Paul Crandall to retire as head librarian Stockbridge CADL

A Q & A with Paul Crandall with brief asides by Diane Rockall

Paul with backpack

When asked to discuss his newly announced retirement the as-always busy Paul Crandall suggested an online communication. Following is his response to this reporter’s rather ordinary questions. Paul will be leaving his position a head librarian, Stockbridge Capital Area District Library on April 26, 2019.

What I’ll do after I retire?  A common question I’m getting is whether my wife, Jo, and I plan to move, but we have no plans to do that.  We love this community, feel at home here, and look forward to sticking around.  What I plan to do is really a lot of the same stuff I do now, but in different proportions. Jo and I both have a lot of interests. These include hiking, biking, beekeeping, beer brewing, reading, movies, pickleball…top of the list for me is music. 

When I told a musician friend that I was planning to retire, he said, “That’s great! Now you can PRACTICE!” I suppose some musicians would take that the wrong way, but I thought that’s it, exactly. I want to practice more, play more, hear other people play more, and educate myself about music, generally. I am very much looking forward to that.

Basics: I grew up in Grand Rapids, went to Creston High School there, then to MSU where I got a degree in journalism. I’ve had a lot of jobs, including paper route carrier, working the grill at a Burger King, party store clerk, factory work, reporter for a chain of weekly newspapers based in Grand Ledge, freelance writing, copy editor for the Asahi news service in Tokyo, librarian at a biotech institute, writer-researcher in the auto industry, product development at ProQuest (a company based in Ann Arbor that makes information products) and this one. I got my master’s degree in Library and Information Studies at the U-M, Ann Arbor. (But I got my first degree at MSU and still root for them in the big games against U-M. Go Green!) 

When I decided to get the master’s degree, I was thinking more along the lines of writer-researcher work than conventional library work. I had no idea when I started here that I’d be here this long. But it turned out to be a great fit for me, and the community has been a great fit for us and our family. I certainly hope the next head librarian finds it as fun and as fulfilling as I have!

When I was working at ProQuest in Ann Arbor and Jo was working in adult education at Eaton Rapids, we looked at a map and found Stockbridge to be roughly between the two and moved here from Farmington Hills. One day I was walking down Wood St. with my 4- year old son, Scott, and saw a sign in the window of the library advertising for a head librarian. Master’s degree required. 

Well, as it happened, I had that degree!  I applied and they took me in. (It was Ingham County Library then, not yet CADL.) Not long before that, Jo had started teaching adult education at Stockbridge Community Schools (later becoming Community Education Director) and we were able to live, work and raise our son in this wonderful community. So — kind of fluky, but it couldn’t have worked out better as far as we’re concerned.

If I were to pick a single thing I’ve most enjoyed about this position, it’s that it has allowed me to fully integrate into the community, both personally and professionally. That’s been very fulfilling for me. In that same vein, I’ve especially enjoyed encouraging, supporting and presenting live music to the community in various ways, including last September’s SongLab performances and recordings, and the ongoing summer Market Music series on the town square.    

Paul Crandall plays at Cravingz.

There will be a little party to celebrate with Paul at the library on April 25, from 3-5:30 p.m. All are welcome.


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