The Friends of the Ann Arbor District Library receives over 200,000 books every year, but they found out on Dec. 4 that the area they use for sorting them will soon be shrinking by half. The other half of the space that they use currently will be needed to accommodate equipment and materials from the Washtenaw Library for the Blind and Physically Disabled, which the AADL recently assimilated. Part of the strategy to ease the space crunch is to suspend acceptance of donations effective immediately. Expect to see signage in the library to that effect soon.
But the other part of the plan is to reconfigure the existing bookshop layout to display more books, as well as to cut prices in half. Prices for hardcover and trade paperbacks will be cut from $2 to $1, and mass paperbacks will drop from $.50 to $.25.
Janis Detlefs, who works with the Friends, let The Chronicle inside the bookshop yesterday morning to get a peek at some of the new layout for the bookshop. The bookshop area is separate from the sorting area and won’t be reduced as a part of the new configuration. She described how additional bookshelves would be lining the center of the shop to make room for more books.
But she also said that a fairly rigorous culling of existing materials would be taking place. Alphabetized fiction, for example, wouldn’t disappear entirely, but it would be afforded less space. Likewise for videos in VHS format.
Detlefs said that the relatively short time frame came from the fact that the requirements for fire codes – the need to have 36-inch aisle ways, for example – hadn’t initially been factored into the planning. But Detlefs stressed that “we’re not being evicted or anything,” and said that the library had been very cooperative and was providing logistical and labor support. The reconfiguration of the sorting area needs to be finished by Jan. 5, she said.
Customers of the bookshop will notice the new pricing and new layout starting the next time the bookshop opens on Sat., Dec. 13 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. and Sun., Dec 14 from 1-4 p.m. The following weekend there will be a $3 bag sale on selected items.