrate the show.

    To learn more about what the library has to offer, check out their Ferndale Area District Library schedule of events.

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