ANN ARBOR DISTRICT LIBRARY BOARD
WESTGATE BRANCH LIBRARY, WEST SIDE MEETING ROOM
2503 JACKSON AVENUE, ANN ARBOR, MI
MINUTES OF THE BOARD RETREAT
MONDAY, JUNE 12, 2017
I. CALL TO ORDER
President Vander Broek called the meeting to order at 9:10 a.m.
President Vander Broek briefed the Board on the outline for the retreat. She stated the purpose of the session was to begin the work of advancing Goal 3.3 of the AADL Strategic Plan.
Board Present: Victoria Green (arr. 9:12 a.m.), Jim Leija, Jan Barney Newman (arr. 9:15 a.m.), Colleen Sherman, Linh Song, Ed Surovell (arr. 9:12 a.m.), Jamie Vander Broek
Staff: Josie Parker, Eli Neiburger, Karen Wilson (recorder)
Others: Kerry Sheldon, Brittany Galisdorfer, Bridgeport Consulting, LLC
III. WELCOME AND OVERVIEW
Kerry Sheldon, moderator, had Board members, staff and general public present introduce themselves.
Ms. Sheldon stated that today’s meeting is to converse and share ideas. No decisions are to be made today.
IV. PLACE-MAKING AND THE PUBLIC LIBRARY
Richard Murphy, Michigan Municipal League
Richard Murphy from the Michigan Municipal League was introduced. Mr. Murphy gave background information on services provided by MML.
Mr. Murphy covered the following topics:
• AADL’s Vision Statement
• An Overview of place-making including:
o Place is people habitat –Westgate Branch Library as an example
o Quality of place influences where people choose to live
o Amenities available locally
• Discussion on for profit partnering with non-profits
• Successful assets for communities
• Cross-generational demand for urban places
• Anchor institutions
Board members discussed AADL as an anchor institution in Downtown Ann Arbor.
Mr. Murphy provided a crash course in urban design:
• Building placement should work for people
• Building height should be relative to street width
• Façade of the building should provide transparency
• Frontage of the building should interact with the sidewalk
Seattle Public Library was viewed and studied as well as the Grande Bibliothèque in Montreal.
Mr. Murphy brought the discussion to the AADL Downtown Library building inquiring:
• What role does the Library play in the downtown area
• How does the Library itself bring people into the downtown area
• How does the Library activate and interact with surrounding spaces
Board member discussed these questions along with population demographics and density.
The Board recessed for a lunch break at 12:05 p.m.
The meeting resumed at 12:24 p.m.
VI. AADL PHYSICAL INFRASTRUCTURE OVERVIEW
Len Lemorie, Facilities Manager
Facilities Manager Lemorie provided an overview of the physical infrastructure of AADL’s buildings.
Malletts Creek Branch, Pittsfield Branch and Traverwood Branch libraries are seeing life cycle costs such as carpeting, parking lot sealcoating, landscaping and painting. Once these are done they bring the buildings back to a reset (like new).
The Downtown Library was last renovated in 1991. Everything plant (building operations) related needs to be replaced. Mr. Lemorie stated that the Library could spend $500,000 annually for a number of years for deferred maintenance alone. He said this will just maintain the building and that it could not be brought back to like new, deferred maintenance would be the only outcome.
Board members discussed various areas of the building that need major work.
VII. PREFERENCES AND PRIORITIES
Ms. Sheldon assembled board members, staff and members of the public into four groups to discuss the following themes:
• The importance, value of being downtown; pride in being and anchor institution and contributing to the vibrancy of Ann Arbor’s downtown ecosystem
• Interest in staying true to the vision of a proud flagship: a full-service, beautiful, functional, safe facility; prominently located in the heart of the city; accessible, inviting and welcoming to all; should be busy
• Desire to respond to community needs, especially the intense demand for space that can support wide range of events, programs and community gatherings
• Openness to considering a wide range of possibilities vis-à-vis building location, appearance, and height; whether to co-locate with other entities
• Strong commitment to autonomy and self-determination – need to control our own destiny; retain our nimbleness, flexibility
Groups discussed the above and more topics for 45 minutes.
VIII. DISCUSSION AND NEXT STEPS
Discussion topics from the groups were posted. Ms. Sheldon identified three main themes:
• The idea of flexible meeting spaces downtown and the long view
• Communicating our identity – civic pride; utilize/accessibility of collections
Board members commented and expanded on the discussion topics brought forward from all the groups.
Several board members inquired on how to communicate with our general public; how to entertain public conversations.
It was the consensus of the Board to determine what the Downtown Library should be; it should reflect the values of the Library. Trustee Green in consultation with Trustee Sherman will create a listing of values for the Board to review at the July Board meeting. The topic of the Downtown Library shall be added to future Board meeting agenda’s to maintain momentum. Board members were asked to bring a list of people to the June Board meeting to invite to future Board meetings to comment on the Downtown Library. Trustee Leija requested a time-line be presented at the June meeting to maintain momentum. A resolution outlining action events was requested for the July Board meeting.
Board members expressed appreciation for discussion in this forum and for public and staff input.
X. CLOSING REMARKS, EVALUATIONS AND ADJOURNMENT
Evaluations were distributed. President Vander Broek thanked the Board for their participation. She also thanked staff for setting up the retreat and Richard Murphy for his presentation and participation.
President Vander Broek adjourned the meeting at 3:01 p.m.