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Ann Arbor District Library Newsletter Fall 2014

Ann Arbor District Library Newsletter Fall 2014 image Ann Arbor District Library Newsletter Fall 2014 image Ann Arbor District Library Newsletter Fall 2014 image
Ann Arbor District Library

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Ann Arbor District Library
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How do you fund your library?
Your Library - A library for this century

Director's Note

In AADL’s summer newsletter, we shared highlights of the April phone survey of the community, conducted by EPIC-MRA of Michigan. While 88% of respondents gave AADL a positive rating, we learned that 70% of our residents are not aware of how AADL is funded or governed. We decided to focus the fall newsletter on these two issues.

The Library is governed by a board of seven individuals that you elect in a non- partisan, at-large election. Each board member serves a term of four years. Terms are staggered, with elections occurring every two years.

AADL is funded with a voter-approved perpetual property tax millage. For the past six years, the Library Board has levied 1.55 mills, about 20% less than the voter- approved amount. Construction of the Malletts Creek, Pittsfield, and Traverwood Branches was funded completely through this millage. AADL has no debt.

AADL’s revenue is legally dedicated to providing public library services. Library tax dollars cannot be used for city police, the fire department, public schools, or road improvements.

While the funding of AADL is generous, it is also well within the range for a public library in our area, and in comparable public libraries around the country. The AADL is a sound investment in our community.


If you have any questions about how the Library is funded or how AADL spends your tax dollars, please email me at or call me at 327-4263 and we can arrange a time to talk over coffee.

We thank you for your patience and understanding during the recent closure of the Downtown Library for the elevator repair work.


AADL receives 92% of its funding from property taxes.
The remaining 8% comes from fines, fees, grants, gifts, and state aid to give AADL an annual budget of approximately $12.5 million.

How much of your local property tax goes to AADL?
AADL currently levies 1.55 mills across the district. While AADL's tax rate is the same for everyone in the district, different areas have different total tax rates. Depending on where you live, 3.4 % - 5.4 % of your property taxes go to AADL.

AADL Property Tax Revenue Sources
Ann Arbor (City of) 61.7%
Ann Arbor Township 6.6%
Lodi Township 0.8%
Pittsfield Township 15.0%
Salem Township 0.2%
Scio Township 10.5%
Superior Township 3.4%
Webster Township (not visible) 0.1%
Washtenaw County 1.7%

How does AADL funding compare?

City of Ann Arbor - 16.4501 mills
State Education - 6.0000 mills
Washtenaw County - 5.7801 mills
AAPS Supplemental millage - 4.3692 mills
Washtenaw Independent School District - 3.9745 mills
Washtenaw Community College - 3.4576 mills
AAPS School Debt millage - 2.4500 mills
AADL - 1.55 mills
AAPS Local Enhancement millage - 1.0000 mills

In Michigan
Kalamazoo Public Library - 3.9583 mills
Ypsilanti District Library - 2.8102 mills
Chelsea District Library - 2.4321 mills
Grosse Pointe District Library - 2.0412 mills
Plymouth District Library - 1.7098 mills
Dexter District Library - 1.6686 mills
Milan District Library - 1.6105 mills
Capitol Area District Library - 1.56 mills
AADL - 1.55 mills
Canton District Library - 1.5437 mills
Saline District Library - 1.1830 mills
Manchester District Library - 1.0500 mills

Library cost per person
Columbus Metropolitan, OH - $203.99
Berkeley Public, CA - $131.31
Topeka/Shawnee County Public, KS - $96.33
Boulder Public, CO - $73.58
AADL - $72.73
Madison Public, WI - $51.70
Lawrence Public, KS - $38.52
Austin Public, TX - $33.62


In 1996, when AADL was established as an independent governmental unit, voters approved a permanent levy of up to 2.0 mills. One year later, the AADL Board set the millage rate at 1.65.

In 2000, the Board levied 1.95 mills to fund the Branch Expansion Program. They then decreased the millage in 2009 to its current rate of 1.55, or about 80% of the voter-approved rate, where it has remained for six years.
[see chart in newsletter]

Research Tools
Did you know that AADL subscribes to many powerful research tools for your use? This information isn’t available on the open web, but with your AADL Library card, you can access these services on at no charge.

To highlight just three:

ANCESTRY LIBRARY EDITION | This streamlined version of provides access to billions of historical documents, such as
vital records, family histories, immigration records, photos, military records, and more. Genealogists—from the novice to the professional—will find this an indispensable resource. This service is available online while in any AADL building.

BRAINFUSE | This online tutoring service, available in English and Spanish, connects K-12 students with a live tutor every day from 2:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. for personalized instruction in English, math, science, and social studies. You can even submit a paper for helpful feedback before you turn the paper in to your teacher!

REFERENCE USA | This extensive database provides business and residential information for over 25 million businesses and 90 million residences across the U.S. and Canada, including corporate and historical business information, detailed information on healthcare professionals, job postings, and internships.

For a complete list of AADL databases, visit

Contact your AADL Library Board at
Prue Rosenthal 2013-2016, President
Barbara Murphy 2011-2014, Vice-President
Jan Barney Newman 2011-2014, Treasurer
Rebecca Head 2013-2016, Secretary
Nancy Kaplan 2013-2016
Margaret Leary 2013-2016
Edward Surovell 2011-2014
Director Josie Parker 327-4263

[photo caption]Boy Reading by Motawi Tileworks Given in Memory of Fred Walter by his Family Pittsfield Branch

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