What you have told us

Here you can search through numerous patron comments and the corresponding AADL replies. Search by the type of comment, in general by what the comment is regarding, or by a particular issue.

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Date Received: 2004-07-30
Type: suggest a title
Regarding: customer service

Patron Comment: The AA libraries have "suggestion boxes," and you have this electronic form, but the fact is that most people who have concerns will not express them unless they have some reasonable expectation, some assurance, that their comments will actually be read and responded to. The typical suggestion box lacks this assurance: the comment goes into the void; the person who will read it, what will happen to it, are undisclosed. The "suggestion box" cliche actually reinforces this impression: a suggestion box a device to let the idiots vent harmlessly and be ignored. Consequently, I think that anyone who is seriously interested in suggestions ought to POST their replies in a visible spot (and on the web). Nothing can beat this as a way to let people know that you care and are serious about it. Only a public response holds the exercise accountable. It also serves to educate the public, and has the advantage of disposing of frequently recurring gripes/misconceptions/ etc. ("Why don't you display Hustler Magazine?") I have seen this work well in other libraries and public resources. In fact, I think such formalized public response venus ought to be ubiquitous for public enterprises whose reason to exist is, after all, to be responsive to the public, ultimately. Response to AADL response: The point is, of course, that if you only reply to the commenter, other potential commenters have no way of knowing that the response is so scrupulous and sensible (and existent) as no doubt it is. You say that the Ann Arbor public does not hold back, but how do you know? I suppose this is supposed to be humerous (wrist to forehead: we don't Need more comments). But actually active participation is good in itself, fosters citizenship in general and an involvement with the library in particular. And there may be many concerns out there, even valid or brilliant ones, that never get addressed because the impulse to do so never gets over the threshold of passive skepticism about being worth the bother. And again, I want to stress that it holds the responder (the library) more accountable. Will the standard polite brushoff be quite so easy to dispense if everybody in the world will be there to look at it, and to see how often it issues forth? The library, too, might be slightly more inclined to actually do something now and then. Etc. So thank you for *actually* considering my suggestion. Response to AADL follow-up: This is excellent!! I am very impressed that someone actually took my suggestion to heart and did something with it. This is very rare, and one of the reasons why people don't try nearly as much as they might to make suggestions which might actually be useful... which was my point. Thank you! I intend to read through the suggestions and responses in detail. Have you included a link on the website? That would be a good idea, otherwise nobody will know of it. Also, if more people than just the suggester is now going to see the suggestion, maybe it would be a good idea to post a response, in cases where a response might be warranted, rather than declining to do so every time the comment was annonymous. Finally, someone might want to consider making a visual display at the (probably the main) library answering questions or responding to comments that might be of particularly wide interest. I don't know what percentage of patrons are web savvy, but there have to be a lot of users who don't interact via the web. Additional comments: I noticed that in the on-line version of my own comment about this issue, my word "scrupulous" somehow got transformed into "crupulous," which makes me sound somehow scatalogical. My original test didn't have that particular typo: "The point is, of course, that if you only reply to the commenter, other potential commenters have no way of knowing that the response is so scrupulous and sensible (and existent) as no doubt it is. You say that the Ann Arbor public does not hold back, but how do you know? I suppose this is supposed to be humerous (wrist to forehead: we don't Need more comments). But actually active participation is a good in itself, fosters citizenship in general and an involvement with the library in particular. And there may be many concerns out there, even valid or brilliant ones, that never get addressed because the impulse to do so never gets over the threshold of passive skepticism about being worth the bother. And again, I want to stress that it holds the responder (the library) more accountable. Will the standard polite brushoff be quite so easy to dispense if everybody in the world will be there to look at it, and to see how often it issues forth? The library, too, might be slightly more inclined to actually do something now and then. Etc." So, now that you're posting I suppose you'll want to be careful to transcribe accurately, unless of course you want to Correct mistakes rather than create them.

AADL Reply: I can't say that I disagree with you and while I have no idea how many more suggestions/comments/complaints I would receive if they were publicly posted, I can assure you that in general the Ann Arbor public does not hold back letting me know how they feel about public library services in Ann Arbor. We answer every suggestion that is not anonymous and has contact information. I will keep your suggestion in mind when considering improvements for public input into the development of library services. Thank you for taking the time to let me know how we can do it better. Follow-up correspondence: I'm pleased to inform you that the Ann Arbor District Library has recently gone live with our Patron Comments/AADL Replies database. Per your comments from July 2004, we thought you might be interested in taking a look at it. For your convenience, here is a direct link to the page: http://aadl.org/PatronComments http://aadl.org/PatronComments Thank you for your interest in the Library and for letting us know how we may better serve our patrons. Please don't hesitate to contact us if you have any further suggestions or concerns.


Date Received: 2004-07-29
Type: complaint
Regarding: facility issue

Patron Comment: Miss Loving but wow, Malletts Creek is really something! You have an accident waiting to happen on the chairs in the new book section. We seniors find them very dangerous as they slide as we sit. ALso, they are always shoved into the shelves. Other would be to make shelves higher for easier viewing.

AADL Reply: Thank you for taking the time to share with us your compliments and complaints about the Malletts Creek Branch Library. We appreciate your concern in regards to our furniture selection in the new book area. Please be assured that the library is fully compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act and Ann Arbor City Ordinances in regards to public safety and accessibility. I noted that you were also unhappy with the height of the shelving. The library determined the height of the book shelving to permit open sightlines for security purposes. This ensures that staff can visually surveil public areas thereby maintaining a safe and comfortable environment for everyone. Thank you very much for your overall positive reception to the new Malletts Creek Branch. Please visit us again soon.


Date Received: 2004-07-29
Type: suggest a title
Regarding: facility issue

Patron Comment: Little, low seats that will roll one about. I can't get down low - must sit on floor for those wonderful mysteries.

AADL Reply: Thank you for your suggestion for a low seat on wheels to assist in viewing our mystery collection at the Malletts Creek Branch. We are currently in the process of ordering several rolling stools similar to the piece you described, and we hope you find them to your liking. Thank you for your interest in the Ann Arbor District Library. Please come and visit us again soon.


Date Received: 2004-07-29
Type: suggest a title
Regarding: customer service

Patron Comment: When people need help with computers be more helpful and patient with people who have not been able to be in a class yet to learn computers. Less rude and condescending.

AADL Reply: Thank you for taking the time to contact us regarding the service you received at our Malletts Creek Branch. I am sorry that you were treated rudely by our staff when you needed computer help. We strive to provide excellent service to all users and I am disappointed that you were not treated well. I have spoken to my staff about this issue, and I hope that you will receive high-quality service in the future. If you do not, please do not hesitate to email me with the specifics of the event, and I may be able to better resolve your concerns. Thanks again for your feedback, and thanks for using the Library!


Date Received: 2004-07-29
Type: complaint
Regarding: facility issue

Patron Comment: Too modern - needs to be cozier!

AADL Reply: Anonymous


Date Received: 2004-07-29
Type: complaint
Regarding: parking

Patron Comment: more h-cap spaces IMMEDIATELY at front. My wife has bad knees and cannot walk from 2nd row.

AADL Reply: ANonymous


Date Received: 2004-07-29
Type: suggest a title
Regarding: customer service

Patron Comment: How about key chain library cards for those of us who like the heavier "old" library card? Thanks!

AADL Reply: Anonymous


Date Received: 2004-07-29
Type: suggest a title
Regarding: collection

Patron Comment: You should have more non-fiction books on animals, esp. exotic animals

AADL Reply: Anonymous


Date Received: 2004-07-29
Type: suggest a title
Regarding: collection

Patron Comment: Lots more rodent/exotic pet/ferret books.

AADL Reply: Anonymous


Date Received: 2004-07-29
Type: complaint
Regarding: facility issue

Patron Comment: Ladies' room smells strongly of urine - pls. clean better.

AADL Reply: Anonymous