Downtown Library 2012: Next Steps

The third community forum to discuss the future of the downtown library was held on Wednesday, June 20. The video of the third forum is posted below, and the others are available on the previous posts on this blog. In addition, the feedback from the information stations at all three events have been collected and are included at the end of this post.

The Library Board and staff appreciate that so many individuals have taken up this discussion with a keen interest. Comments can be posted to this blog, or sent to downtown@aadl.org. We will acknowledge all communications by posting them on this blog.

The Library Board meets next on Monday, July 16, at 7:00 PM in the 4th Floor Board Room of the Downtown Library. A public comment period precedes the regular meeting and is a part of the Library Board agenda each month. All are welcome, and encouraged, to attend.

Josie

Recording of June 20th Downtown Library Forum

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Downtown Library 2012: 2nd Community Forum Update

The second community forum to discuss the future of the downtown library was held Tuesday, June 12 from 7:00 -8:45 PM in the Multipurpose Room at the Downtown Library. We appreciate those who have chosen to spend time talking with us about 21st century library service at the forums held on June 9 and June 12. The third forum will be held Wednesday, June 20, from 7:00 - 8:45 PM in the 4th Floor Meeting Room of the Downtown Library.

I am including the agenda and the content of our information boards, along with this video of the discussion in this message. This update also includes a video tour of some of the non-public areas of the downtown library. Tours will also be available to those attending the forum on June 20, however, the tour is not accessible.

For those of you unable to attend, please don't hesitate to send your comments, questions or concerns to downtown@aadl.org or comment on this post.

Josie

Recording of June 12th Downtown Library Forum

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Downtown Library 2012: First Community Forum Update

The first community forum to discuss the future of the Downtown Library was held Saturday, June 9 in the Multipurpose Room of the Downtown Library. We appreciate those who have chosen to spend time talking with us about 21st century library service at these events.

I am including the agenda and the content of our information boards, along with this video of the discussion in this message.

For those of you unable to attend, please don't hesitate to send your comments, questions or concerns to downtown@aadl.org or comment on this post.

Josie

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Downtown Library 2012

The Ann Arbor District Library Board is hosting three community forums in June to discuss the future of the Downtown Library. In March of this year, the Library Board commissioned an EPIC-MRA telephone survey, and based on the results of the survey, the Board is considering the options on how to provide 21st century services in a building originally built in 1958 and renovated twice. The last of two renovations was completed in 1991. The AADL library system has received 1.7 million visits a year for several years and the Downtown Library alone receives over 600,000 visits each year. The library in Ann Arbor is, and will be, about books for a long time to come, but more importantly, it is about people. How will people use a library going forward, what will people need, and what type of building can provide for that need and those demands?

Currently, the capacity of the Downtown Library is constraining the services we can offer. If the level of service and the array of program offerings currently enjoyed by the thousands of people using the library are to continue to grow into the future, these building constraints need to be considered and addressed.

Please join us for one of three community forums to learn what we know about our current situation, and to tell us what you think about the future of the Downtown Library in Ann Arbor. All three meetings will be held in the lower level multi-purpose room in the Downtown Library.

June 9, Saturday from 10:00 AM to Noon
June 12, Tuesday from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
June 20, Wednesday from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM

If you are not able to join us at one of these community forums, questions and comments can be sent to downtown@aadl.org. All questions and answers will be posted on this blog.

Josie

Traverwood Branch Is Open

The Traverwood Branch opened today, Wednesday February 22, regular hours.
Thank you to the many for bearing with us with such good grace through this closure, and, again, we apologize for the inconvenience.

Josie Parker

Traverwood Branch Closed for Floor Maintenance Beginning February 13

Traverwood Branch will be closed for necessary repairs and maintenance to the wood floors beginning on Monday, February 13. We plan to re-open the branch by February 23, but if things go well it will open sooner. The finishes used that adhere to standards that are in keeping with the sustainable principles used to build the building have not held up to the high traffic in that location. The floor needs to be sanded, repaired in some places, and recoated and sealed. We could simply throw all caution to the wind and finish the floor like a basketball court, but that seems shortsighted and unjustified. A product that meets our standards, and is proven to hold up well in high traffic areas will be applied. Annual maintenance on these wooden floors will always be required, but it is our hope that extensive work will not be required for years.

Library materials may be returned to the outside Traverwood drop boxes on Huron Parkway or to any other AADL location during this closure. We apologize for any inconvenience.

Unexpired holds will be moved from Traverwood to the Downtown Library after the Branch closes at 6 pm on Sunday, February 12. Unexpired holds that would have been available for pickup at Traverwood during the closure will instead be held for pickup Downtown. If you would like to pick up your holds at a different location, please contact us at www.aadl.org/contactus, call 327-4219 or come to the Traverwood service desk prior to Monday, February 13. We will be happy to assist you.

During the closure please check this website for the many storytimes, computer classes, ESL sessions and events at other AADL locations. Consider visiting the Downtown Library or one of our three other branches.

Thank you in advance for your patience. We again apologize for any inconvenience.

Josie

AADL Talks To Josie Parker

In June, Ann Arbor District Library director, Josie Parker, attended the second UNESCO World Forum on Culture and Cultural Industries, whose "Focus 2011" was "The Book Tomorrow: The Future of the Written Word". In our conversation, Josie discusses what she brought back from her experience in this international arena, as well as her views - and those of fellow librarians, publishers, and authors around the world - on the future of digital publishing.

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AADL_Talks_To-Josie_Parker.mp3 40.6 MB

Fifth Avenue is Closed and the Downtown Library is Open

Fifth Avenue from Liberty to William is closed to traffic and will not reopen for at least a year. Access to the Downtown Library is from William Street. The northern portion of the Library's porch, including the handicap ramp, is closed off. Handicap access is from William on a new incline that ends at a landing directly opposite the existing automated door.

Parking is available on nearby streets, the "Y" lot, and in the Fourth and William structure. The handicap spaces and the free short-term spaces remain available on William Street, but are located further east and away from the corner. Because AATA and Federal building traffic is turning north on Fifth avenue, space was needed at the corner to provide a turn lane. The turn lane space is also where taxis and ARide passengers will arrive and depart from the Library.

Bike hoops, removed to prepare the site for construction, have been replaced in front of the porch near the flagpole.

If you have questions about access to the Downtown Library during construction, please let us know through the Contact Us button on this page. We are pleased that, to date, the construction has not had a negative impact on library visits or usage. Thank you very much for using your public library.

Josie

Tax Increment Financing Development Erodes Library Millages

If public libraries are to continue to exist beyond the first half of this century, we all need to make that decision and we need to make it right now. I’m not talking about an emotional decision that “libraries are good”, and “we all loved story time”, and “what’s not to like about libraries?”

I’m talking about money and civic priorities. Many libraries in Michigan and across the country will survive the current annihilation of public library funding by state and local politicians, but a good number of them will not. Those that do will still contend with eroding tax bases: sometimes the enemy appears friendly. The best example on the local level is Tax Increment Financing Authority, or TIFA, diversions on property taxes captured by local taxing authorities. District Library millages are eroded by these tax diversion structures and in a poor economy the use of TIFA diversions increase. Common TIFA authorities are Downtown Development Authorities, Brownfield Redevelopment Authorities, Historical Neighborhood Authorities, Corridor Improvement Authorities and several others in Michigan. Sometimes public library Boards can opt-out of a TIFA diversion, but most of the time opt-out is not permitted by statute. The long and short of it is this: When a community votes a millage into effect for their local library, TIFA diversions in that community take taxes off the top of the Library millage and that money does not go to the purpose it was originally voted to support. There is great good in Brownfield Redevelopment, and Downtown Development Authorities provide important infrastructure and economic development support for communities. The cost can be too high, though, for tax supported public institutions. Legislation providing TIFA opt-in or opt-out language needs to be adopted. Libraries can only use taxes for library purposes. Libraries have no other taxing options available to support themselves. Library Boards are responsible for providing certain services with voted millages, and expectations for those services do not decrease with the tax base.

AADL Board Candidate Information Events

The Library is hosting two Board Candidate Information Events for those interested in running for election to the Board of Trustees of the AADL. The events will be held from 6:00 PM-7:00PM in the aadlfreespace at the Downtown Library on Tuesday, July 27 and Wednesday, August 11, 2010.

Three 4-year terms and one 2-year term will be elected in November. Terms begin January 1, 2011 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 Matt Yankee, yankeem@ewashtenaw.org, the Interim Elections Director for Washtenaw county or visit ewashtenaw.

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