Five Years and 5 Stars

The AADL has once again been named a 5 Star library in Library Journal's Index of Public Library Service. This ranking is not a competition, but is a reflection of how a public library within a budget category is used by its community. The AADL ranks fifth of eleven in the five star ranking for libraries in America with a budget of $10M - $29.9M.

AADL's experience has ranked us consistently in the top five in our budget category for five stars since 2009. In all of America, star libraries make up only 3.5% of all eligible public libraries across the country. We are the only 5 star library in MI, and while we wish there were more in our state, we are pleased that Ann Arbor uses its library so well and so obviously. We are measured per capita by how many times our libraries are visited each year, how many people attend our programs, the number of sessions logged on computers at the library, and how many items are borrowed.

These numbers are the evidence that you and your neighbors are coming in to attend storytimes, meet with tutors, use the assistive technology lab, speak at public meetings, visit an exhibit of local art, use a room for a neighborhood association meeting, meet an author, compete in a Lego contest, make something, or sit quietly before a fireplace and knit. These numbers tell us that you are using the computers at the library either out of necessity or convenience to search and apply for jobs, for college admissions, to register for the Affordable Care Act, or to keep up with friends and family on Facebook, and you are borrowing materials at a rate per capita that is astounding and outstanding.

You are living the mission of the Ann Arbor District Library, and we thank you for allowing us the privilege of holding up our end of the bargain.

See you at the Library.

Josie

Karl Pohrt 1947-2013

The Ann Arbor District Library Board and staff acknowledge the passing of one of the community’s great citizens.

Karl Pohrt was such an enormous part of what we, as a library, put forward and of what we all aspire to. We regret deeply his passing. We wish his family well, and hope that his work continues far into the future, and we celebrate all that he added to the community.

AADL, Art Fairs, and You

As we have done for many years, AADL works to make using the public library and enjoying the Art Fairs compatible activities. For those who do not go near Downtown when the Art Fairs are happening, any requested item may be picked up in a branch location.

All hold periods are extended through this week, so a hold held Downtown will still be here for you Sunday when the tents and crowds are long gone. Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, loan periods were set up so that nothing is due this week!

Enjoy the week wherever you happen to be!

play.aadl.org

Josie

Malletts Creek Closed, Wednesday, July 3

The Malletts Creek Branch is closed today, July 3, due to malfunctions in the mechanical system resulting from a power outage. The branch will not reopen today, but all other locations are open until 9:00 PM this evening. We are sorry for the inconvenience.

Josie

Malletts Creek Closed Today

All locations of the AADL are open today EXCEPT Malletts Creek. Due to a power outage, Malletts Creek will not open today. We apologize for the inconvenience.

Josie

Traverwood Branch will Reopen at 1 PM Saturday

Traverwood Branch was closed Saturday morning (February 2) due to a problem with the heating system, but will reopen for business at 1 PM today. We are very sorry for the inconvenience, but we can all be glad that Punxatawney Phil did not see his shadow this morning. Spring is coming sooner rather than later!

Josie

Downtown Library 2012: Facts about the Downtown Library Bond Proposal

We've been getting many questions about the upcoming Bond Proposal. We have put together this list of the most common questions and factual answers. Please don't hesitate to comment on this post or email us at downtown@aadl.org if you have further questions. Thanks for your interest in the library!

What is the Downtown Library Bond Proposal?

Residents of the Ann Arbor District Library service area will find a proposal for a bond to fund a project to replace the downtown library at the end of their November 6th ballot. If approved, the proposal will authorize the sale of up to $65 Million of bonds, and authorize the library to levy an annual property tax millage for up to 30 years to make the bond payments.

Why is the Downtown Library Bond being proposed now?

The current building will need major investment over the coming years to maintain or upgrade aging infrastructure. This will require increasing percentages of AADL's operating budget. With interest rates at unprecedented lows and construction costs still well below average, the AADL Board of Trustees determined that now is the time for the community to decide if a new downtown library should be built, or if AADL should continue investing operating funds in the current inefficient building. In 2007, the AADL board studied the issue of whether to replace or renovate the Downtown Library to address the capacity issues, and it was found that a new building would cost only 10% more than a renovation. Those cost estimates were assessed again in 2012 and found to be still valid.

Why is the proposal for rebuilding a downtown library on the same site?

AADL owns the site of the current downtown library, and it is by far the most heavily used public library in the district. AADL is committed to making information, events, workspace, and collections available downtown, and current demand for these services is beyond the capacity of the current building. The compromises involved in the previous two renovations to the current downtown library building are a major factor that limits the ability of a third renovation to add space and efficiency, so the AADL Board voted to place the bond proposal on the November 6 ballot to seek public approval for a new downtown library on the current site.

Who is responsible for this project?

The publicly-elected Board of Trustees of the Ann Arbor District Library is the sole body responsible for the project, services, and facilities of the AADL. AADL is an independent taxing authority, and the Downtown Library Project is not affiliated with the Ann Arbor Public Schools, the City of Ann Arbor, Washtenaw County, or any other governmental or commercial entities.

How much will the project cost? What does that cost me?

The bond proposal seeks authorization to sell up to $65 million of bonds to be repaid over 30 years. That is enough to fund the estimated $53 million of construction costs, plus demolition, rental of temporary facilities during construction, furniture, equipment, technology, and other costs related to the project including permits, architectural and interior design, and engineering.

Once the bonds have been sold, the library will levy property taxes for the annual bond payments. Depending on the interest rate at which the bonds are sold, annual payments will by funded by a millage rate of .47 - .56 mills per year, meaning the cost to the owner of a $200,000 home with a $100,000 taxable value will be between $47 - $56 per year:

Property Market Value Property Taxable Value Library Bond Millage Per Year
$150,000 $75,000 $42
$200,000 $100,000 $56
$250,000 $125,000 $70
$300,000 $150,000 $84
$350,000 $175,000 $98
$400,000 $200,000 $112

The library currently levies 1.55 mills per year for operation, costing the owner of a $200,000 home with a $100,000 taxable value $155 per year.

When would the bond payments begin?

If the proposal is approved by voters, the bonds would be sold in spring of 2013, and the millage would appear on tax bills starting summer 2013.

If approved, what will happen to the Downtown Library?

It is AADL's intent to have a downtown library open to the public throughout the process. If approved, when the current building closes, a temporary downtown library will open in a rented space offering request pickup, drop boxes, internet access, a kids' area, and popular materials, until the new building opens. AADL will not lay off staff during construction. The current downtown collection will be temporarily relocated and available by request as always during the construction process, and will be brought back into the new building before it opens.

If approved, when would the project begin and end?

A solid timeline will be developed if the proposal is approved, but it is anticipated that the project will begin by spring 2014 and construction will last 18-27 months.

If approved, who would design and build the library?

The AADL Board will select an architect and construction manager if the bond proposal is approved. AADL Board meetings, as always, are open to the public.

If approved, how can the community give input on the design?

In addition to the public forums seeking public feedback on the project that were held on June 9, 2012, June 12, 2012, and June 20, 2012, AADL will offer many opportunities for the public to give input and feedback on the design of the project as it progresses if approved. Similar events were held throughout the design process for the Malletts Creek, Pittsfield, and Traverwood branches, and the public is invited to speak to the AADL Board of Trustees at the beginning of every AADL board meeting.

Downtown Library 2012: The Vision | The Vote

This evening the Library Board approved the bond language for a November 6, 2012 ballot proposal that would provide $65 million to fund the replacement of the Downtown Library at its current site at Fifth Avenue and William Street in Ann Arbor. The Board voted earlier in June to replace the Downtown Library, and now the bond language will be submitted to the Washtenaw County Clerk for inclusion on the ballot.

Questions about this decision are centering around a few key issues. Those questions are answered in The Vision | The Vote. If your question is not contained here, please email downtown@aadl.org, and we will answer your question and post it to the Director's Blog so that it is widely available.

Josie

AADL Board Candidate Information Event

The Library is hosting a Board Candidate Information event for those interested in running for election to the Board of Trustees of the AADL. The event will be held from 6:00 to 7:00 PM in the aadlfreespace at the Downtown Library on Wednesday, August 8, 2012.

Four 4-year terms will be elected in November. Terms begin January 1, 2013 and information about the duties and responsibilities of library trustees can be found at AADL Board. For information on filing to run for public office please contact Ed Golembiewski, Elections Director for Washtenaw County at golembiewskie@ewashtenaw.org or visit http://ewashtenaw.org/government/clerk_register/elections.

Downtown Library 2012: Library Board Votes to Place Bond Proposal on November 6 Ballot

At last evening’s Board meeting, the Board of AADL voted unanimously to place a bond proposal on the November 6, 2012 ballot for $65 million to replace the Downtown Library at its current location. Attached are the Library Board's resolution, press release, the Facilities Committee's recommendation, and some Downtown Library Facts & Figures.

The Board will meet on Monday, July 30 at 7:00 PM to approve the language for the ballot. We appreciate the questions, feedback and the attendance of so many of you through this website, and at the community forums held earlier this summer. Your questions are important and helpful as the Board and staff moves through this very important phase in our Library’s history. Video of each of the three forums, held on June 9, 2012, June 12, 2012, and June 20, 2012, and a summary of the feedback from the public is available on the Director's Blog.

You may use this blog or send your questions to downtown@aadl.org. All questions will be addressed and answers posted to this blog.

Josie

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