Jordan Wright is the new director of the Ferndale Area District Library. He had  served as the interim director since the beginning of the year.

Jordan Wright is the new director of the Ferndale Area District Library. He had served as the interim director since the beginning of the year.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

Longtime Ferndale library employee hired as new director

By: Mike Koury | Woodward Talk | Published February 6, 2024


FERNDALE — A new library director has begun his tenure at the Ferndale Area District Library.

Jordan Wright, a longtime employee of the library, was hired as the Ferndale Area District Library’s new director and began work Jan. 22. Wright has worked with the library since 2013, when he began as a volunteer.

“(Becoming director) is beyond what I ever imagined when I started here,” he said. “It means a lot. I’ve made a lot of special connections in this community and I’m happy to continue serving in a different role.”

Before being hired as director, Wright, at different points, served as its head of youth services and assistant director. He also has worked at the libraries in Royal Oak and Berkley while still with Ferndale.

For Wright, being a librarian is all about service and he said he feels really connected to Ferndale.

“I feel great about this. In my time here, I can confidently say I’ve almost done every single job in the building. So I’ve got a really well-rounded view of what the library is as a whole and what we need to do going forward,” he said.

Wright succeeds Jenny Marr, who had been the director for around seven years. Marr left Ferndale to become the executive director of the 13-branch Capital Area District Libraries in Ingham and Eaton counties. She was credited for her “pivotal role in advancing FADL’s mission and vision while working to expand library services to Ferndale residents.”

“Jenny started in 2017, shortly after Ferndale citizens approved a millage increase,” Board President Judeen Bartos said in a prepared statement. “She immediately set out achieving its objectives.”

Under Marr’s leadership, the library expanded its hours, staying open seven days a week; staff wages and numbers were increased along with the library’s circulating collections, events and outreach programs. Marr also led several building projects, including a remodeled youth area and playroom, new exterior signage, and interior wayfinding.

“I am so grateful to have been a part of this vibrant community,” Marr said in a prepared statement. “Ferndale welcomed me in, and it has been a home to me for so many years now. I’m honored that the Library Board entrusted me with leading the library. We have worked closely together over the years through service-centered strategic planning to make FADL a well-respected and loved community center.”

Wright was approved by the library board in a unanimous vote Jan. 18. He had been serving as the library’s interim director since the beginning of the year.

“I’ve long admired Jordan’s work ethic, professionalism and integrity,” Bartos said in an email to the Woodward Talk. “It really was not a matter of if he could be a director, but when and where. We are delighted that circumstances allowed it to be with Ferndale’s library.”

Wright highlighted a diverse slate of programs that had been started at the library by Marr and the staff that he wants to continue to foster, such as nontraditional services like off-site book clubs and trivia nights, its seed library for local gardeners, and new collections of rentals such as video games for library members.

“More strategically, we’ve got some big things on the horizon,” he said. “We need to go up for a millage in Fall of (2026). I’m not sure when we’ll go for it yet. But I want to spend the next couple years serving the community about their needs and their vision for the library and then using that to make plans for the future.”