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Yes, the oddly textured from grade school is back.  And far from the triumphs and humiliations of the playground, it now offers a chance to benefit some of the best causes in Ferndale.  We are looking to put together a winning team from among the Friends of the Library.   This means not only Friends members but also their family, friends, kickball-skilled acquaintances, and hopefully a few ringers who played in this year’s “World Kickball Championship.”

The procedure is simple:  We gather at Martin Road Park at 10am on Saturday August 13 and play a few games for a few hours.  Cost is $20 per person, but you get a t-shirt and all the rest of the money goes to the charitable groups we care about (Ferncare, Friends of the Library, the Ferndale Community Foundation, Ferndale Youth Assistance).

If you would like to play (and I hope you do), let me know as soon as possible, and let me know your t-shirt size so we can order the right amounts in advance.  It would be best, therefore, to know by Sunday the 7th.

If you want more information, let us know at or take a look here: kickball flyer 2011.  Feel free also to forward it to anybody who would be interested.  We look forward to playing games with you!

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In the last year we’ve opened a new library, survived a flood, reopened an even newer library, built a Friend’s store from scratch (twice), helped with a dozen library events, and supported library efforts at all levels.

One year after last year’s successful “reboot,” join us to celebrate the Friends’ successes, see friends, plan for the future, and vote in new officers at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 18 in the Library’s Community Room, 222 E. Nine Mile.

A nominating committee is preparing a list of candidates for the board positions.  We will be looking to our members for a new president and treasurer.  If you are interested in these positions or any other opportunities to get involved with the Friends’ board, please contact nominations committee chair Bridget Deegan-Krause at bridgetmail {at] gmail [dot} com.

Many many thanks to those who attended last night’s fantastic party and especially to those Friends members who made it happen, those local businesses that contributed generously to the cause and many many more.  As lovely as the new library is, it pales in comparison to the beauty of the community that assembled last night and will continue to gather for years to come!

Next up: The Grand Opening which, permit permitting, will happen on July 10.  More on that soon!

All donations and memberships to the Friends of the Library are now officially tax deductible.  In fact they have been so for some time–our status was “pending” but still valid–but our official certification came today.  So let the memberships roll in.  Especially since they score you a free ticket to our Sneak Peek and more tickets for only $1o each.

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Thanks to the 25 Friends who joined us for our first general membership meeting and to the dozen others who wished us well and wished they could join us.  We passed bylaws, made plans for the future.  Congratulations to the incoming slate of Friends officers:

  • President, Kevin Yezbick
  • Vice President, Kevin Deegan-Krause
  • Secretary, Joanne Scharich
  • Treasurer, Matt Nowaczok
  • Special Events, Beth O’Connor
  • Membership, Kelly Farrah
  • Publicity, Michael Pierce
  • Programming (James Hanks, Pending acceptance)
  • Bookstore (Don DeCenzo, Pending acceptance)

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Just a note that since the Kulick Center and the librar(ies) will be closed on Sunday, June 13, we will be holding our 2010 General Membership Meeting at A.J.’s Cafe, 240 W. Nine Mile in Ferndale at 3pm.  We promise to be done by 4pm.  While the first part of our agenda involves the less-than-thrilling approval of new bylaws, etc., the second half will involve the very exciting plans for the Sneak Peek for the new building and the grand opening, so please do join us.

And if you’re interested in how things are progressing, our fantastic library staff has started to let us know via YouTube in what they promise to be a regular series:

24 hours + Facebook + 5 emails (+ lots of forwarding) + active community = FlashMob success

Thanks to many Ferndale, Oak Park and Pleasant Ridge residents who turned out for our impromptu picture session.  In addition to nearly the entire city council and our county commissioner, our very-short-notice appeal drew families, seniors, and all manner of present and future Friends, nearly a hundred in all.  Thanks, too, to Ann Warner, who is not only the President of the Library Board but also the artist behind the camera lens with the patience to wait while we all gathered, waved and shouted.

Friends of the Ferndale Library Gather to Celebrate T-Minus-One Month Until the Opening of the New Library. Photographer: Ann Warner

Photographer: Ann Warner

Photographer: Ann Warner

If you should encounter Ferndale Friends editor Steffie Loveless as she bikes around Ferndale, suggest to her that this picture would make an excellent front cover for our almost-namesake in the world of journalism.

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Thanks to the three dozen people who showed up for the Friends of the Ferndale Library Revival meeting.  We gathered, met one another, formed committees and began planning our work for the big year to come.

If you were able to come, you should get an email and letter soon to discuss regular meetings and other details.  If you were not able to make it, no worries.  Simply click on the “Join!” link above and follow the instructions.  Whether you want to be a friend or not you can also express your interest in how you would like to help out by clicking the “Volunteer!” link above.  We look forward to working with you to making our library’s community as strikingly beautiful as its new physical space.

And to whet your appetite, here is some video of the library itself. One of the advantage of being a Friend is that you will be invited to the first sneak peek of the library, tentatively planned for June 26 (assuming the issuance of an occupancy permit):

…As in both “Event” and “To Do List.”  Please join us tomorrow, Sunday, April 25th at the library at 3pm to bring the Friends of the Library back to life.  The key to the strength of the revived Friends group will be a broad base of residents working together.  One of the secrets to success is a clear set of responsibilities and, where possible, specific job descriptions.  When you come tomorrow, the co-chairs of the committees below will talk briefly about what their committees will do and how you can get involved.  We hope to get people involved in a wide variety of capacities depending on their skills and interests.  Below you can see a brief list of what we need Friends to help us with.

If you cannot attend the Revival meeting we still seek your help.  If you are interested in volunteering, simply check out our online volunteer form and check the boxes for jobs you are interested in or send an email to

Special Events

This committee proposes, plans and coordinates logistics for Friends parties, events and other large gatherings.  Works closely with membership and publicity.

  • Co-Chairs: Melissa Wilson and Beth O’Connor
  • Job descriptions:
    • Sneak Peek Invitation Coordinator: Create invitation list for Sneak Peek, coordinate mailers, receipt of invitations, will-call list. 20 hours per month until June.
    • Food and Drink Coordinator: Work with vendors of food and beverage, obtain donations and in-kind contributions. 20 hours per month until June.
    • Entertainment Coordinator: Find performers and coordinate timing, facility needs, and payment for Sneak Peek and Grand Opening.  10-15 hours per month until July.
    • Decoration and Environment: Coordinate decorations, signage (in-library and including large over-street sign). 10-15 hours per month until July
    • Fundraiser Coordinator: Devise and coordinate small-scale fundraisers for Sneak Peek and Grand Opening including 50-50 raffle, picture booths, silent auction.  10-20 hours per month until June.
    • Tours Coordinator: Coordinate tours during Sneak Peek, Senior Week, Grand Opening and during other days in initial month, find volunteer tour leaders and develop tour script and materials.  10-2o hour per month until August.
    • Tour Guides (several needed): Lead tours of new facility as defined above. 5-10 hours per month in July.
    • Video Production: Coordinate production of brief video on value of libraries for presentation at Sneak Peek
    • Publicity Committee Liaison: Work with publicity committee to produce and distribute all necessary publicity materials. 20 hours per month until July.
    • Membership Committee Liaison: Work with membership committee to find volunteers for tasks above.  10-20 hours per month until July.


This committee proposes, plans and coordinates book, music, arts and cultural programs for library patrons.  Works closely with publicity and the library director.

  • Co-Chairs: Kevin Deegan-Krause, James Hanks, Kevin Yezbick
  • Job descriptions:
    • Program Leader (several needed): Takes the lead in devising and/or implementing plan for specific program or program series (speakers, movies, performances, exibitions).  10-20 hours per month during program period.
    • Program Assistants (many needed): Works with program leader to invite participants, coordinate schedules, work with publicity committee to attract audience. 5-10 hours per month during program.
    • Membership Liaison: Work with membership committee to recruit audience members and volunteers (see below). 5-10 hours per month


This committee collects book donations; sorts, organizes and sells books in the library’s bookstore and the annual book sale.  Works closely with membership and the library staff.

  • Co-chairs: Don DeCenzo and Jeannie Davis
  • Job descriptions:
    • Sale Coordinator: Set dates and conditions for annual sale and smaller sales, and for meetings and work periods leading up to the sales.  5 hours per month, 40 per month before annual sale.
    • Store Coordinator: Coordinate hours and workers for the store, oversee plan for shelving and display of materials.  5-10 hours per month.
    • Donation Delivery: Available to pick up donations from bookstores, yard sales and other sources and bring them to the library.  Sporadic, up to 5 hours per month.
    • Donation Sorters (many needed).  Organize received books in library storage space according to category.  Variable 1-10 hours per month.
    • Cashier. Handle receipt of cash at book sales, and store during store hours.  Devise system for payment of Friends items with library circulation staff.  5 hours per month.
    • Store clerk/Book sale clerk.  Staff book store and book sale.  Variable 2-10 hours per month.


This committee develops membership, coordinates recruitment efforts and data, tracks members and dues, and maintains communications among members;

  • Co-chairs: Veronica Bielat and Kelly Farrah
  • Job descriptions
    • Program Committee Liaison:  Maintain connection with program committee, and make sure Friends membership information is promoted as appropriate at all Friends of the Library events (see above). 5-10 hours per month
    • Publicity Committee Liaison: Develop and maintain inventory of Friends marketing information including brochures, flyers, and other materials as appropriate to market and promote friends membership. Maintain Friends display in the library and the Friends bookstore area (see below). 5-10 hours per month.
    • Membership Welcome Team Member: Develop, maintain and distribute “welcome packets” for new Friends members, including follow up with those new members who indicate they want to be active in the organization. 10 hours per month in initial month, 5 hours per month thereafter.
    • New Member Outreach Team Member: Actively seek out new members in particular settings (organizations, assemblies).  Encourage existing Friends to recruit friends and neighbors.  5 hours per week.
    • Meeting Coordinator: Schedule meetings, facilitate needed materials and refreshments.
    • Membership Committee Coordinator: Maintain communication among all members of membership committee, take minutes at meetings, liaison with Friends leadership. 10-20 hours per month.


This committee provides basic public relations, marketing, web and social networking services.  Works closely with all committees and coordinates with library marketing director.

  • Initial organizers: Bridget Deegan-Krause and Michael Pierce
  • Job descriptions:
    • Graphic designers: Produce graphics, event invitations, posters, flier templates.  5-10 hours per month.
    • Webmaster: Maintain web-based list of events and activities and engage on Friends website and social media sites and engage directly with participants. 10 hour per month.
    • Press liaison: Contact local news sources and others regarding Friends events, issue press releases.  5-10 hours per month.
    • Downtown liaison: Work with local businesses, government and nonprofits to post flyers and find other means for increasing visibility of Friends events.  Maintain Friends entries on community calendars. 5-10 hours per month.
    • Schools liaison: Work with school district and private schools to increase visibility of friends activities. 5 hours per month.
    • Membership Committee Liaison: Communicates with Friends members in coordination with Membership Committee (see above)

Special Projects

Not a committee but a set of tasks coordinated by the Friends in close cooperation with the Library Director.  Potential tasks include:

  • Processing library material for the move (May and June)
  • Providing volunteer support for the reference desk, circulation desk and material stacks.
  • Working with the library board on Fund Raising (eventually to become a Friends Fund Raising committee)
  • Developing plans for tutoring, book delivery to the homebound and related service (eventually to become a Service Committee)
  • Helping the library to assess and price used furniture and other items that will not be used in the new library and to prepare these for sale or auction.
Develop, maintain and distribute “welcome packets” for new Friends members, including follow up with those new members who indicate they want to be active in the organization.

Once initial tasks have been accomplished, we envision adding a Fundraising Committee to raise funds for the library and Friends activities and an Outreach Committee to engage in library-related social service activities.