Library Board Forms Two Special Committees

At its Jan. 21, 2013 meeting, the Ann Arbor District Library board voted unanimously to create two special committees – for facilities and communications.

The special facilities committee is a continuation of a committee that was originally formed at the board’s April 16, 2012 meeting. At that time, the purpose of the committee was to make a recommendation to the board regarding a possible new or renovated downtown building. At the board’s July 16, 2012 meeting, the committee – consisting of Prue Rosenthal, Nancy Kaplan and Ed Surovell – recommended that the board place a bond proposal on the Nov. 6 ballot to fund a new downtown library. At that same July meeting, the committee’s charge had been amended to include recommending “measures needed to maintain the existing building should a bond to replace the downtown facility fail to pass.”

The $65 million, 30-year bond proposal was rejected by voters, with 41,359 votes (55.17%) against it and support from 33,604 voters (44.83%).

The new charge for the special facilities committee is: “to recommend to the Board steps needed to develop and maintain clean, safe, physical facilities that creatively meet the needs of the community and staff with an emphasis on sustainability, accessibility and flexibility.” Surovell will continue to serve on the committee, joined by Rebecca Head and Margaret Leary, who will serve as chair.

The special communications committee is charged with making recommendations about a communications audit and plan. Members are Nancy Kaplan, Margaret Leary and Ed Surovell. After the Jan. 21 meeting, Leary told The Chronicle that the idea to form the committee evolved following the Nov. 6 election, and is a recognition that the AADL needed to do a better job of communicating its work to the public.

The charge for both committees runs through 2013.

Appointments were also made to the permanent board committees: (1) budget and finance (Kaplan, Barbara Murphy, Jan Barney Newman), (2) policy (Murphy, Kaplan, Rosenthal), (3) director’s evaluation (Rosenthal, Leary, Newman), and (4) executive (Rosenthal, as board president, plus any two additional officers of the board).

This brief was filed from the fourth floor conference room of the downtown Ann Arbor District Library at 343 S. Fifth. A more detailed report will follow.