AADL Director Praised in Evaluation

Josie Parker, director of the Ann Arbor District Library, received a positive evaluation from the AADL board at its May 21, 2012 meeting. Parker’s salary remains unchanged at $143,114. A two-page letter to Parker from board president Margaret Leary, and vetted by all board members, notes that the board believes her salary to be equitable with comparable positions. [.pdf of evaluation letter]

The letter describes Parker’s performance as excellent, and lists several areas of accomplishment, including the attraction and retention of top talent, consistency in presenting a balanced budget, and creativity in providing new services.

The letter also points to challenges ahead: “We are aware that AADL’s community relations efforts have succeeded in creating demand beyond what our existing facilities can support. The big challenge to all of us in the coming year – and the biggest challenge for you – is to lead the effort to determine the best path for ensuring that AADL lives up to what our community expects, in all regards. The coming year will present new demands that are not completely foreseeable. Ann Arbor is a special community, founded and built on learning and information. The Ann Arbor District Library has increasingly been central to our community and its growth and prosperity. Now AADL has to decide whether its downtown facility is up to providing what the community deserves.”

The reference to a downtown facility reflects a decision by the board and top staff to explore the possibility of a new building, in place of the current four-story structure at 343 S. Fifth Ave. A recent survey commissioned by AADL – and presented to the board at its April 16, 2012 meeting – indicates voter support for a tax increase to pay for major renovations or reconstruction of that building.

This brief was filed from the fourth-floor boardroom of the downtown Ann Arbor District Library at 343 S. Fifth Ave. A more detailed report will follow: [link]