Comments on: AADL Weighs Small Tax Hike in FY 2014 it's like being there Tue, 16 Sep 2014 04:56:38 +0000 hourly 1 By: John Floyd John Floyd Wed, 01 May 2013 04:49:13 +0000 Way to go, Kathy.


Non-answers – even to leading questions that seem to suggest the answers desired by the questioner – do not increase my confidence in the public body that issues them. This disease of non-answering seems pandemic among our local political class. How sad that even the library cannot be quarantined from it.

In particular, I echo the observation that announcing that the library board voted to not broadcast/tape its meetings does not really address the question, when the question asked “Why” the board made that decision. We all know that the meetings are not being taped – that’s why the question was asked.

By: David Cahill David Cahill Mon, 29 Apr 2013 22:11:06 +0000 Very nice, Kathy!

By: Alan Goldsmith Alan Goldsmith Mon, 29 Apr 2013 19:08:55 +0000 Kudos to Ms. Griswold and that group for taking the matter into their own hands. It’s shameful the Library won’t do this themselves.

By: Kathy Griswold Kathy Griswold Mon, 29 Apr 2013 14:53:31 +0000 Email to AADL board, director and secretary sent April 29, 2013

The Protect Our Libraries (POL) PAC plans to videotape board meetings beginning May 6, 2013, as permitted by the The Open Meetings Act (OMA), in the applicable section listed below. We again request that the board pass a resolution for CTN to record the meetings, both in the 4th floor room equipped for recording and remotely when meetings are scheduled in the branch libraries.

Please notify me by May 3, if the board has any “reasonable rules and regulations in order to minimize the possibility of disrupting the meeting.” We will be prepared to follow the rules and perform the task in a professional manner.

*************** Applicable section of OMA ***************

15.263 Meetings, decisions, and deliberations of public body; requirements; attending or addressing meeting of public body; tape-recording, videotaping, broadcasting, and telecasting proceedings; rules and regulations; exclusion from meeting; exemptions.
Sec. 3.

(1) All meetings of a public body shall be open to the public and shall be held in a place available to the general public. All persons shall be permitted to attend any meeting except as otherwise provided in this act. The right of a person to attend a meeting of a public body includes the right to tape-record, to videotape, to broadcast live on radio, and to telecast live on television the proceedings of a public body at a public meeting. The exercise of this right shall not be dependent upon the prior approval of the public body. However, a public body may establish reasonable rules and regulations in order to minimize the possibility of disrupting the meeting.

Thank you,
Katherine Griswold

By: Dave Askins Dave Askins Sat, 27 Apr 2013 22:42:41 +0000 Regarding the ADDL’s board vote not to videotape meetings. Of course, the OMA allows anyone to videotape – and even broadcast live – but doesn’t require the public body to videotape its own proceedings or to archive the records. [I won't indulge in a tangent on how useful it would be to amend the city ordinance on cable licensing fees and direct a collaboration between AADL and CTN with respect to the overlap in community access and archiving mission. The ball is more in the city council's court than the library's, I think.]

It’s been pointed out in other threads that two other public bodies have in the last few years begun videotaping meetings of their governing bodies – the Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority and the Ann Arbor Transportation Authority.

In the case of the AATA, that did not happen magically, where someone proposed it and the AATA board said: “Great idea, let’s do it!” Based on some 2007 AATA minutes predating the existence of The Chronicle, it appears there was a push from the community around that time to choose a venue for board meetings that was already outfitted with fixed cameras. And that possibility was apparently acted on – possibly at the level of a board committee – with the same outcome as the AADL board vote: it was rejected. In any case that’s the way AATA board member David Nacht recalled it a couple years after that. From the Chronicle’s Dec. 16, 2009 meeting report:

In board discussion of video recording their meetings, board member David Nacht said that he was personally in favor of video recording meetings, but noted that the board had recently voted down a proposal to video record meetings, and that lacking new information, out of respect for previous board decisions he was disinclined to support it. Responding to Nacht, [Ted] Annis said that the “new information” could be that the AATA had a new CEO and was exploring an extension of its service to more areas of the county.

But by late summer 2010, the AATA board had moved its board meetings to the downtown location of the Ann Arbor District Library, because of the availability of fixed cameras there.

All this by way of making the point that a board might need some additional time and a specific reason to come around to understand that it’s just in the institution’s best interest to just go ahead and videotape the meetings. In the case of the AADL board, the equipment is all there in the library board room already. For heaven’s sake, the AATA board moved its meetings to the AADL board room to take advantage of the fixed cameras there.

By: Sam S. Sam S. Fri, 26 Apr 2013 17:21:38 +0000 If you have watched the library at all over the past two years, you know that pretending they don’t know what you mean is the unspoken policy to avoid answering all uncomfortable questions. (See #6 from the same post). At the least this has become open disdain for the patrons and citizens. One hopes it is not a desperate attempt to cover up some deeper rot that has been hidden under the surface for too long.

By: Alan Goldsmith Alan Goldsmith Fri, 26 Apr 2013 14:16:34 +0000 “1. Given that the OMA specifically allows for the videotaping of open meetings, why is the Library continuing to refuse to televise the program for public meetings by CTN?

On May 16, 2011, the AADL Board voted in open session against televising AADL Board meetings.”

Apparently we might want to define the meaning of the word WHY? Someone doesn’t quite understand the complete meaning of the word.

By: Libby Hunter Libby Hunter Fri, 26 Apr 2013 14:05:17 +0000 This is not a “report” -

Committee Reports: Executive

Prue Rosenthal reported the executive committee met and discussed “issues at hand.” She did not elaborate.

(see #6 above)

By: Mary Morgan Mary Morgan Fri, 26 Apr 2013 13:38:53 +0000 At the April 15 meeting, John Woodford spoke during public commentary (as reported above) and posed a series of questions to the board. He asked that the library email him a response, which he received on April 22 from AADL administrative assistant Karen Wilson. Woodford shared the response with The Chronicle:

Mr. Woodford,

Thank you for taking the time to attend the April 15th AADL Board meeting, and for exercising your right to speak to elected officials. Below we have answered the questions that you submitted.

1. Given that the OMA specifically allows for the videotaping of open meetings, why is the Library continuing to refuse to televise the program for public meetings by CTN?

On May 16, 2011, the AADL Board voted in open session against televising AADL Board meetings.

2. Why did you hire a public relations consulting firm, Allerton Hill, known for its political consulting?

In the AADL strategic plan adopted in 2010 is an objective to audit the communications structure and practices of AADL and to develop a communications plan. Allerton Hill is known for its emphasis on data collection for making strategic decisions, and that is in keeping with AADL’s practices. The communications plan that will be developed from this contract will extend to all communications, to and from AADL, and will encompass all aspects of the library’s services and programs as it works to achieve its mission.

3. In addition to the $28,000.00 PR contract with Allerton Hill, if that is an accurate sum, are there provisions in it for travel expenses?

Yes, Allerton Hill pays for all travel expenses.

4. Does it make sense for you (AADL) to spend $28,000.00 public dollars on what looks like another bond campaign?

The contract with Allerton Hill is to audit the communications of the AADL and to work with AADL to develop a comprehensive communications plan. The AADL Board is not able to control how any one individual might interpret an action that it takes; it can only state its purpose and intent.

5. We are aware that a citizen’s library committee was recommended to the Board, so why are you hiring an expensive consulting firm, Allerton Hill, rather than forming a citizen’s advisory committee?

One is not related to the other from the AADL Board’s point of view.

6. The public library should stand for freedom of inquiry, expression and information. So, I wonder why any library meetings should be held in secret?

Library meetings are posted as required by law and conducted according to the law. No library meetings are held in secret. Committee meetings are not posted, nor are they required to be. Committee meetings are all reported on in the public monthly AADL Board meetings by committee chairpersons.

We thank you for your interest in the Ann Arbor District Library.


Karen Wilson

Karen L. Wilson

Administrative Assistant
Ann Arbor District Library

By: Judy Bonnell-Wenzel Judy Bonnell-Wenzel Thu, 25 Apr 2013 14:19:40 +0000 I would love to see a skating rink and park on the Library Lane Lot. I assume it would be closer to the Earthen Jar and not on the side nearer the Library. The Public Transportation is great from where I live, off Ellsworth. I can get downtown in 20 minutes from my place 5 miles south of downtown.
I also love the library, but recently found the computers and printer downtown were not as well kept up as the ones at my branch, off Eisenhower.