Stories indexed with the term ‘library policy’

Redesign Planned for Library “Front Porch”

Ann Arbor District Library board meeting (Feb. 17, 2014): Work on a significant redesign to the front entrance of the downtown Ann Arbor library is moving forward, following action this month by the AADL board.

Ann Arbor District Library, InForm Studio, The Ann Arbor Chronicle

Rendering of proposed new entry at downtown Ann Arbor library, located at 343 S. Fifth Ave. (Image by InForm Studio.)

A vote to continue with the project followed a presentation by Cory Lavigne of InForm Studio, the architecture firm that previously designed AADL’s Traverwood branch. A final design will likely be brought forward for approval at the board’s April 21 meeting, after a public forum in mid-March. Update: The forum is scheduled for Thursday, March 13 at 5:30 p.m. at the downtown building.

The entrance would continue to be oriented to South Fifth Avenue, with new doors into the building. The plan described by Lavigne includes replacing the existing teal strip that wraps around the front of the building – above the doors and windows – with a “concrete skin” panel. Wood paneling would be used in the ceiling of the outside walkway adjacent to the building. Sloping entry walkways would be located on the north side from the Library Lane parking structure and on the south side from William Street, with steps in front leading to South Fifth Avenue. Additional elements include landscaping, a bench, handrails and other features that visually link the library to the adjacent city-owned Library Lane.

The north side of the front facade, closest to Library Lane, would also include a large, translucent sign – made of glass or cast resin – that would be placed between existing brick columns, creating a screen along part of the walkway on that side of the building. The sign would be lit from the inside, with additional lighting along the walkway, to create a glowing effect.

It was that sign element that drew some criticism and concern at the board’s Feb. 17 meeting, primarily from Ed Surovell. He cautioned against creating any kind of shelter, saying it would simply be “an inviting nuisance.” AADL director Josie Parker acknowledged the concern, saying that she had discussed the issue with the library’s security staff as well. She told the board that no matter how the area is designed, security issues will always be a factor and would be handled as they are now, by security staff.

In other action at the board meeting, trustees approved revisions to more than a dozen sections of the AADL policy manual, and voted to create a new committee to help develop the next strategic plan, for 2015-2020. That planning effort had been the focus of a Feb. 3, 2014 board retreat.

Board members also got a brief update on the agreement for a new bike share program called ArborBike, which trustees will likely be asked to approve at their March 17 meeting. It relates to a bike station that will be located on the northern end of the downtown library’s property.

During her director’s report, Josie Parker told the board that the downtown library will be a site for the Living Lab Initiative, a project funded by the National Science Foundation. AADL will be the first public library to be involved in this project, and researchers will be working in the youth department through the end of September.

The board also heard from two people during public commentary: Changming Fan of TiniLite World Inc., who expressed interest in working with the library; and Jamie Vander Broek, a University of Michigan librarian and homeowner who described several reasons why she appreciated AADL. She concluded her remarks by saying: “I love paying my taxes for this library.” [Full Story]

Ann Arbor Library Policy Updates Approved

Revisions to Ann Arbor District Library policies were approved unanimously by the AADL board at its Feb. 17, 2014 meeting. The proposed revisions had been presented to the board at its meeting on Jan. 20, 2014.

The changes affect more than a dozen sections of the AADL policy manual, which covers a wide range of issues spanning overall library philosophy to circulation policies and rules of behavior for patrons. Among the changes include a new policy to offer free library cards to non-resident students and staff at state-sanctioned schools within AADL’s district.

The board’s policy committee had already reviewed all revisions that were proposed by AADL staff and vetted by legal counsel.

Revisions were made in the following sections of the policy handbook. [Each ... [Full Story]

AADL Board Reviews Library Policies

At their Jan. 20, 2014 meeting, trustees of the Ann Arbor District Library discussed extensive revisions to the AADL policy manual, which covers a wide range of issues spanning overall library philosophy to circulation policies and rules of behavior for patrons. A vote to approve the policy updates will likely occur at the board’s February meeting.

The board’s policy committee had already reviewed the changes that were proposed by AADL staff and vetted by legal counsel. For each section, board members were provided with a copy of the current policy, a marked-up version showing deletions and additions, and a “clean” draft version of the updated text.

Revisions are proposed for the following sections of the policy handbook:

What’s the Future Role for Libraries?

Ann Arbor District Library board meeting (Feb. 20, 2012): A senior staff report on a conference in Australia prompted some discussion at the library board’s February meeting,

Eli Neiburger

Eli Neiburger, AADL associate director of IT and product development.

Eli Neiburger, AADL’s associate director of IT and product development, gave the closing plenary talk at an international conference earlier this month in Melbourne. It was hosted by VALA, an independent nonprofit that conducts tech education and support conferences. Neiburger is considered a leader in the field – he was named by Library Journal as one of its 2011 Movers & Shakers. His talk – “Access, schmaccess: libraries in the Age of Information Ubiquity” – looked at the role of libraries in an era when most digital content is free.

In that context, he said, the library’s role in the future involves offering unique content, experiences and events. He indicated that the AADL, with its robust programming, is well-positioned for these changes.

In its main action item of the evening, board members unanimously approved a website terms-of-use policy that had been discussed at their Jan. 18, 2012 meeting. The five-page document covers a range of topics, including guidelines for AADL and user-generated content, and how copyright complaints will be handled.

The board also approved its annual committee assignments, which are unchanged from last year. Board president Margaret Leary indicated that continuity would be important for the coming year. That was an allusion to major decisions that the board is expected to make regarding its downtown building on South Fifth Avenue. In November 2011, the board voted to provide $45,000 in funding for consultants to help resume the process of possibly redeveloping that downtown building, which is located south of the city’s new underground parking structure. [Full Story]

Library Board OKs Website Policy

At its Feb. 20, 2012 meeting, the Ann Arbor District Library board unanimously approved a terms-of-use policy for its website. Board members had received a presentation about the proposed policy at their Jan. 18, 2012 meeting. At that meeting, Eli Neiburger – AADL’s associate director of IT and product development – described the policy as a fairly standard attribute of corporate websites. It defines the legal relationship between the website’s users and its owner, and is put in place in case there is any problem regarding the website’s use or content.

The five-page document cover guidelines for AADL and user-generated content; how copyright complaints will be handled; the policy for website registration, accounts and passwords; issues related to points awarded … [Full Story]

Mammoth Molars, Other Realia at the AADL

Ann Arbor District Library board meeting (Jan. 16, 2012): A Michigan Radio report last month had indicated that the Ann Arbor library might start loaning out bicycles. AADL director Josie Parker assured the board that “we don’t circulate bicycles!” but said she wanted trustees to learn more about the kinds of realia collections that the library does circulate.

Celeste Choate

Celeste Choate, AADL associate director of services, collections and access, holds up a replica of a fossilized wooly mammoth tooth and a wooly mammoth model – items that are included in Science to Go kits available from the AADL. Choate was giving a presentation on the library's realia collections. (Photos by the writer.)

Among the most popular is AADL’s art print collection, which includes work by local artists, according to Celeste Choate, AADL associate director of services, collections and access. Meter readers to gauge the energy efficiency of home appliances and electronics are also popular.

Science to Go kits are the newest addition to AADL’s realia collection. Each kit focuses on a theme – prehistoric mammals, for example – and contains materials that include books, DVDs, Fandex educational cards, and objects like a replica of a fossilized wooly mammoth molar. The kits have only been available for about a month, but are all checked out, each with a long wait list. The realia collections are listed in “Unusual Stuff to Borrow” on AADL’s website.

Other agenda items for Monday’s meeting were less show and more tell. The board re-elected its current slate of officers for another year, with president Margaret Leary noting that the board faces several important decisions in the coming year – she indicated that continuity of leadership would help the board in that context. Though she did not mention it explicitly, Leary likely was alluding to plans discussed by the board in November to restart the process for determining the future of the AADL’s downtown location.

In a formal address at the start of Monday’s meeting, Leary reviewed the library’s accomplishments for 2011. Among other things, she mentioned the board’s decision to keep its millage rate down, while still balancing its budget. AADL’s millage rate for the current fiscal year is 1.55 mills – below the 1.92 mills that the district is authorized to levy. However, she cautioned that if the state eliminates the personal property tax and no replacement funding is found, the library would lose about $600,000 annually in revenues out of a $12 million budget.

Later in the meeting, the board was briefed by Eli Neiburger, AADL’s associate director of IT and product development, on a draft terms-of-use policy for the library’s website. The decision to develop the policy was driven in large part because of issues related to the library’s digitization of the former Ann Arbor News archives – AADL will be putting a lot of material online for which it doesn’t hold the copyright. The board is expected to vote on the policy at its Feb. 20 meeting.

Also at Monday’s meeting, the board voted to approve a two-year lease renewal with Westgate Enterprises LLC for the location of AADL’s branch at the Westgate Shopping Center, at Jackson and South Maple roads. The annual lease rate is $82,260, beginning Feb. 1. [Full Story]