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 Much like other libraries, Jeff Milo, a longtime employee and user of the library, feels the Ferndale Area District Library has outgrown the original definition of what a library was and now is more akin to a community center.

Much like other libraries, Jeff Milo, a longtime employee and user of the library, feels the Ferndale Area District Library has outgrown the original definition of what a library was and now is more akin to a community center.

File photo by Deb Jacques


Ferndale Area District Library celebrates 90 years in 2020

By: Mike Koury | Woodward Talk | Published March 3, 2020

 In a photo captured in 1954, library board members Jeannette Grow, Bess Tewksbury and Ann Dawson are shown inside the  then-newly constructed library building.

In a photo captured in 1954, library board members Jeannette Grow, Bess Tewksbury and Ann Dawson are shown inside the then-newly constructed library building.

Photo provided by the Ferndale Historical Society

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FERNDALE — The Ferndale Area District Library is celebrating its 90th anniversary in 2020 and is inviting people to attend a party to help commemorate the occasion.

The party will be held 7:30-9 p.m. Friday, March 6, at the library, 222 E. Nine Mile Road.

To help celebrate, music for the event will be provided by the Detroit Party Marching Band.

The library first opened as the Ferndale Public Library in November 1930 at 130 E. Nine Mile Road, the library’s website states.

It shared the location with the city’s Board of Education. After 24 years, the library moved to a new, albeit nearby, building at its current location, 222 E. Nine Mile Road.

“When they built the new library, they got volunteers to carry the books from (one) library to the other,” said Ferndale Historical Society President Jan Froggatt. The library’s website said this was done with the help of Lincoln High School students, Boy Scout troops, Girl Scout troops, Campfire Girl groups and the general public.

As the actual birthday of the library isn’t until November, Jeff Milo, from the Ferndale Area District Library, said they’ll be “lightly celebrating” the 90th anniversary all year. The library also launched a podcast, called “A Little Too Quiet,” to help discuss the library’s history.

Milo will have worked at the library for 10 years in March. Before his current stint, he worked there for a period in the late 1990s and early 2000s and has seen how the library underwent its technological transition over the years.

“I was here kind of in the late ’90s, before you saw libraries jump into the 21st century with technological advancements and expanding the computer lab and offering scanning services and getting into e-books and getting into offering online resources and online databases,” he said.

As the FADL and other libraries made their way into the 21st century, Milo said, they’ve become more akin to community centers than what they were previously. It became a multipurpose place that can host a variety of activities, from book research to kids magic shows to local artist receptions.

When I just think of the library now, I think of it as a place where you can encounter culture and a variety of it,” he said. “On any given week, there’s going to be something interesting happening here. … Its definition has evolved, and the best part of it is, I don’t have a definition for it because it keeps evolving to fit a new one.”

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