Westgate Branch Open

The Westgate Branch reopens, today, Saturday, December 9 at 9:00 AM. Thank you for your patience. We are pleased with the result of the recarpeting project. This time also allowed us to install computers and relocate shelving so that we will be able to offer our patrons two new services: self pickup of Hold items and self-check out.

Enjoy!

Public Workshop to Discuss Downtown Parking

The Ann Arbor DDA and the Ann Arbor Area Chamber of Commerce are hosting a public workshop for the community on Wednesday, December 6th from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM in the DTE Building Community Room, 425 S. Main Street, Ann Arbor to discuss downtown parking conditions.

All members of the public are invited to attend and participate. Contact the Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority at dda@a2dda.org or call 734.994.6697 for more information.

Bookshop Opens on Saturday, December 2

I am pleased to announce that the Friends of the AADL have entered into an interim agreement with the Board of the Ann Arbor District Library that allows the sales of used books to resume in all library locations.

Used books are already available for purchase in the lobby Downtown and will be available in the branch libraries by Monday afternoon, November 27. The bookshop in the Downtown Library opens with a Holiday Sale on Saturday, December 2 and Sunday, December 3. The shop will be open in December on Saturday, December 9, Sunday, December 10, Saturday, December 16 and Sunday, December 17. Hours are 10-4 on Saturdays and 1-4 on Sundays. The shop will reopen on Saturday, January 6, 2007.

Please contact the Friends of the Ann Arbor District Library for more information on sales, pricing, and opportunities to volunteer by calling 734-302-7774 or by visiting their website www.hvcn.org/info/faadl.

Update from Louisiana Libraries

The Ann Arbor community generously supported an effort by AADL to send financial aid to public libraries damaged or destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. Below is an update from the staff of the Jefferson Parish Public Library system. AADL generated funds were designated to the Belle Terre Branch.

"Good afternoon, everyone. Here at the Jefferson Parish Library things are steadily moving along. Lots of things have been going on since the New Orleans ALA conference when I last checked in with you. We have been working with our local Lowe’s to get 4 of our libraries painted. We are planning to re-open our Live Oak branch on November 20th, 2006. That will now make 10 of our 15 libraries re-opened since the storm: East Bank Regional, Grand Isle, Harahan, Live Oak, North Kenner, Old Metairie, Rosedale, Terrytown, West Bank Regional, and Westwego. Unfortunately, our Lafitte branch has been taken over by the local police department down there, and we can not rebuild it at this time. We have had to put plans to reinstate library service to that area on hold for now. You can view more details of our recovery by visiting our up-to-date Library Recovery Progam.

Our Friends group is still accepting financial donations for all branches, and we are still holding designated funds for libraries that have yet to re-open: Belle Terre, Gretna, Lafitte, Lakeshore, and Wagner. Thank you all for your support so far!! Though, we still have a great need…slowly, but surely, we are rebuilding back a better library system for the New Orleans metro area. We could not have done it without you!!

Irene Lunkin is the contact person for donations, adopt-a-library, and information needs. Her email is ilunkin@jefferson.lib.la.us and her phone number is 504-838-1100 ext. 222.

Thank you all for your support!"

Washtenaw County Library for the Blind and Physically Disabled Wins Statewide Recognition

State Librarian Nancy Robertson announced Friday that the Washtenaw County Library for the Blind and Physically Disabled is the recipient of the 2006 State Librarian's Excellence Award for exemplary public service. The Library of Michigan Foundation gives this prestigious honor, which includes a trophy and $5,000 in privately raised funds to be used for library service, to one Michigan library annually. Robertson presented the award Thursday during the Michigan Library Association annual conference at the Renaissance Center in Detroit.

"We believe that libraries today are more than a place to find books.
The library is a resource to its community and hopefully offers programming and training opportunities that will benefit its clientele,"
said Margaret Wolfe, librarian coordinator for the Washtenaw County Library for the Blind and Physically Disabled. "We have developed partnerships with a broad spectrum of individuals, institutions and agencies that allows us to expand our programming and training opportunities. Our library consumers are the reason why we offer programs now, a month from now, and a year from now. Libraries change lives!"

The Washtenaw County Library for the Blind and Physically Disabled serves residents of Washtenaw, Jackson and Livingston counties. As part of the National Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, the library provides traditional services like audio books, playback equipment, large-print materials and descriptive videos. "These are all essential and valued, but what makes this library exceptional is how it builds upon its core mission with programming that involves extensive outreach, innovative services and collaborations with many other community organizations," said Robertson.

The AADL staff and board salute the staff, board and county commissioners responsible for the services provided by the Washtenaw County Library for the Blind and Physically Disabled

Friends of AADL Postpone Preview Night and Bookshop Opening

The Friends of the Ann Arbor District Library regret to announce that the opening of the Bookshop, including Preview Night, is postponed indefinitely. When the Bookshop reopens, there will be a Preview Night and all memberships will be honored. We apologize for any and all inconvenience. If you have any questions, please call the Bookshop at 734-327-4211. The Friends appreciate your support.

Northeast Building Project Approved by AA City Council

The site plan and rezoning request for the third branch building project for the Ann Arbor District Library, a replacement for the NEB located in Plymouth Mall, were both unanimously approved at the August 10 City Council meeting. Construction documents are being finalized and the project will be bid out over the next two months. Groundbreaking is expected to occur in late September or early October and we anticipate a Spring 2008 opening.

The new branch will be located at the southwest corner of Traverwood and Huron Parkway, 1/2 mile from the current NE library branch location. The site plan includes on street parking, covered parking under the building and parking in an exposed lot south of the building.

This library branch was designed by VanTine|Guthrie Studio and will be constructed by O'Neal Construction.

Pedestrian Island Construction on Oak Valley Drive

On Monday, June 19, 2006, the Washtenaw County Road Commission began construction of a pedestrian island on Oak Valley Drive, between Scio Church Road and Waters Road in Pittsfield Township. The refuge island is to be constructed in the center-left-turn lane on Oak Valley Drive just south of the new Ann Arbor library and Ann Arbor Ice Cube.

Last fall, the Road Commission received a number of letters from citizens, the township, and a petition from residents of the Arbor Creek Subdivision, requesting that a signalized crosswalk be constructed on Oak Valley Drive, to provide a safe crossing to the new Ann Arbor Library that was being constructed at that time.

“In response to the request of the township and citizens, the Road Commission explored various crossway options and determined that a signalized crosswalk was not warranted,” explained Brent Schlack, Supervisor of the Traffic and Safety Engineering. “However, the Road Commission worked in cooperation with the township to identify a safe crossing alternative that will work well for both the motoring public and pedestrians.”

AADL Website is a Winner

Launched on July 1, 2005, the new aadl.org has been selected by the American Library Association as the best library website in the nation for libraries with budgets of $6,000,000.00+. Skidmore Studio located in Royal Oak, MI worked with seven members of the AADL staff for five months in 2005 to determine the site goals, conduct usability studies with the public, determine a new site logo, and to develop simple administrative tools for maintenance. We wanted our site to be functional for all levels of computer proficiency, and we wanted to use interactive tools to facilitate communication with our customers.

We got what we wanted and so, apparently, did our public:

Feb 05 Feb 06 % Change
Stat Visits 77277 108601 +40%
Unique Visitors 28206 33518 +18%
Ave. Visits per Visitor 2.74 3.24 +18%
Average Visits per Day 2760 3878 +40%
Pages Per Visit 5.6 17.7 +216%
Registered Users unknown 22272 (over 50% of patrons)

My thanks to staff members Amy Cantu, Chuck Yates, Terry Soave, Jenny Hoffman, John Blyberg, Eva Davis, and Eli Neiburger for their great work in the development stages and to the Information, Access and Systems staff for everything that has come after.

Young Writers are Winners!

The awards ceremony announcing the winners of the AADL short story writing contest, It's All Write! was held on Saturday, May 13th as an event of the Ann Arbor Book Festival. Being present at this ceremony and being exposed to the joy and satisfaction expressed by these teens and their parents as their creative work and encouragement are recognized and rewarded is a highlight of my year. Join AADL in congratulating these authors.

Middle School:
1st Place - Lindsay Fischer (title: Alien Girl)
2nd Place - Timothy G. Rhein (title: Escape to Denmark)
3rd Place - Isabel McKay (title: A Slanted Roof)

High School 9th/10th:
1st Place - Eva Colas (title: Morning Again)
2nd Place - Maya Lamm (title: Saved)
3rd Place - Sabrina Na (title: Daisies in the Garden)

High School 11th/12th:
1st Place - Emmaleigh Mia Paul (title: How to Make Empenadas)
2nd Place - Jenneva Scholz (title: The Gift)
3rd Place - Eva Miller (title: A Romance)

Prizes were generously donated by the Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation Robert Bruce Dunlap Memorial Awards Fund, and all 1st place winners will receive $250, 2nd Place, $150, and 3rd Place $100. All Finalists received a certificate, and a thunderous applause went out to all #140 teens who submitted a story.

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