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Fourth in our monthly series of local experts talking about interesting stuff
Wednesday, February 1, 2012, 7pm-8pm, Ferndale Public Library, 222 E. Nine Mile, Ferndale,MI

Convicting the Innocent

In the last few years research has identified at least 900 official exonerations of people who were convicted of felonies, although they had nothing to do with the crimes. In some cases no crime was every committed. Researchers believe that many more miscarriages of justice occur. A good deal of work has uncovered reasons why this happens. It is often the result of mistaken eyewitness identification, but a dozen other factors are involved. About 50 innocence projects now work to exonerated falsely convicted people and many states and police departments are taking steps to make criminal investigations more accurate.

Professor Marv Zalman, teaches classes on constitutional law (criminal procedure), criminal justice policy and wrongful conviction. Most of his research and writing in recent years has been focused on the topic of wrongful convictions.  He has authored a textbook, Criminal Procedure: Constitution and Society, Sixth Edition (Prentice Hall, 2011) in addition to numerous research articles, chapters, and encyclopedia articles on wrongful conviction.

Just passing on a note from our fabulous children’s librarian Jillean McCommons

I would like to get the word out about our new Facebook page for kids. It’s a great place to find out about upcoming programs, performers, new books and other helpful information. If you could pass it along to friends that would be great. Please, like us!

Thanks so much,

The Ferndale Science Fiction Book Club will take a meet again on November 9 at the Ferndale library (222 E. Nine Mile) at 7pm.

Recognizing how busy we all are, we’ve picked both a short story and a book by the same author.

Read the novel, or read the short story. Or, for the fun of getting into the author’s mind, read both and see how they might connect.


The author this month is Ursula Le Guin, widely regarded as one of the best science-fiction authors of the 20th century and one of the few with wide regard beyond the genre of science fiction.

The short story is “The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas,” one of her most famous and best, and perhaps the most relevant thing we could read given the recent emergence of “Occupation.”  It is available online in pdf format ( and text format (

The book is The Lathe of Heaven, which is available throughout the TLN library system:

But if you don’t have the time to read it, you can actually watch a faithful (if somewhat dated) version here:

If you cannot obtain a copy please contact Kevin Deegan-Krause at and he’ll deliver a copy to your door :-) .

open mic

The Ferndale Reads program encourages everyone from our community to read and celebrate one book.

This year, the library has selected a favorite among the staff: John Connolly’s The Book of Lost Things.

The story follows young David through a garden wall and into a magical world filled with creatures of all sorts, good and bad.  There, David must try to rescue his mother and find his way home again.

The line-up of events includes The Crooked Man’s Open Mic Night, a film series, book discussions, The Play of Lost Things at Go Comedy!, and an appearance by John Connolly himself.

Find the full schedule here at:

Off The Grid Crafts welcomes
Detroit Zymology Guild

Crafters – Canners – Gardeners

*Join us for a demonstration of lacto-fermentation – a preindustrial form of food preservation used to make sauerkraut and other fermented dishes.

*Knitting and Crochet- James and Nan will help you cast-on and answer your questions

Thursday November 18
Ferndale Public Library

Everyone welcome

off the grid crafts


Tomorrow will be the first Friday of the month and will continue the Ferndale Public Library’s promotion of local music with the First Stop Friday concert series, and here is a belated appeal for volunteers.

Kelly has requested assistance with setup and cleanup and we may be selling pop for the event as well.

The lineup for tomorrow includes Spitting Nickels and The Mantons. Volunteers would be needed for setup around 5:30. The event begins at 6:30 and lasts two hours. It isn’t necessary to stay for the entire event if you would prefer to simply assist with the setup and breakdown.

Please leave a comment or email us at[at] if you’re interested in this, future First Stop Fridays, or any other volunteer opportunities.


The Ferndale Science Fiction Book Club continues in November the library (222 E. Nine Mile) at 7pm.

In honor of the 2010 elections we’ll be talking apocalypse and reading Margaret Atwood’s new “The Year of the Flood” which is available at the Ferndale Library (and almost every other library in the system) and even by downloadable audiobook.

Come for the conversation even if you haven’t read the book (and we’ll try not to spoil it for you)!

Ferndale Science Fiction Book Club, today (Wednesday) at the library (222 E. Nine Mile) at 7pm. We’ll be talking What Ifs (in this case Philip K. Dick’s Man in the High Castle in which the US lost WWII) and what nexts (which books we should read in future).

Come even if you don’t know the book!

off the grid crafts A new series for those who like to make stuff and do stuff without having to buy or plug in a lot of other stuff. Low tech.  Low stress.  Low key.  But lots of fun.

Where: Ferndale Public Library, 222 E. Nine Mile

When: EveryFourth Thursday, 6:30pm to 8:00pm

Come for a few minutes or the whole time, to ask advice, offer suggestions or just enjoy the company of those with similar hobbies.  In September we will focus on stuff you can do with yarn, string and thread.

Call 248-660-0335 and leave a message for more details or email:

It’s no longer hard to justify science fiction as “serious” literature, since it seems like everybody’s doing it these days–Michael Chabon, Philip Roth, Kazuo Ishiguro, Margaret Atwood–but the best justification is that it is fun to read.

So join us on Wednesday, October 13th for our first Ferndale Science Fiction Book Club meeting.  We begin with a classic alternate history story: Philip K. Dick’s The Man in the High Castle (which takes the standard Nazis on Mars nightmare and enriches it with a subtle considerations about the meaning of truth, history and authenticity.

The Man in the High CastleCopies are available throughout the TLN library system but if you cannot obtain a copy please contact Kevin Deegan-Krause at the address below.

Here’s a chance to support both your library and local music – First Stop Fridays at the Ferndale Public Library –
Reblogged from the 780s:

gig poster image
It’s finally happening. First Stop Friday at the Ferndale Public Library. September 3rd will be our first one! Come out and show Pewter Cub and Forget and the Library some love. It’s free and it’s happening at 6:30 PM. Get a jump on your weekend!

Pewter Club Band Photo

Pewter Club

Forget Band Logo


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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…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.

Day of Books and Roses

Ferndale Public Library, 642 E. Nine Mile
Sunday, April 18, 2pm to 7pm
For browsing and purchase by Bookbeat in Oak Park and Leopold’s Books in Detroit and other booksellers.  Readings and book sales by local authors.
Beautiful flowers for purchase
Howling Diablos jazz trio
Savory and sweet Crepes by the Cannella Patisserie & Cręperie, Birmingham
Samples of French and Spanish wines by Elie Wine in Royal Oak
Coffee by Cafe Con Leche in Detroit
Join us and buy $1 tickets for wine samples (2 tickets), coffee (1 ticket), crepes (4 tickets) and roses (1 ticket)
To introduce the Day of Sant Jordi, the day that the people of Barcelona and all of Catalonia celebrate books and love.
To support the Friends of the Ferndale Library to whom the Society of Sant Jordi is donating all proceeds.
For information call: 248-546-2504
Download the factsheet here: booksandroses
And don’t forget our Friends’ Revival from 2pm to 3pm on April 25:

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Click the image to the left or the link below for a nice story by Crystal Proxmire in Ferndale115:

If you did not see it, also check out her stories on other Big Read events:

The Emory Book DiscussionThe Art about Books Exhibition at Parmount Bank

Thanks as always to Crystal for her hard work in the community.


Many thanks to all who participated in the Big Read events, nearly twenty in all.  Hundreds of people became involved, sampled the library’s collections and services and made connections with one another.  The great news is that this is just the beginning.  The Friends of the Library are working with the library staff to leap from the Big Read to a whole new series of cultural events–not only books but art, music, and performances–that will begin with the opening of the new library building when it opens on July 10 this summer and last until 2011.  Keep reading this page or our Facebook page ( library) for details.

It’s going to be a Big Year.


  • Join us tomorrow–Saturday, February 20th–at the Library–642 E. Nine Mile–for a brief (we promise) meeting to organize participation in Big Read events.  Since these are events you may be going to anyway, go as a Friends’ member, help us announce our presence to Ferndale and recruit new members.  We are looking for volunteers to help moderate book discussions, welcome visitors at Big Read lectures and presentations and help us organize the parties that are coming up.

And as a special bonus, if you come tomorrow, you’ll be the first on your block to know the until-now closely guarded secret date for the library’s Grand Opening!!!

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We need youThanks to those of you who have already volunteered to help and who have joined us as Fans on Facebook.  We’re planning a BIG “Friends Revival” meeting later in spring to prepare for the grand opening, but before then we will also host a meeting for those interested in volunteering for Big Read events (see:

Please join us for that meeting, help out at Big Read events and enjoy yourself in the process:

When: Saturday, 20 February, 2pm-3pm
Where: Ferndale Public Library 642 E. Nine Mile.

If you have any questions, please leave a comment here or call Darlene Hellenberg at the library, 248-546-2504.

p.s. We are still in the process of scheduling the “Revival” but it’s likely to be on the afternoon of Sunday, April 25 at the library.  Mark your calendar for that too!

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The “new” Friends of the Ferndale Library had an impromptu debut today at the magnificent Ferndale Schools Extravaganza.  Thanks to the organizers of the event and especially to the dozens of people who stopped by the Library/Friends table to ask questions, pick up free copies of the Maltese Falcon and watch the computer animation of what the library will look like when it opens this summer.

In putting together the materials for the debut we not only created a Facebook fans page and linked it to this page, but we also prepared some initial thoughts about what a renewed Friends group should look like in a community like Ferndale and what it should do.  We’ve started think about near term tasks and long term plans.

The big picture is a combination of service, fun and community:

  • We’ve got some work to do to supplement the library’s efforts, organizing programming, assisting as volunteers and raising money for special services and final touches on the new building.
  • We’ve got plans–and invite lots more–for parties, programs, and events that will make the library the premier destination in Ferndale.  The Friends can help the library in its efforts to inform and entertain the community.
  • We want to bring people together, to talk to one another and build relationships that will strengthen Ferndale.

There are a number of specific things that the new Friends can do in the next few months, even before the new library opens:

  • Promote and staff events related to The Big Read in February and March.  See:
  • Help the library develop a wonderful even to celebrate the Catalonian “Sant Jordi Day” of Books and Roses (more to come)
  • March in the Ferndale’s Memorial Day Parade
  • Organize the best Grand Opening party the city has seen in a long time.

This is just a start—the easy and obvious stuff—and there are so many other things that we could do.  Here is where we need your help:  fill out our online membership form (no obligation) or leave a comment on this page or on our Facebook wall and answer some questions:

  • What do you want from your new library?
  • What should the Friends be doing?

We’ll keep asking your help and relying on your opinions.  Please let us know what you’re thinking.

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The Big Read is going to be a big deal in Ferndale and we’re looking for a few people to help with a few tasks. Photographers, greeters, movers of furniture, all are welcome. The full list of events is here:

The list of things that we need help with is below. If you are interested in helping with any of these please email: or

    Kick-Off Party @ the Library – Feb. 27, 6:30 – 8:30 PM

    • Count Attendees
    • Take Pictures (ask for permission from people to have their photos printed on web, etc)
    • Set Up / Clean Up

    WSU Panel Discussion @ Affirmations – March 3, 7:30 – 9:00 PM

    • Count Attendees
    • Take Pictures (ask for permission from people to have their photos printed on web, etc)
    • Help Greet People? Just be around in case people have Big Read questions

    Go Comedy – March 4, 11, 18, and 25 8:00 – 10:00 PM

    • Count Attendees
    • If I’m not there, say a few words at the beginning or end about upcoming events, thanks for coming, and tell them about donation box
    • Take Pictures (ask for permission from people to have their photos printed on web, etc)
    • Greet People? Just be around in case people have Big Read questions

    Film Noir Movie Series – March 12, 19, and 26 7:00 – 9:00 PM

    • Count Attendees
    • Set Up / Clean Up
    • Make announcements about up coming events (if I am not there)
    • Greet

    Key-Note Speaker – Loren D. Estleman March 25th 7:30 – 9:00 PM

    • Count Attendees
    • Refreshment table set up / clean up
    • Help greet people
    • Take Pictures (ask for permission from people to have their photos printed on web, etc)

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