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.

Site Plan Submitted for New Branch at Traverwood and Huron Parkway

The site plan for the new library branch at Traverwood and Huron was submitted to the City of Ann Arbor Planning Department on Monday, Februray 13 and revisions were submitted on May 1. The project was unanimously approved by the the City of AA Planning Commission Tuesday, May 16. The project will now move to City Council for final approval.

This new building scheduled to open in 2008 will replace the existing Northeast Branch in the Plymouth Road Mall. The location at the corner of Traverwood and Huron Parkway is .5 miles from the current location.

The proposed building includes a total of 16,987 square feet with 90 proposed parking spaces. 34 of the spaces are in an off street underbuilding parking lot, 32 are in an open off-street parking lot, and 24 spaces are on-street. The building is designed to hug the corner with as little impact on natural features as possible. Sustainable design elements include an innovative stormwater management system that may include a vegetative roof.

The project budget of 10 million dollars includes the property purchase, building design and construction, site development, furnishings/fixtures and collection.
The Ann Arbor District Library branch expansion plan is funded from the existing millage approved by voters in 1995. The building is designed by VanTine|Guthrie Studio and will be constructed by O'Neal Construction.

Images of the site plan and elevations are on display at the current Northeast Branch, and elevations can be found at New Northeast Branch Information

Pittsfield Branch Opens March 20

We are pleased to announce that the Pittsfield Branch on Oak Valley Drive will open on Monday, March 20, 2006. This library branch, the first in the district to be built outside of the city limits of Ann Arbor, is located in Pittsfield Township at the headwaters of Malletts Creek.

A reading room, to be named the Homer Chance Reading Room, honors the former Ann Arbor Public Library director who initiated branch expansion in the district while serving as director from 1951-1977. Group study and tutoring rooms, computers, a casual study area with vending, a meeting room, and outdoor seating area will be available.

The collection is new and will feature new formats as they are introduced into the marketplace, as well as traditional materials such as books, CDs, DVDs, newspapers and magazines. Access to the collection will be enhanced by self checkout and a 24/7 material pickup system.

The Library continued its committment to build responsibly and sustainably on this site. The building takes full advantage of a southern exposure on the front and will be cooled and heated convectively when conditions are favorable. We have used recycled content, low energy content, and content from renewable resources in our building material choices. We will restore and manage areas including the existing watercourse, Malletts Creek, and a wetland on the property.

The building designed by Luckenbach|Ziegelman Architects PLLC, constructed by Skanska USA Building, Inc. and landscaped by InSite Design Studio, Inc. cost 8.3 million dollars. The cost for the 16,500 square foot project on 5.74 acres include: the property purchase, site development, construction, furnishings, and the new collection.

The library levies 1.94 mills and uses 1.6 for operations. The remaining .34 mills is used for buildings and other capital expenses. Voters approved a levy of 2.0 mills in perpetuity for the library district in 1995.

Happy Birthday AADL!

The Ann Arbor District Library celebrated its tenth birthday in December and I would like to thank the Friends of AADL, Staff and all those who have served as Library Trustees since the public library was separated from the public schools in 1995. Their hard work, loyalty and professionalism are evidenced in the sound state of the Library today.

The decade has been a turbulent, yet very productive one for public library service in the community. In spite of a difficult period in 2000-01, careful planning and management assures that the Library is now able to operate well within its millage while building new branches, adding staff, increasing the budget for materials, and leading in major community initiatives such as the upcoming Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Reads.

Join us in celebrating our birthday as we look forward to another great year and the opening of the Pittsfield Branch in March.

Parking Survey for Downtown Ann Arbor

The Main Street Area Association is sponsoring a parking survey to find out how YOU feel about parking in the downtown. The survey will be active Friday, November 18 until December 10.

In addition to survey forms and boxes placed in downtown businesses, including the lobby of the Downtown Library, an online survey will be available at the Chamber of Commerce website: http://www.zoomerang.com/survey.zgi?p=WEB224RX9WEJ6N

The survey is short and to the point. Responses will help us all understand how our community currently perceives downtown parking.

The survey does not ask specifically about parking for the library, so write it in or write it here on this blog!

Syndicate content