Library hires East Lansing native as new director

By: Mike Koury | Woodward Talk | Published April 26, 2017

 Jenny Marr was selected by the Ferndale Area District Library Board of Directors to be the new library director. She will start her new job June 5.

Jenny Marr was selected by the Ferndale Area District Library Board of Directors to be the new library director. She will start her new job June 5.

Photo provided by Jenny Marr


FERNDALE — The Ferndale Area District Library has hired a new director who officially will begin working in her new capacity in June.

The Board of Directors has selected Jenny Marr, who currently works as the director of the Morrill Public Library in Hiawatha, Kansas, as the new head of the Ferndale Area District Library. She will start on Monday, June 5. The job pays $70,000 to $82,000 with benefits.

Marr, an East Lansing native and Wayne State University graduate, previously worked at the Grace A. Dow Memorial Library in Midland for nine years before working as a director in Kansas for the past five. She said she was ready to move back home and was thrilled to get the job.

“It’s a real responsibility,” she said. “The community entrusts the library to be their place for freedom of information and, you know, a community center. So I feel definitely that responsibility has been placed on me, and I’m anxious to meet that. But it’s very exciting. I just think Ferndale is such a vibrant community. I’m really looking forward to coming and joining in.”

Board President Judeen Bartos said that the board felt Marr’s level of experience and expertise were the most outstanding of the candidates that the board interviewed.

“We actually had four very well-qualified and excellent finalists that we interviewed,” she said, “but Jenny just rose above with her background in being a director in Hiawatha, Kansas, and the various initiatives she put forth there.”

Bartos referenced Marr’s experience in strategic planning, leading a staff and outreach to the community as areas that will be beneficial in leading the Ferndale library.

“We found her creativity and her forward vision very compelling,” Bartos said. “We felt that she had a lot to offer in that direction and would be able to lead us into the next five, 10 years or however long she would stay, but we just felt like her vision and her forward thinking were a good fit for Ferndale.”

For her part, Marr really likes the Ferndale community and said she knows from working at a library in a small town how much the community supports it.

“I was really impressed with the Ferndale community,” she said. “It’s very obvious how much people care about the growth of the community, the people in the community and lots of things that are going on there.”

Marr already has had a chance to meet with both the staff and the library board, which talked a lot about wanting to increase services at the library in the future.

“They had a wonderful vote of confidence in the way of the millage that was passed last August, and that’ll be starting soon, and they’re eager to meet those expectations that the public has on that increase in funding,” she said. “I heard a lot of good ideas about how to increase services, and I think that’s really going to be what we work on first.”