Welcome to the new aadl.org

It's been thirteen years since the Library upgraded to a new automation system and we flip the switch today! We expect some glitches and we want to hear from you. We will take care of major issues immediately, but you may not hear back from us on design suggestions for several weeks. While a great deal of work and consideration has gone into the design of the new website and catalog, we expect to make refinements and look forward to hearing how we can do better.

The website launch is providing an additional forum for public communication with the library. This blog is one of several. The intention is to make regular postings here from administration that will encourage discussion about library policies and services. Many issues effect our ability to provide relevant, affordable and sustainable library services in this community. That we are able to meet the current challenge and the need to grow is a tribute to the support of the community. We want to continue to get it right as much as possible. The new website and catalog is our latest major attempt. Let us know what you think.

Josie Parker
Ann Arbor District Library


The previous catalog included reviews from Publishers Weekly, Booklist, and other journals. I found this an invaluable resource. Please don't tell me that you have eliminated this feature in the new website.

I am just navigating the new website. Where is the link to find new picture books(children's book)? Thank you.

glen, the book reviews feature is only gone temporarily; we haven't figured out how to make it work with the new catalog yet. It will be back.

Jie, we don't yet have a link to see new picture books, but we are working on it.

Thanks for your comments! You can also use this form if you have general questions or suggestions.

I have some items checked out that cannot be renewed. The old system used to have those noted. THe new one won't let me renew them, but there's no notation about which things can't be renewed.

I use the book-review feature, too; I"m glad to hear it will be back.

Victoria, we're working on that. We may not be able to get it to show that they're not renewable, as the new system doesn't handle that quite the same way, but we are working on a way to give you better information about the success or failure of your renewals. As you figured out, currently, if the due date doesn't change when you try to renew, then it couldn't be renewed.

Great job. I am really happy that you've added the blog feature -- very cutting edge! It's essential to build a community around the library to insulate it from the inevitable financial ups and downs. As far as I'm concerned, the library is the crown jewel of Ann Arbor's downtown.

What's happening with the plans to improve the drop-off situation in front of the library? I thought there was going to be a carve-out from the parking lot.

I hope you are able to get the Reviews back quickly. I used them very frequently, and they would be a real loss.
Also, PLEASE try to figure out how to show books checked out that cannot be renewed. This was an very valuable feature.

I'm trying to request a book from the search results page but each one I click on takes me to a page saying "The requested URL was not found on this server"... needless to say, it's a bit annoying since I do ALL my book searches and reservations online.

Also, regarding page design. The small type is very difficult for me to see... I must say I really really dislike that feature. Just finding the link to the catalog had me leaning over my desk to get closer to the monitor.

and yet another request/hope: Being able to reserve books that are On Order was a wonderful feature. I cheered when the previous sytem added it, and hope this can be reinstated.

Agreed that the book reviews are very important. that is a great benefit because PW costs $150/year and the reviews are excellent.

I added the library RSS feeds to the right-hand side of my Ann Arbor portal page at http://www.wfzimmerman.com/index.php?topic=AnnArbor.

Thanks for all your comments. The reviews will be back, hopefully next week. Also, requesting items on order was supposed to work, but it's not for some reason. We're waiting on some action from our catalog vendor to get that working, but rest assured that it's coming. You will be able to request items that are on order.

As for the "URL not found" error, thanks to all of you who helped us identify this problem. We're working on it now.

As for the type size, ('library card number username', let us know if you'd like us to change that), we've put that in your control... you can use your browser's view menu to make the text larger or smaller.

Wfzimmerman, thanks for linking to our feeds, there's more to come!

i wanted to echo victoria's sentiments about the renewal system. even if the new system returns a message saying your book can't be renewed, that's much less helpful than the old system, which would tell you in advance if a book was not renewable.

wfzimmerman, thank you for the feedback on our use of blogs. The plans to improve the drop off situation on Fifth Avenue Downtown are still in discussion stage with the DDA and City. We are encouraged by the interest in downtown zoning and development. Please plan to attend any of the number of sessions being held July-September titled A2Downtown Development Strategy. The first interactive Public Design workshop is to be held July 28 from 6-9 PM at Courthouse Square in the ballroom on the second floor.

It's very cool that when placing a hold the new system will tell how many people are ahead of you. And it looks like you can check back and see how the que is advancing. Neat.

I liked the old site fine and would not have said change was needed, but already I find things I like better in the new site. Good work!

Somewhat ironically, the new site has major issues on the library's own public terminals: the page is so wide (or the screens are so small) that the sidebar is off the screen, and some crazy refresh script forces me into the catalog from the main screen--i had to hit 'escape' four or five times to get there and stay there. . . .

libcat, we're working on both those issues. The refresh script is intended to make sure that the last user logs out, but it's not quite working right yet. When you use a catalog station at the library, always close the browser when you're done to ensure that your account is protected.

Many great improvements! My wishlist includes a user entered data item for the preferred location for pickup of books that were requested. It seems silly to have to choose it every time when I always pick up my books at th same location. The old screens 'remembered' your usual location.

I may be missing this but ... where did the book profile, summary, title, cover page, etc. go? It was a great resource to help me figure out which books of an author I have already read!

lisamulligan, both of those are on our list too. Default pickup location works a little differently on the new system, but it can still be done. We're working on how best to do that. The reviews and summaries are only missing temporarily, we hope to have those back this week. Thanks for your comments!