Ferndale Area District Library

222 East Nine Mile Road
Ferndale, MI 48220

248-546-2504

Library Hours

Monday - Thursday: 10AM-8PM

Friday: 10AM-6PM

Saturday: 12PM-5PM

Sunday: CLOSED

Our Mission

The Ferndale Area District Library strengthens the community by providing access to materials and services that inform, enrich, entertain, and empower.

Our Vision

The Ferndale Area District Library is a leader in building and sustaining Ferndale as a creative city that attracts and nurtures talent, mobilizes ideas, stimulates innovation, and encourages diversity. The library is a center of cultural vitality and participation that enhances the quality of life for all Ferndale residents.

History

The Ferndale Public Library formally opened in November 1930. Displacing City offices in the former Central School at 130 Nine Mile Rd., just east of Woodward, the new library that first day had some 2,000 volumes, plus 200 loaned by the State Library.1 (The building later housed the Ferndale Board of Education and is now privately owned.) Etta Vivian was the librarian; she had one assistant. Some 1,500 library cards were issued that first year of operation.

The library’s history from these earliest days onward reflects the history of Ferndale in unique ways. Deemed “a city marvelous” in publicity releases of the time, Ferndale’s phenomenal growth in the late 1920s had earned it nationwide media attention as “the fastest-growing city in the U.S.”2 Henry Ford’s offer of $5 a day to workers on his Highland Park assembly line attracted workers nationwide, making Ferndale one of America’s first “bedroom communities.” Census figures in 1930 showed that, in one decade, the city’s population had increased 687.8% to 20,796. Such rapid development was due to the city’s key location on Woodward, Detroit’s continued northward growth, and the region’s installation of a solid infrastructure, including state-of-the-art water/sewerage systems, paving, and even gas mains and electrical systems which allowed Woodward to be the “best-lighted highway in the U.S.”3

Thus, Ferndale by 1930 was ready to support a library, hallmark of an American city’s success. The city’s initial budget for the library: $5,000, which included Etta Vivian’s salary of $1,500 per year, and $2,000 (40 percent) for books. Within a year, the library had 2,217 books; within a decade, 10,581.4 In 1937, a Friends of the Library group was formed, the first of its kind in Michigan. (This group, except for periods during World War II and the 1990s, has operated continuously to support library programs and services.) “One of the finest in this section” was how the library was characterized in a City of Ferndale commemorative booklet in 1944.

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