Ann Arbor District Library board meeting (March 16, 2009): At their Monday night board meeting, a full contingent of the AADL board heard about the online searchable archive of Ann Arbor city council minutes, got a report from director Josie Parker (putting a recent library rating into context), set a process for conducting Parker’s performance review, and voted to approve additional funds related to replacement of air-handlers in the downtown library.
Ann Arbor District Library Board (Feb. 16, 2009): With three trustees absent and little discussion on items in a thin agenda, Monday evening’s Ann Arbor District Library board meeting was an exercise in brevity. As is its custom, the board met in executive session an hour prior to the public portion of the meeting. The public meeting lasted 15 minutes, with financial issues touched on in several ways.
Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners (Feb. 4, 2009): Most of Wednesday night’s board meeting was devoted to a discussion of the county’s budget crisis, but commissioners also heard an update from Josie Parker of the Ann Arbor District Library about the transition of the Library for the Blind and Physically Disabled, and tabled voting on a facilities contract in order to have a later discussion about vendor preferences. They also met some of the administration’s interns.
Ann Arbor District Library Board (Jan. 26, 2009): The Ann Arbor District Library board got an update about work leading up to next Monday’s opening of the Washtenaw Library for the Blind and Physically Disabled @ AADL. And marking a shift toward renovation after plans to build a new downtown facility were put on hold last month, the board approved funds to replace 57-year-old air-handling equipment in the existing building, and suspended rules that require getting a competitive bid for the work.
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.
At the Traverwood branch of the Ann Arbor District Library on the Friday after Thanksgiving, the room at the back of the building was awash with the colors of blue, purple, red, orange and green cups. On entering the room, the ock-ock-ock of cups getting stacked into pyramids then rapidly collapsed by small hands became audible. There were 20 or so kids from kindergarten through eighth grade at the event – enough to fill the room without making it feel cramped – which culminated in a competition with prizes awarded in the form of gift cards to Target.
A somber Ann Arbor District Library board voted unanimously this morning to suspend its ambitious project to build a new downtown library, though they held out the possibility of resuming the plan if and when the economy improves.
“I think we’re talking about a detour – at least I’m talking about a detour,” said board chair Rebecca Head.
The board called a special meeting for this morning which began in a closed session with the library’s real estate attorney, Jim Adams of Butzel Long. They reconvened for a public meeting at 10:15 a.m., and Head announced that Adams had delivered disturbing news about the bond market that was “very sobering.”
I’m at the meeting now. The Library’s lawyer told the board in session that the bond market is not conducive to the needs of the new building project. The board just voted unanimously to suspend all work on the project.
Editor’s note: Jim Rees left the above text in a comment on the preview article, and we’ve elevated it to be a bit more prominent. We have a reporter at the meeting this morning as well and will follow up with more details.
The Ann Arbor District Library board has called a special meeting for Monday morning, Nov. 24, to discuss the downtown building project. The meeting will be held in the conference room of the downtown library, 343 S. Fifth Ave.
The meeting begins at 9:30 a.m. with a closed executive session. It will reconvene in a meeting open to the public at 10:15 a.m. If anyone wants to come at 9:30 a.m. – though they won’t be allowed to enter the meeting – they’ll need to use the back entrance to the building. The main entrance opens at 10 a.m.
No further details are available about the meeting’s agenda. Earlier this year, the board hired Luckenbach Ziegelman Architects to work on designing a …
You can tell it’s a longer-than-usual meeting of the Ann Arbor District Library board when it adjourns later than city council. The Monday evening meeting included a discussion of the board’s vision for the new downtown library building, and presentations by city planner Wendy Rampson about the A2D2 zoning proposals. Three staff members also briefed the board on a wide range of literacy programs offered by the library.
When the library opened its lower level doors Sunday at noon for a rare equipment sale, a few dozen people were already there, waiting to get first pick. Some actually ran into the room.
“It was crazy,” says Ken Nieman, associate director for the Ann Arbor District Library.
Carola Stearns hadn’t planned on being an Ann Arbor District Library board member, but a set of circumstances converged to put her on the board at one of its most crucial times in recent history, helping guide a major building project that could transform part of downtown Ann Arbor.
Stearns was appointed to the AADL board in early August, following the resignation of Jean King, who was elected in May. King – a veteran attorney and women’s rights activist – resigned in mid-July, citing her inability to be available for board meetings in person.
Discussion of the possible design of a new downtown library building took up much of Monday night’s relatively short Ann Arbor District Library board meeting.
As the Ann Arbor District Library moves forward on its ambitious project to raze the downtown building and put up a new library on the Fifth & William site, a nonprofit that supports the AADL ponders its own future.
Friends of the Ann Arbor District Library, or FAADL, is best known for the shop it runs on weekends in the basement of the downtown library, raising money to support the AADL. The group has built a real sense of community there, with long-time volunteers and regular shoppers greeting each other by name as they staff the cashier table or browse the shelves, boxes and tables full of books, DVDs and other materials.
At its Monday evening meeting, the Ann Arbor District Library board unanimously approved tearing down the main library building and constructing a new one from the ground up, rather than renovating the existing building on South Fifth Avenue.
The decision gives the go-ahead for architects to focus on that option, said AADL director Josie Parker. She said it also means she will focus on funding options, including going to voters to request a new millage for the project, which could cost more than $70 million.