(Crystal A. Proxmire, 2/10/2011)
Once upon a time, Ferndale had a small Library without much space or structure for technology. A group of friends got together, and helped pass dedicated funding to have the Library grow both in size and in services. They built a beautiful new addition, including a pretty plant-covered, eco-friendly roof and a colorful, fun space for the kids.
While all this was going on, the books and the Librarians were kept in a warehouse down by the railroad tracks. They passed their time in the spacious, yet industrial-feeling temporary library by coming up with great ideas for how to keep kids and adults in the community interested in reading.
They applied to be part of a grant program called The Big Read, and spent the entire month of March celebrating books – and in particular Dashiell Hammett’s detective novel “The Maltese Falcon.” They reached out to the entire community. They put free copies of the book at businesses, schools and public places. They held a series of Book Parties at the Emory (http://www.ferndale115.com/20100401bigread.html), had an author talk at the Ferndale High School (http://www.ferndale115.com/20100401writer.html), and an art exhibit at Paramount Bank (Now Level One) called Art About Books (http://www.ferndale115.com/19p15gallery.html).
There were also events held at the schools, with the Ferndale Seniors, GoComedy, other establishments and of course at the temporary Library itself. Once all this celebrating died down, they started back up with the opening of the new Library (http://www.ferndale115.com/20100626gala.html). But then it closed because of a flood, and once again our Librarian friends have needed something to pass away the blues while the Library has been closed.
What they have come up with is another month-long book love-fest, this time focusing on John Connolly’s The Book of Lost Things. “We have about 400 copies of the book to give away and we’re planning a series of great programs, movies, and discussions, capped off by an appearance by John Connolly himself. We’re very excited,” said Library Director Doug Raber, who will be leaving his position before the fun starts in March. Details about the month-long celebration can be found on the Library Website – http://www.ferndale.lib.mi.us. Also read The Ferndale 115 News article on Connolly and his anticipated visit – http://oaklandcounty115.com/2011/01/24/best-selling-irish-author-john-connolly-to-speak-at-ferndale-reads/ .
Eve Foley, Darlene Hellenberg, Jeff Milo Lindsey Harnish and Kelly Bennett have been putting together a series of You Tube videos to promote the giant reading party. “The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly has a lot of fairy tale themes and characters, so we thought it appropriate to use these themes in our videos,” Bennett said.
The Library is expected to open at the end of this month, and then the fun begins again and all the eager readers in Ferndale live happily ever after.