Stories indexed with the term ‘communications plan’

AADL To Hire Communications Consultant

Ann Arbor District Library board meeting (March 18, 2013): Several items during the AADL board’s most recent meeting related to the issue of communications.

Eli Neiburger, Prue Rosenthal, Ann Arbor District Library, The Ann Arbor Chronicle

Eli Neiburger, AADL’s associate director of IT and production, talks with AADL board president Prue Rosenthal in the small room off of the fourth-floor boardroom. The former closet is used as a studio for podcasting. (Photos by the writer.)

Nancy Kaplan, chair of the board’s new communications committee, announced that AADL will hire Allerton-Hill Consulting to do a communications audit and plan for the library, to be completed this year. The decision was made in consultation with AADL director Josie Parker, Kaplan said. It didn’t require a board vote because the amount of the contract is the maximum for not triggering board approval: $28,000. Contracts for purchases over that amount must be authorized by the board.

Board president Prue Rosental, in supporting the decision, noted that during the campaign to pass a bond for a new downtown library – which voters rejected on Nov. 6, 2012 – library advocates learned that “people in the community didn’t know what we do and how well we do it.”

Some of those “what we do” activities were highlighted during two presentations at the meeting: (1) an overview of AADL podcasts produced by staff and patrons; and (2) a report from Eli Neiburger, AADL’s associate director of IT and production, about his recent trip to Germany as a guest of the U.S. State Department and Zukunftswerkstatt (“Future Workshop”), visiting libraries in several cities. The head of the Zukunftswerkstatt was interested in using AADL’s efforts as a model to get German libraries more involved with younger communities, using gaming and other activities. As a result of the partnership with AADL, a dozen libraries in Germany have started running events through the GT System, which AADL staff developed. A league tournament is being held, and three winners will come to Ann Arbor for the May 19 German-American Gaming League Championships, held at the AADL.

Communications was also a topic during public commentary. Libby Hunter, a member of the Protect Our Libraries political action committee, urged the board to be more open and transparent, asking them to allow the public to attend committee meetings, to videotape their meetings for broadcast on Community Television Network, and to explain their use of closed sessions in relation to the Michigan Open Meetings Act. And Don Salberg asked for more information related to the condition of the downtown library, and for details on the board’s rationale for wanting a larger building on that same site.

Also during public commentary, Stewart Gordon spoke briefly about an effort to put a skating rink on the city-owned Library Lane site, adjacent to the downtown library on South Fifth Avenue. He hoped the topic could be put on the board’s agenda at some point.

The one resolution that was on the board’s agenda was unanimously approved: A one-year contract extension with Pace Mechanical Services for $83,865. The contract, which will run through June 30, 2014, covers HVAC equipment and maintenance.

The board also talked briefly about its budget preparations for fiscal 2013-14, which begins July 1. The budget and finance committee will bring a draft budget to the board’s April 15 meeting, with a vote on the budget scheduled for May 20. For the current fiscal year, the AADL has a budget of about $12 million, with a millage rate set at 1.55 mills. [Full Story]

AADL Acts on Communications, Facilities

Ann Arbor District Library board meeting (Jan. 21, 2013): Efforts to develop a communications plan and to review the needs of all library facilities were among the items addressed at the library board’s first meeting of 2013.

Prue Rosenthal, Barbara Murphy, Ann Arbor District Library board, The Ann Arbor Chronicle

From left: Prue Rosenthal, the new president of the Ann Arbor District Library board, and board member Barbara Murphy. The seven-member board elected new officers at its Jan. 21, 2013 meeting. (Photos by the writer.)

The board voted unanimously to create two special committees – for facilities and communications. The efforts can be tied to a defeated bond proposal on the Nov. 6 ballot, which the AADL board had hoped would fund a new downtown library.

Both topics were touched on during public commentary, too. Two local architects – Sahba Laal and George Kachadoorian – told the board they’ve prepared a proposal for renovating and perhaps adding to the downtown library building. They hope to present their ideas at a future board meeting. Also during public commentary, Lou Glorie urged the board to consider moving its meeting dates, which typically fall on the same evening as Ann Arbor city council meetings. She also suggested that the meetings be recorded for viewing on Community Television Network (CTN) – an idea that the majority of board members rejected when Nancy Kaplan proposed it nearly two years ago.

In contrast, Kaplan’s most recent proposal – to hold three board meetings this year at library branches, rather than at the downtown location – won unanimous support from the board. The change is intended to make it easier for the public to attend, and to showcase the branches. Those branch meetings will be held at: (1) the Traverwood branch at 3333 Traverwood Drive, at the intersection with Huron Parkway (June 17); (2) the Pittsfield branch at 2359 Oak Valley Drive (July 15); and the Malletts Creek branch at 3090 E. Eisenhower Parkway, east of Stone School Road (Sept. 16).

The Jan. 21 meeting included a swearing-in ceremony – officiated by Libby Hines, chief judge of the 15th District Court – for the four AADL board incumbents who were re-elected on Nov. 6, 2012: Nancy Kaplan, Margaret Leary, Rebecca Head and Prue Rosenthal. The seven-member board also held officer elections. Prue Rosenthal was unanimously elected president. Other officers are Jan Barney Newman (vice president); Nancy Kaplan (treasurer); and Rebecca Head (secretary).

Several members of the Protect Our Libraries group attended the Jan. 21 meeting. Formed in 2012 to oppose the AADL’s bond proposal for a new downtown library, the group subsequently organized as a political action committee (PAC). Kathy Griswold, who launched Protect Our Libraries, was among those present at the board meeting – along with Bob Rorke, who previously served on the Ann Arbor Public Schools board of education with Griswold. Griswold told The Chronicle that the PAC is hiring Rorke to conduct a financial analysis of the AADL. [Full Story]

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 … [Full Story]