A campaign to support the Ann Arbor District Library’s $65 million bond proposal for a new downtown building has officially launched. The Our New Downtown Library campaign committee has been working informally for several weeks. Some of its members attended the July 23 board meeting, when the AADL board voted to put the bond proposal on the Nov. 6 ballot. The $65 million bond would pay for a new building at the same location as the current structure, at 343 S. Fifth Ave.
Campaign committee members include Ellie Serras (chair), Mike Allemang, (treasurer), Sally Allen, Janis Bobrin, Leah Gunn, Debbie Herbert, Norman Herbert, Pat McDonald, Paul Morel, Omari Rush, Paul Saginaw, Ingrid Sheldon and Robin Wax. The group has already launched a website, Twitter account (@OurNewLibrary) and Facebook group. According to a press release issued this week, the group intends to hold public forums, use social media, speak at community meetings and mail information to residents in support of the bond proposal.
The AADL board is holding a special meeting on Monday, July 30 to vote on the ballot language for the bond proposal. The meeting begins at 7 p.m. in the fourth-floor conference room of the downtown library at 343 S. Fifth Ave.
By deciding to build a new downtown library, the board is picking up on work it began several years ago but halted in late 2008, because of the deteriorating economy. During public commentary at the July 23 meeting, two people urged the board to consider renovation instead of rebuilding, but all board members spoke in strong support of a new building and unanimously voted for the bond proposal.