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2008 AADL Downtown Branch Renovation and Fifth Avenue Parking Survey Comments

Select a category below to view comments from the survey.

Environmentally Friendly is Important (152 Responses)
Improved Pick-up and Drop-off Request and Ideas (47 responses)
Youth, Children, Teen Issues (123 responses)
Teen Behavior (4 responses)
Improve Teen Space and Programs (25 responses)
Better Access for Disabled Persons (59 responses)
Ensure Natural and Adequate Lighting (32 responses)
Mixed Responses on a Café Option (41 responses)
Entry Ideas/Input (25 responses)
Mixed Input on Meeting and Performance Space (53 responses)
Technology Needs/Input (77 responses)
Provide Larger, Clean Rest Rooms (56 responses)
Include a Green Space (28 responses)
Ensure the Inclusion of Quiet Spaces (33 responses)
Input on Furnishings (37 responses)
Input on Building Style and Architecture (50 responses)
Improve Signage (41 responses)
Physical Space - General (215 responses)
Focus on Collections and Core Mission (296 responses)
Minimize Costs (81 responses)
I Love My Library (65 responses)
Is the Renovation Necessary? (77 responses)
General Concerns about Safety (66 responses)
Concerns about Loitering and Library Use By Individuals Who are Homeless (67 responses)
Input on Services - General (269 responses)
Miscellaneous (286 responses)

Environmentally friendly is important (152 Responses)

"green" energy efficient building,

Any new work should be LEED certified in keeping with the City's commitment to environmental responsibility.

If it could be "green" that would also be good.

"Also I think building ""green"" is paramount. Not only because it is the right thing to do today, but because it saves money and resources in the long run. "

"As for question 8, If renovation or new libary takes place- could we please utilize earth friendly ""green"" materials and employ crews that reside in our state - especially with our economy - use our resources, employ our residents. Be the example for our children. Choose interactive art that is engaging to all ages. Act Locally, think Globally."

"Building green is important. "

"Green' building, i.e., fewest possible off-gassing materials, recycled materials, passive solar heating and cooling, etc."

"Green" building standards

"Green" design.

"green" design: eco-friendly materials, no-VOC paints, green roof, etc. etc.

"Green" roof, perhaps solar panels to help with electrical costs, larger restrooms

"green"/environmentally friendly principles such as water efficient bathrooms, passive solar design, green roof, solar panels, etc.

"""sustainable & green"" practices used in every phase of development, construction, materials used, waste disposal/recycling, etc. Make the downtown library a model of ""best green practices!"" Also use ""self-check-outs and self-payment- stations"" in lobby and youth departments, for people to self-serve."

1.More natural light and skylights for energy saving, 2.Solar energy for heating. lighting and water heating, 3. We should try to build the library as green and environmentally friendly as possible.

A green roof -- it not only would have potential environmental and economic benefits of great consequence but also would serve as a model and a reminder of sound environmental practices.

Aesthetically pleasing design and materials, use of recycled building materials. Malletts Creek and Pittsfield branches are good examples.

Also, you didn't ask about "green" ness-I think Mallett's creek is cool(although too small) b/c so much of it is energy efficient. Then a renovation amost seems worthwhile. Otherwise, why not put it into more books and better salaries or hiring more staff?

An ecologically sound building with some great art/sculpture would be great.

An environmentally sensitive building educates our children and expresses our community values; a beautiful building enhances civic pride and displays Ann Arbor's bibliophilic nature. Why not use this opportunity to create a green space, a town commons, over the new parking lot?

bottle recycling at entrances

By all means, keep it green! I love the architecture of Mallett's Creek and Pittsfield but would also be willing to sacrifice expense for environmentally friendly (energy efficient ) spaces. That's more important than texture.

Consideration of energy efficient and "green" building design and construction practices.

Context sensitive building design which will blend with surrounding neighborhood. LEED standards for green building certification - the Mallets Creek and Pittsfield branches are excellent!

Demonstrations of energy efficiencent designs such as green roof visible from inside the library. Storm water detention in rain garden, solar hot water with educational display showing how it works and how much energy it saves. Photovoltaic systems with educational displays.

design should be energy efficient and use renewable energy sources whenever possible

Don't go for LEED certification. You can build a "green" building without the certification and save money


Eco-friendly, use of recycled products, etc.

Ecological impact: use visible and innovative energy conservation to publicly show off good design ideas.

energy conservation, quick and easy check out of materials.

energy efficiency

Energy efficiency and environmentally friendly features throughout

energy efficiency in lighting, & HVAC and water use

Energy efficiency, recycling program, post consumer recycled materials, low environmental impact!

Energy Efficiency. Energy Efficiency. And Energy Efficiency. This building MUST be LEED certified to avoid the expense of another renovation a few years down the road when we can't afford 1930s style energy consumption.

Energy efficiency. We should strive for a "passive" building. See:

energy efficient

Energy efficient light bulbs and solar panels. Eco-friendly or green renovation would be great.

"energy use (heating/cooling & lighting), water use in the building and impervious surfaces (roof and surrounding pavements), natural materials and indoor air quality"

Environmental design/implementation, in line with branch library facilities.

Environmental impact of design and materials is more important to my family than all of these other factors.

environmental issues; the evolution of technology i.e. keeping in mind that technology will continue to improve when budgeting, perhaps less in quantity to allow the library to keep up with quality

environmental soundness and sustainability

environmentally friendly building materials and design

Environmentally friendly reconstruction would be a real plus!

environmentally friendly, energy saving, water conserving, native plants in landscaping

Environmentally friendly.

Environmentally-friendly sustainable design.

Environmentally-sound and protective practices for construction, energy-use and space are very important. (p.s. you have "accommodations" misspelled in #9)

Finally, this is probably a given, but making the building as "green" as possible is important (i.e. LEED certified if possible). To me that includes the public green space idea above.

Focus on environmentally friendly/low-impact materials & design.

Green awareness everywhere possible. Library is where smart people go..we expect smart things and can teach others!Ha!

Green Building (LEED)

Green building elements

Green building materials and energy use.

green building using natural light and recycled materials. look at the new skyline high school

green building/green design

Green design

Green design

Green design and construction.

Green design features to save money and the environment: more natural light, reclaimed materials (if possible), pedestrian- and bike-friendly, efficient heating/cooling systems, LEED certification, etc.

Green Design for sustainability: LEED certification.

Green design! this includes NOT catering to drive-in customers. Make pedestrian/bike access welcoming and easy. Make auto access not so easy - I don't want to subsidize more drivers in our downtown when we have such good public transit and a walkable community.

green engineering and decorating

Green Pro-enviroment

Green roof (similar to Mallet Creek)

GREEN, ENERGY EFFICIENT DESIGN. Passive and active solar power, green energy purchases. Perhaps aesthetically pleasing windmills on the roof.

Green, sustainable design and build

Green/LEEDS/Energy Star compliant design.

Highlight green design elements

Hopefully it will be constructed with materials that would care for the environment. It would be great if we also help making the renovated library an example and tool to educate people how to start thinking and eventually take action to be green. If we use materials that are environmentally friendly then renovating/redesigning the Downtown Library will be for a much better cause.

I hope as much as possible the new design will incorporate "green" elements and sustainable energy (solar, wind, occupancy light switches, etc., run off control)

I think it would be great to use as many recycled and renewable resources to build the addition, and perhaps a "green" roof as well. We visit at least once a week! Can't wait! thanks for all your hard work.

I think maybe making it more green would be nice. Like skylights to reduce energy used on lighting.

I think the building needs to be designed to be energy efficient and showcase materials and design strategies that are easy on the environment. I would love to see key building features highlighted in educational displays so that the building itself can be a tangible lesson for our community of smart choices in building design.

I think the building should be as "green" as possible, i.e., built in an environmentally responsible way.

"I think the Downtown Library need go (green) as possible, having teaching,on how to preserve our (environment) for the future."

I think the Library is adequate and if changes must be made I think green technolody for heat and light should be on the top of the list not "color and varied textures" or "download i-tunes stations", There is not a single question on this survey about use of LED lighting or geothermal heat....instead you want to use the underground space for parking......

I would like to see an eco friendly approach to the remodel. More solar energy and heat useage. Like the Pittsfield branch

I would like to see as many environmentally-friendly construction and renovation practices and products as possible.

I would like to see green building principles incorporated into the renovations as much as possible.

I would like to see it be as eco-friendly as possible.

I would like to see the library go way out there on the environmental side, like very low energy consumption, LEED platinum rating, etc.

I would like to see the renovation make use of green building materials and concepts, with special emphasis on energy efficiency and renewable energy sources. Public buildings offer a unique opportunity to demonstrate green building concepts, to save the public money in the long run, and to give the public a view of what is possible. Bearing this in mind, conservation of resources and avoiding unnecessary building would be an important part of making the project environmentally responsible.

I would love to hear that environmentally friendly technology is being implimented in the design and construction of the new Library.

I would recommend the environmental friendly renovation. It will save money in the long-term and good for an environment. (e.g. energy efficient lights, composite toilet, garden on the roof, recycled materials)

I'd like to see the main branch of the AADL live up to the green standards set by their newer branches. The library has an incredible breadth of collection but I think much of that is lost and buried in the dull, full stacks. The main building should match the excellence of the branches and website.

I'd really like to see the new downtown library be LEED certified or otherwise incorporate environmentally friendly and energy conserving practices in the new building. Ann Arbor is a progressive city, and it is important for new city buildings to set the standard for environmental stewardship in Ann Arbor.

If changes are made to the library, please be considerate that with all renovations and redesigning, there is a strong impact on the using of energy and material resources.

If decide to make any renovations, must use GREEN thinking approach.

If there is a full service cafe, then it should not use disposable cups, spoons, plates, etc. It should only have re-usable. If nothing else, the library should be sustainable. After all, libraries are about education and the latest information- so the latest information should be used to keep the building green and sustainable. Finally some incentive should be in place to encourage people to bike, walk,or take the bus to the library. Thank you.

If you rebuild--REBUILD GREEN. Save money.

Incorporating as many "green" features to the new facility (like Mallet's Creek) as possible.

It should be as energy efficient as the budget will allow.

It should represent Ann Arbor as a Green town, connected to the environment and outdoors.

It will bring in more value if the facility is supporting the 'green' effort (i.e. energy-efficient, eco-friendly materials, etc.)

It would be good to use the roof for either solar power or a green garden space or both.

It'd be nice if it was built with a consideration of ecological issues (like Mallet's Creek). Also, above I didn't really have opinions on many issues so I just indicated these as "1s".

keep it GREEN and simple

Keep the renovations and new library as "GREEN" as possible. That will be a great way to show that Ann Arbor is dedicated to positive change.

LEED Certification (use of recycled/sustainable materials, passive/solar HVAC, super high-efficiency electonics, etc.).

LEED design.

let's go green! as eco-friendly as possible is important to me in the development of new public buildings! thanks!

Like the waterless urinals, I suspect you're already looking at cutting edge implementation of "outside of the box" utilities. I'm mainly wondering if daylight "tubes/enhanced skylights" could be used instead of electricity, weather permitting, and if there have been any studies done on what colors of lights enhance a quiet, studious mood, and possibly having those colors of lights in their respective areas throughout the library (i.e., one color for the entryway, a different one (ones?) for the cafeteria, and still others for various other sections, as appropriate...).

Low energy use building design.

Make building energy efficient & eliminate toxic building materials (including computers) as much as possible

Make environmental sustainability a central focus in the renovations/improvements.

Make it as "green" a building as possible. This makes financial and environmental sense and it becomes a public model for new technology.

make it as green as possible

Make it 'green' - use of solar panels and/or passive solar heating

Make it green and inviting (Malletts Creek and Pittsfield branches are excellent examples -- both of these facilities are outstanding)

Make the building look nice from the outside. Nothing way "out there" - just pleasing to the eye. It should also be as "green" as possible.

Make this building energy efficient and use sustainable design criteria.

Makes it as GREEN as possible (environmentally sound).

More eco-friendly library (fluorescent lights, blow dryers, etc.)

More Green/clean energy. I would like to see the Library be 100% self sustained for water and energy and recycling

natural, eco-friendly, and sustainable building materials and practices.

Needs to be as energy efficient as possible.

Options for recycling of stuff that patrons bring into the library (paper, water bottles, etc.)

Please continue to follow the examples you have set for green architecture with the Mallets Creek and Pittsfield branches.

Please do everything to make the renovation as environmentally friendly as possible. Composting toilets, for instance, would be great.

Please make the renovation LEED certified! Environmental impact is very important. The new branch libraries are awesome.

Possibily more environmental energy options.

Recycling events or in house receptacles

Recycling stations for patrons and staff

some eco-friendly addtions like solar panels, geothermal heat, etc. would be good

Sould be energy efficient. Architecture Should be unique - not just an uninteresting structure like some downtown buildings. Thanks.

susainable desing is EXTREMELY important. The most sustainable building is one that is already built. Transform the exisiting library instead of creating more landfill by demolishing it. Be green!

sustainability - continue your fantastic efforts; perhaps geothermal heat?

sustainability, conservation of resources,

Sustainable building using natural materials from renewable sources.

sustainable design (active and passive solar, energy/water conservation, etc; integrated into a public education function about sustainability and climate change).

sustainable materials and design

Sustainable materials throughout.

Switching to a grass roof; using solar panels; installing rainbarrels and creating a rain garden, with attendant signs explaining the process to the public

Take advantage of Daylighting. Make the building LEEDs appropriate.

The last time the Downtown Library renovated, I couldn't enter for 2 years. Like a small but growing group of people, I have multiple chemical sensitivity, and the off-gassing of the carpets, paint, and vinyl made me extremely ill. It did help when I became able to request items online to be held, which shortened the amount of time I had to be in there. So a BIG priority for me would be "green" building materials (especially paints and carpets, and materials free from formeldehyde - sp?).

The library is conveniently located by the main bus station. I would like a new or renovated library to meet "green" standards to decrease energy consumption, improve water conservation, etc.

The use of recycled materials and "green" building methods as much as financially possible.

Thinking about "green" buildings and sustainability.

This is a great opportunity to embrace "green" building methods/materials AND educate the public about their use! Let's create an environmentally friendly library that is an example of environmental design! That is SO relevant to our times and to current public concerns!

This library should have all the LEAN building and GREEN technology incorarated into it's design,with the explanations or directions on where to learn about wind power or photovoltaics right at hand.

To make it energy efficient

Try and make it a LEED desginated building.

Try to be as green as possible, espeically green setbacks with space enough for trees to mature to provide maximum ecosystems resources.

use as much "green" technology as possible or reasonable.

Use environmentally sound design techniques, such as naturally lighting to reduce need for artificial lighting and natural air ventilation to reduce HVAC operations.

Use green technology.

Use of "green" elements. Make the library a green building and use as many sustainable materials as possible.

use of 'green' building materials and high-efficiency lights, faucets, HVAC

Use of solar energy, and solar light tubes, and green building materials. Possible use of geothermal system for heating and cooling. Maybe use a roof garden to minimize solar thermal effect in the summer time like shown at the Matthaei Botanical Garden.

Utilization of some of the green building materials would be well received here in Ann Arbor as well as incorporating more cost effective heating and cooling.

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Improved Pick-up and Drop-off Request and Ideas (47 responses)

value the outside book drop's placement because I can use it when I'm on bike without taking my child out of the bike trailer; I would like to see a similar setup on any new building.

A drive-through window for PICKING UP reserved books, etc as well as for returns.

A drive-through book return would be great!

A drive-through drop box would be extremely nice for people who want to drop of books and videos on their way to work.

A drive-through drop off of to return library materials would be a great addition!!

A drive-up book return would be GREAT!!

A proper drop off area for cars.

Ability to drop off material with out paying for parking or blocking traffic

Also would love to see a drive thru drop off and pick up window for ordered books/material - this could be coincide with a drive thru coffee/pastry window. very convient for the mom with kids in car seats and typical Michigan weather.

Also nice to have is "drive by drop off" of materials that need to be returned without having to go inside the building.

An auto drop-off would be very convenient.

An easier book drop-off area that's not a main street, and preferably one that's easily accessible by car (this is one of the main reasons I am very happy using the Pittsfield branch instead).

Continued options for short-term parking to drop off books or check out just a few books

Convenient book drop off,

Don't worry about drive-thru. If patrons are going to return materials by car, they can drive to a branch.

Drive through pick up of reserved materials.


Drive-thru book return is the single most important feature I would like to see at all branches.

Drive-Up Book and AV Materials Drop off please!

Drive-up drop box should be able to be reached w/o leaving the car. It is impossible for disabled users to easily drop books in the drop box where it is currently located.

drop box efficiency for the employees.

Drop-off facility set back from a public street and out of the traffic line.

Easy and free parking space for short term pick up's or dropp off's

easy drop off drive through access. Thanks!

easy drop off of books for cyclists/walkers (as good as it is now)

Easy patron drop off and pick up. I think you've covered all my needs.

Fast surface parking to pick up or drop off books is the most important issue.

good book drop off drive up station is very important improvement that could be made

Have the drop off area for people be out of the street traffic.

Having an easier way to drop off donated books rather than having to take them to the loading dock.

I especially think a patron drop-off area is important. Drivers should be severly ticked when stopping on Fifth; its dangerous for those getting in and out as well as other drivers.

I really appreciate the "5-minute drop-off" parking spot on William. Keep something like that, please! Also, this survey didn't ask about the audio-visual collection: I love the DVD selection and would appreciate a broader books-on-CD selection.

I think having a safer drop off station - if having a new library is a good idea as well as a safe drop off and pick up spot for kids and elders. I've noticed stopping on 5th ave near the intersection is dangerous. Theres always accidents happening there.

In order for people to take books out, you must provide a way to return them easily from a free drive up drop off.

"It is vital to have a drive thru book drop, where you don't have to get out of the car. This helps the elderly, handicaped and mothers with small children......also great when it is snowing."

it would be nice to have a drop off for book return so you don't have to park and walk to the box.

It's really time for a convenient drive through book return.

Longer "drop off" time than 10 minutes in the adjacent lot would be worth pursuing.

Make sure there is free parking for drop offs and for picking up material quickly. Make request pick up an easy in easy out free experience!

Most important is a drop off solution for people who insist on stopping in a driving lane of a busy street. A pull in on the street or an arrangement of some kind with the parking lot people - but that would have to be well publicized!

Passenger drop-off/pick-up and drive-through book drop are needed, even if a whole new library is not.

place to return books from one's car, like the drop off mailboxes at the post office

Some quick free 5 min parking for book pickups at the circulation desk.

the amount of car fumes that any waiting/loading/unloading area will create.

The parking and roadside drop-off have both been adequate for me.

The thing that bothers me the most at the moment is no place to drop off/pick up on 5th. If parking is underground, drive through book drop off will be very important.

Your drop off box is inconvenient

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Youth, Children, Teen Issues (123 responses)

Also, having adult book areas on the same floor as the youth area would be nice. Perhaps a system of calling the book from the adult area and having it sent to the youth area-it is difficult to take small kids to the adult area-my kids made too much noise and disturbed adults while also causing me to take the stroller and everything to another floor-this is not very condusive to families at the library.

Children's and young peoples spaces and services are important because we must encourage them to read and appreciate learning.

A engaging and well designed children's area, close to the youth/teen area will make family visits more possible, and mom can keep track of everyone. Cafe with healthy offerings will decrease hunger-related melt downs.

A good children's area close to adults area is also key, so parents can puck up pooks and bring children into the kids area. Having a couple baby sitters for a nominal fee would be great too.

A large childrens space to ensure local families can engage their children in the Library at a young age

A more comfortable teen space. Possibly have brigh colored couches, rugs etc.

A no children allowed section adults only .Sometimes it is hard to read with small children and babies around.

A play space that is seperate for young children so that they can be noisy and not disruptive to others that are using library manners.

Also, I like the idea of the "corral" that the West branch has for young children. Just a short wall to confine small children in the kids section would be very helpful. I never felt like my child would be wandering aimlessly at West branch becuase he was in the kids section which is somewhat jpartitioned off.

an area which can be 'closed off' for young toddlers/children is very important to me (and my usage of the library)

Anything that attracts young children would be welcomed.

Appreciate play area for young children

"As a bi-lingual parent trying to raise a bi-lingual child, I wish the children's section accomodated this better. Currently I can't find Spanish language board books because they are not cataloged and I just have to read through all the titles while occupying a 15 month old. I wouldn't mind some of the renovation $$ being put towards a greater selection of children's books in Spanish language and perhaps the multi-lingual section having a more 'inviting' presence. Other than that I am generally happy with the children's area, which I use most. The fish tank is a hit, and the toys are also great. I am considering home-schooling my child in a few years but would not even consider this without the excellent resources and support of the community library."

As the mother of two young children, I think the children's room in the downtown library is very spacious and welcoming. It does not, in my opinion, need to be expanded. It is large enough to give kids space to talk and play without disturbing anyone who wants silence in the library. I think the organization of materials could be clearer, with better signs. Even though I am a librarian, I find that materials are not easy to find in the library (!) or to describe to anyone else how to find -- the organizational system is a bit too complex (fiction separated by size/content , non-fiction separated into various areas, folktales with dewey decimal numbers in another area, so many compartments and none ever actually explained! Redoing the organizational system to some degree, while not about the building, would make the library more usable.

Audio video set up room for presenting info to first time patrons especially for grade school children. Make the library friendly to children. get input from children how to properly use the internet and computers

baby friendly spaces

Better children's library.

Bussis like, but also a setting where teens don't feel like their about to get yelled at for breathing, a cross inbetween.

Check out at the children's room would be great. Lists of suggested reading for different grades would be great (see Newton, Mass, lists for reference).

Children & teen spaces are important but they are already great and don't need to be improved (speaking as the parent of both elementary & middle-school aged children).

Children/family and teen programs are the main draw to the library. Creating a welcoming, safe environment for these activities is key and will bring more people downtown.

Children's area could be improved (Highland Park, Illinois has great - kid and parent friendly atmosphere).

children's room should be designed so that it's easier for parents to keep an eye on their toddlers/preschoolers while they themselves search for books

Coat rack in the Youth Department. Perhaps other areas as well.

Concentration on young childrens' interactive area for discovery and learning. If we capture the childrens' interest early they will be patrons for life

Consider that not everyone using the library has children. I think it's important for the library to be a welcoming space for children, but I'd definitely like a quiet space too.

considering the financial situation of the city as a whole I think the space should be functional and certainly provide for use by children and teens, but glitz , frills, etc. only in so far as they pay for themselves there are so many other needs the city also has.

Continued classes and workshops for toddlers and children.

" Definitely consider outdoor space, and for the children's area, a good mother's room with changing facilities. "

Do not feel library space should be used to the extent it is for children play etc. Fine for the satellite branches- but down town a more "business" library.

Don't overload the children and teen areas at the expense of adults.

enclosed children's area for safety and noise reasons

Finding more ways to attract and interest children.

For the smaller kids should be easy to use a footstool or ladder near the shelves. So they could better choose by themselves the books/DVD´s.

Going to the public library is a weekly outing for us; it's something my children really look forward to. That said visiting the main branch is my children's least favorite. I'm not really sure why, but perhaps it's that the feel of the children space is not very inviting

" Have in the children's area space for moms to read to children, perhaps comfy, adult-sized chairs"

" Having the youth area more secure, to prevent run-away toddlers and preschoolers. Perhaps a gated area."

How about a wing in the downtown library that is made for loud patrons like little kids and teens? When you go anywhere in a college library, there's always a spot for socialites. And it's mutually beneficial for the librarians and for the families who bring their somewhat loud patrons to commune and study.

I am a aregular user and am very happy with the current children's area. The open space for kids to gather is great and the staff make it wonderful. Always suggesting great books and teaching older kids how to use the catologue to find their favorite books.

I am not a high end user of the library but think the current library is nice and functional. Regarding children programs- I personally would rather use the outlying library spaces for kids programs than take children downtown and if I was going to take children downtown close, convenient, safe parking would be VERY important.

I appreciate having the children's department separate from the main library. I would encourage similar design. Allowing children not to disturb quit patrons.

I believe it's important to have areas for children and teen activities.

I didn't comment on the sections for younger users because I don't know.

I don't know about youth needs.

I feel more comfortable bringing my small children to the downtown library because it has a separate children's area where the kids are safe and contained, and are free to be a little noisy. I DO NOT like going to the new branches where the kids' area is open to the rest of the library. I feel that we have to rush to get out before they get too wild. I like the downtown branch because they have a space to play as well as look at books, and we can hang out there for a while. It makes going to the library much more a regular part of our lives.

I have a teenager and I love the teen space. I don't think it needs to be larger but I think having a seperate teen area is good

I have found the current children's area quite adequate. A welcoming, "special" place for my kid from toddlerhood to age 12.

I have lived in Ann Arbor since for most of my life and have always loved the downtown Library. My family always visited every Saturday during my childhood and I continue to visit on on a regular basis. In your rennovations, please keep the dollhouse and similar unique features. I still visit the children's area to look at the dollhouse and never get bored of it, even as an adult. I also love the local art often displayed in the lower level auditorium and the art hanging in the stairwell. Some of my best childhood memories are inside the downtown branch (before and after the 1980's rennovations), and I hope that other children are able to experience such a friendly atmosphere.

I just feel that the children's department needs to be organized and easily accessible for children, with a place for story times etc.

I like how it is currently very welcoming to little people. The layout helps the little ones navigate as though it's their space...creating a love of library for years to come:) FYI--we just moved from Ann Arbor where we lived for two years...

I like the current childrens' room. Is a larger teen room needed? I don't see a problem with lighting or seating as is. I use the Mallet's branch most of the time.

I like the meeting area in the children's section for elementary school classes to gather for field trips to the library. Please include a similar space in a re-designed Downtown Library.

I love Ann Arbor's library off scio church drive -- my only complaint is that the kids' area bleeds into quiet areas -- it's too loud for a library. I hope that the downtown location avoids this problem and keeps the kids area appropriately separate.

I love the fish tank in the children'a area

I think a dedicated children's space makes sense for several reasons. I believe adults and teens would enjoy using the same space. Separateness is a fad that will vanish, don't buy into it.

I think a library should a wonderful adventure for all people of all ages which is focused on books and reading, but it should not be a noisy playland. The new libraries are too loud, and have become a dumping ground for young children who haven't been taught to be quiet when spending time in a library.

I think that the most important function of a public library is to attract children and teens and help them learn to learn and love to learn.

I think the "face out" display works best in the children's area.

I think the automated checkout areas in the children's section need to be better integrated. Right now it feels like you're approaching the librarian and disturbing her work in order to check out books. I think that a better seating space for story hour is critical to continuing to attract all the kids and parents who would like to attend. Due to day cares attending, large groups crowd out stay at home Moms who bring one or two children.

I think the children's section is already wonderful.

I think the library needs to be a welcoming place for kids, not just in the kids area, but throughout the library. Even though my kids are still toddlers, I would like them to feel comfortable and know the entire building and to feel that the entire building is for them, while respecting quiet areas. So when it comes time for them to actually use more of the library, they will be veterans and they will think of the library as the first place to go for their media needs.

I wish the computer areas were more separate in the children's section. (It is always a struggle to keep my kids away from the videos - we have none at home - and keep them focused/enjoying other aspects of the library.)

I would like to see more child-friendly areas for story tellers and workable computers.

I would like to see preshool non-fiction highlighted to encourage its use. I bring grandchildren to your wonderful storytimes. Safety and a friendly environment are my most important concerns.

I'd like to see an area reserved for school children who need to use the library computers for homework. It is very difficult to get on any of the computers in the branches and they are mostly used by adults. it would also be nice to have these homework computers in a low traffic area with a library supervisor or volunteer present at all times to maintain the quiet homework environment and ensure proper use of the computers and sites being visited. It may sound like a lot to ask for but we only have one computer at home and 4 people trying to use it, there have been several times we would have gladly taken our daughter to the library for computer use regarding homework but found it frustrating and not helpful or available.

It would be great if the children's areas (especially any open meeting/play space) were somewhat self-contained to help parents keep their children in the intended areas and to keep them from disturbing adults who are trying to read quietly. My family *loves* the Pittsfield branch's play area. However, the layout at Pittsfield makes it very difficult to contain young children. They're always running from the ball display to the playroom, etc. and their voices tend to carry.

It would be great if there were a designated snack area in the children's department.

Just some general comments on the questions and my responses... I think it's great that the library is thinking seriously about expanding the youth and teen areas, because a love of books and learning and reading has to start young.

keep Youth Dept on first floor

Larger gathering space for children's programs such as story time, crafts, playgroups.

Lots of natural light: windows; color. Lots of face-out books, ESPECIALLY in the children's section, where they really need to be drawn in by the books' covers. Large children's section with comfy seating for both adults and kids (adults to read to kids). Fewer computer/game stations in the children's section. Maybe none at all! Once games were introduced into the children's dept, most kids quit browsing the stacks of books and went straight to play games. I hated it when my own kids would gravitate to uneducational games rather than looking for books! It sabotages the visit -- so many of these kids can play games at home, but they can't check out new books at home -- and if they DON'T play video games at home, maybe it's because their parents don't value the games -- all the more reason to restrict Arthur and all the other games.

Make sure it is child friendly - they are your customers and financial supporters of the future and you want them to have positive associations with the library.

make sure you keep that dollhouse, it was my favorite part of the whole library when i was little

Make the library enviroment a pleseant place for our younger people so they feel the need to use the facitity. Education is the key to our future and the library is a very big part of that future.

many children, now older, have fond memories of the childrens room as it is. Please dont fix what isnt broken!

More windows for the children's section, with view of greenspace--and we love the fishtank!

My family's favorite features are the play area in the youth department and the public garden.

My main concern is that young children have a bright, up-to-date, engaging place to read and learn so as to encourage reading from a young age. This is so very important in today's high-tech, fast-paced world. Additionally, I'd really like to see more helpful library staff. I often feel, when I'm there with my children, that there's no one around - I feel isolated. I don't know if this is due to the current layout of the downtown library or not, but there needs to be a "face" of the AA library to make it a welcoming, accessible place to be.

Note that the population of school-age (and younger) children is dropping at present, not growing. More space for kids is not needed, and who knows what kind of space might be needed in 10 or 15 years when that age group will grow again. Don't spend a lot of money on this.

One of the most frustrating things for me about coming to the library is when child guests "run wild" and disturb me. Seeing more dedicated and sectioned-off children's areas would definitely be an improvement for me. Also, more "quiet areas" for adults only would help as well.

One thing I really like about the present downtown library and would hate to see changed is the relatively small entrance and exit to the children's room. For parents with toddlers and kids who run away, it is much less anxiety promoting to know that there is only one entrance and exist that they must patrol if their kid gets away from them. An "open plan" children's section, like those in many of the branch libraries, is really a challenge to visit for parents with younger kids. The other benefit of an enclosed Children's room is that parents don't have to worry as much about disturbing adult patrons with the noise their child might make.

One thing that I think about every time I go to the downtown library (which is about twice a week) is that I wish there was some sort of gate/door to the children's area. When you have toddlers it's easy for them to just wander out into the main library, a simple door/gate would help deter wandering feet. I understand that parents need to be with their children in the children's area, but it would be an easy way to avoid very loud tantrums.

Our children have always loved the large fish tank, I hope you'll keep that type of thing, too.

Perhaps young children are best served at branch locations.

Personally I feel sorry for smaller children who have to accomodate their parents to the library, so why not consider a non echo architecture to make it less stressful for all who use the library in relation to a "dedicated `quiet` area?

Personally, I would like to see the children computers (not the catalog ones) in the Youth Dept. removed. There are too many little children who associate the library with playing computer games, and not with reading. I think the library should encourage reading from books. The computers are fine for when the children are older and really reading (age 10 or so), but not at the pre-school/kindergarten age.

Play area for toddlers and activities to get them engaged in the library experience while they are young. The Pittsfield Branch has the wonderful Hands On Museum display with the balls, venturi, and vacuum. Kids love it! The play area is great too!

Please acccommodate Strollers in your design and layout. We live walking distance and have 3 children. We would come down with a double stroller (not double wide) But please consider strollers with layout. Also kid areas should have bathrooms VERY close by and include Diaper changing station at a minimum. Possibly family restroom where a stroller could be taken RIGHT into a single bathroom. An extra bonus would be kid height toilet and sink like Briarwood and Toys R Us have but I know that is a lot to ask. It would be AWESOME to have a kids area where a young baby/toddler could be "contained" - a crawler could be without getting near books and pulling books down.

Please consider a separate check-out area in the children's section! For years I've dragged screaming toddlers through the line, and watched other parents try to chase their kids while trying to check out books. Other libraries have a check-out in the children's section. It just makes sense!

Please do not make a dreadful mistake like you did at the Pittsfield branch (I don't understand why you haven't rectified this problem when so many people have complained about it). The "hands on" item that make a noise is located near the computer section and drives us crazy when both accompanied and unaccompanied children use this item as a toy to make alot of noise. Why wasn't this put near the children's section? How about taking it out and putting it in the revamped children's section of the Downtown library. While it might have been a cool "idea" to demonstrate a scientific principle, in fact it is being used as a babysitter for children who love it because of all the noise it makes. YUCK!

Please don't have a "childrens' area" where kids can run and scream. That is ridiculous. Part of growing up is learning how to behave in a library.

Please ensure that in the children's area, parents may easily supervise their children. The stacks should be kept short to allow one parent to easily supervise more than one child at a time. Also, there should be one entrance and exit to the space to eliminate the worry of a child wandering off to another area of the library unattended. The current downtown library has only one way in and out of the children's area which is wonderful. The Mallett's Creek Branch, while lovely, is less family friendly because you can't see over the stacks and children can easily wander off undetected by a parent.

Please expand programs for pre-school age children. More storytimes with music and free play.

Please keep the children's area somewhat enclosed. The trend towards wide-open spaces misses the mark for kids - they like cozy spots like the ones they already have in the current set-up.

Please make sure this does not turn into a children's drop off center for parents who don't want to deal with their children. It should also not become the place to "eat and greet" by young people or adults. It should be a comfortable, inviting reading and research center.

pls limit the kids area, unless you guys can ensure they keep the voice down. sometimes they are too noisy, which is not desirable in a library.

Quiet areas for children. There is no need for them to run wild in this quiet space.

Regarding youth, I think a fun and inviting space is important to increase awareness of the joy of reading for self improvement and entertainment. Whizz-bang stuff only interests me if it is presented as a part of a larger whole.

Safe childrens place where adults can read while children play safely.

Safe, welcoming environment for children and teens.

Seating in children's areas should accomodate multi-generational families including very young and older/disabled family members.

Security esp. high in the children's area.

Stroller accessibility, including more elevators and wide walk-ways.

Stroller accessible areas! And changing facilities for babies and toddlers, in both men's and women's rooms. Perhaps a family bathroom where Dad can take a little girl or Mom a little boy.

The children's and youth areas are big enough, but it would be nice if the spaces were designed to allow more private reading areas.

The children's area is vital to the library!!!

The children's space as is, is great - adding a preteen and teen space is more in demand - along the same lines as the kid space only at the appropriate age level with tutoring software - and group meeting places for extended learning, and group reports. Getting the A2 public school to allow the libary acess for students to use it's fast math programs and typing program that seems only acessable in the schools (they do not make it accessible for at home use, where sadly most kids and parents could utilize it more and take more part in engageing their children who need that extra time to learn properly). I'd like to see the kid space/teen space in a more secure area of the librarya, and a check in check out system. Being a public space, keeping the kids safe is high priority.

The computers in the children's room are too "in your face". I would rather the room focussed on reading and displays of books and activities that are related. Computers are nice but we have one at home. I know that not everyone does and I appreciate the games but they are very passive. I love story times and would like more interaction with books and reading.

The emphasis, at least in the children's section, is computers--the first thing you see (along w/the dvds, tapes and games along the wall). Such "noisy" and distracting items should be put in the back of the section, with the emphasis getting "back to basics"--reading!

The interactive Bernoulli display at the Pittsfield branch is extremely popular with kids. Something similar in the children's area of the main branch would be a nice touch, although the fish are very popular too!

The kids section is the most important to me. Keep the fish and puzzle/game area.

The new branches are also too loud. The Pittsfield playground takes over the library and, as a librarian, I think it subverts the purpose of the organization. Kids are important, but this is over the top.

The space allocated for younger children is adequate, but not as well used as it might be. If there were room adjacent that would be sufficient expansion. That space does not have to be "reserved" for the children all the time, though. Perhaps giving children and their activities priority during selected hours would be sufficient?

there are great children's programs offered at the downtown library and all the branches but it is very difficult to find parking and space is very tight at this events. This has discouraged me and my kids from going because its not worth the aggrivation. It would be great to address this in the design.

There should be space in the Children's area for kids to move around. There should also be space for kids to sit quietly and look at books or have books read to them. These two spaces shouldn't be next to each other (as they are right now). Please keep a large fish tank instead of something like the ball-thing at Pittsfield.

Video game magazines should not be considered children and youth anymore. I thought it was ridiculous to have to walk into the children's section to grab Nintendo Power, while a graduate student. Grabbing EGM or Gamepro from the teen section also did not feel very welcome.

We did not respond to the children's area questions as we do not have recent experience.

We use the library mostly as a place to take our 2-year-old son. I love that there's a big open space with toys that he can play with. Please consider a similar feature at the new library!

What about the 4-6th grade group. Seem to have a lot for toddlers/preschool and then for teens. Other than a few computer games, my child feels library too babyish in children's section.

When my children were small I used the library a lot and enjoyed the help of of the children's area Librarian. She helped me with suggestions for helping me with a reading problem my child was having.

When my kids were a toddler and a preschooler, I used to try to read to the preschooler and the toddler would go running off, which made it almost impossible to read a book together. I would love some kind of baby gates or other enclosed space so that a parent can pay attention to another child without having a toddler go running away.

when the downtown library added the computers to the children's area my kids were more interested in the computers than the books. I think the focus for children should be the books, not the computers.

While planning for adult usage for the library is important most adults who use the library are already patrons and will continue to visit. I fell the library should get the interest of children and preteens so that they too, develop the same love of reading and research, etc. The library also provides a safe environment for kids and teens to meet.

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Teen Behavior (4 responses)

I also want to mention that I was disturbed by disrespectful teenage behavior more than several times while using the computers. Something to alieviate that problem would be beneficial.

I think there is an issue in the teen section of loud teens disrupting the harmony of other teens that are there to look at books, do homework, etc. It would beneficial to have a social room designated for those teens.

The teens just don't seem to respect the library space, so I'm not all that keen on creating a larger area for that customer group.

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Improve Teen Space and Programs (25 responses)

" Attractive areas with good supervision for teens to socialize and quiet areas for teens to work with one another or tutors. Increase diversity of programing for teens."

" This next suggestion is not related to the new building but with new thoughts to encourage our youth to use the library. I think it will be a great idea for having areas where kids 7th grade onwards can work for experience and and get Library Points which they can then use in lieu of late fee or can use towards buying used books from the library or other such offers."

Any survey of users should include some unpublicized user counts of programs. My obeservation of the downtown library is that there is a very large population of users with younger children but less use by teens. This may be because they are more inclined to access information using the internet. Could middle school and high school users complete a survey during school hours that would be targeted to their specific needs?

As a teenager, I think that having adequate space for teens is important, but also, the Neutral Zone exists as such a space. Perhaps a partnership could be developed (or expanded?) between the AADL and the NZ.

Being a teen myself, I think that there should defenitly be more of a teen space. The funky furniture is awesome, but there should be more. An outside reading area would be wonderful, and a full service café would be really handy. At least more than the vending machines now.

I am all for teens and youth reading more, but I fear that expanding those areas will only mean a larger selection of crummy "teen" novels and nearly pornographic magazines.

I believe that the children's area is already great and needs little. I think that there is a programming gap from 7-12 year olds. I think the teen area would be enhanced by community partnerships with UM sports, Nuetral Zone Poetry, and the High Schools.

I have seen

In general, the children's area is already very nice. The teen area is too small; ideally it should physically and conceptualy bridge the childrens and adults areas. The public use computers need to be separated from the browsing/reading/study/collections areas; too distracting and noisy. Don't need to see guys trolling for booty when I'm researching, LOL

It was already mentioned but a space for older kids/teens is really important.

Just about the teen section: most of those books are fluff and aren't worth my time. I wish there were more biographies/ books by REAL authors (e.g. G.K. Chesterton)

larger teen area with better lighting. more of a music selection. the dvds in more of a order. A cleaner building.

Larger variety of teen books.

Make it more fun for teens we liked to be entertained!

More and better advertised teen events.

Please consider having a teen area that permits loud atmosphere, but also a teen area that permits a quiet atmosphere. My children have been driven out of the teen area because of groups aggressively taking over the space reserved for teens and not permitting people to look for books. Perhaps, having a librarian present in an expanded teen section would help.

Please make the teen area a safe and comfortable place for teens to be. The current area is usually inhabited by verbally abusive and intimidating teens and young adults who make it difficult or impossible for other teens to use the space.

Possibly having a slightly larger teen section is my main concern but I think that the downtown library is already a peaceful place so any addition would be simply stunning.

seperate the teen computer area from the adults.


Since it is so close to the Neutral Zone, not sure that teen spaces are needed -- would rather see more collaboration between the two organizations to best utilize both spaces.

Teen Space is already like a playground.

The need for a larger teen area is very high. You already offer good services and collections, but now you need to provide teens space. Provide a large multi-function room like the kids space - places for quiet study, teen computers, space for videogaming, space to hang out, space to eat and have staff available to serve the teens. I always come with my family and wish there were teen staff to help find books etc. - if you have a bigger room you would be foolish not to - give them the top notch service you already provide in the kids room.

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Better Access for Disabled Persons (59 responses)

" Also - better accessibility for wheelchair users. Currently it is very difficult for someone in a wheelchair to browse the CD collection because there is not enough room to pull out the drawers while in a chair. The current ramp at the front entrance meets ADA requirements (I assume) but I have seen wheelchair users struggle to get up it. Please have an actual wheelcair user as a consultant on accessibity issues. ADA requirements are not always adequate."

" Another thing is that the access to the library and the ability to use the computers and other areas should be as user-friendly to handicapped people of all ages and disabilities as it possibly can be. The library should be for all the people to use, not just those who can easily get around on foot."

A designated and safe area for disabled persons having taxi or ARide drop-off and pick-up

access everywhere for handicapped

Access for older adults, young kids, and people with mobility constraints.

Accessability for disabled

Accessibility for people of all ranges of abilities: sensory, motor, developmental. Not only accessibility for the physical structure of the building but have the latest in accessible technology for the computers.

Accessibility for wheelchairs and strollers. Good bathrooms. Keep the aquarium! Magazine area removed from computer area.

accessibilty for people with mobility, vision, or other limiting disabilities

Accessible for handicapped people/wheelchairs.

Although the library probably met ADA requirements, I constantly found that doorways were barely wide enough to accommodate a wheelchair, a lack of ramps at doors and not enough space to maneuver aisles. Let's build something that doesn't just satisfy the law but is usable and welcoming to all patrons.

Be sure to facilitate handicapped accessibility.

Better facilities for the visually impaired.

Close-by Handicap Access similar to existing access.

complete compliance with ADA laws

complete handicapped accessibility including staff assistance

COnsider more then lighting when it comes to special needs. The Bathrooms need to be usable for w/c and assistive device users. The aisles need to be wide enought for w/c's

Don't forget handicap accessibility!

Ease of access by the physically challenged; special computer stations for same, including those that are visually and hearing impaired.

Ease of use for handicapped and elderly individuals. I would like to see a more modern inviting design.

Easy access for handicapped persons.

easy access for those in wheelchairs both access to parking and to the library

Easy handicap access

electric "Amigo" carts for handicappers use only. They must not be taken out of the building because many places that allow this have them stolen.

Exceed minimum standards for handicap access to all areas

Full accessability for all individuals with disabilities adults and children.

Good access for handicapped people in and out of library and in the public areas of the library so they don't feel like second class citizens.

Good accessability for the handicapped.

greater accesibility

Hadicap accesbility, integrating easy Access for handicap: Incorporate into the plans Public access for everyone including handicap.

handicap access

Handicap access improvement.

handicap access in/out of building, up/down levels and in bathroom and checkout areas

handicap accessibility in all areas

Handicapped access and use is not well addressed. I do think it is necessary to have a game area for youth but they are loud and should not be next to the children's library area. I don't think I use the library as effectively as I once did. I feel this is because the electronic card catelogue is not as easy to use as a card file. One cannot find books on tape in a separate catalogue.

Handicapped accessibility.

Handicapped accessible

handicapped bathrooms and facilities

Increased handicapped access including availibility of "Amigo" type vehicles.

It is essential to consider the needs of those with disabilities. Too often, in attempting to "prettify" a parking area, planters, rock gardens, and green spaces are designed that seriously impede access. I hope you will be clever enough not to design such obstacles.

It is important that everything in a new building be fully accessible to wheelchair users-- from the width of aisles to the height of checkout desks. The elevator must function reliably, unlike the one the Downtown Library currently has. Bathrooms should have accessible stalls and enough maneuvering space for a power wheelchair to turn around; some branches currently lack this, including the new Malletts Creek Branch.

It should be state of the art in terms of barrier-free access. Consult with Ann Arbor Center for Independent Living.

Level access for wheelchair users or those with other mobility impairments . Textured walkways and other such accessibility needs for those who are blind or have low vision

Level access for wheelchair users or those with other mobility impairments. Textured walkways and other such accessibility needs for those who are blind or have low vision

Make sure it is useful for the visually impaired. Good signage, good contrast, accessible.

Make sure the library is usable by people of all abilities and disabilities.

Make sure there are universal accommodations

obviously handicap accessability!

Please be sure all services are accessible for the handicapped. We have an aging population, and anyone can meet a virus or a drunk driver and require that accomadation.

Please make the library fully accessible to patrons who use wheelchairs. Some of the bathrooms claim to be accessible but are actually too small for someone who uses a power chair. Also, the downtown library's elevators often breaks. The new library's elevator should be reliable so that patrons who use wheelchairs can access upper floors just like everyone else. Please make sure that aisles between books are wide enough for someone who uses a wheelchair to be able to move through them. Please have a check-out counter that is low enough for someone who uses a wheelchair to access. The doors to the bathrooms need to be automatic (like the front doors) so that wheelchair users can open them without needing someone else's help.

Possibly more services for the hearing impaired.

Question 5 talks about computers and technology for people of all ages. This *needs* to be inclusive of people of all **abilities** as well. Equal access to technology and information is critical for people with disabilities to be fully integrated into our society. All aspects of the library should be acessible, not just the physical buildign. This means screen readers and speech recognition, screen magnification, etc.

remember that disabled customers can't use the main library if it becomes hard to park. Ex. I can't walk very far and need a close handicap space or I have to go to a branch. The branches are nice, but not always adequate to a patron's needs.

Remember to think about the usability of the many different areas for children, adults and teens with disabilities. Often, being construction code compliant does not really address other universal design issues. You could engage the AA Center for Independent Living for ideas and suggestions!

Space that is easily accessible for persons with limited mobility. e,g. Shelves not very high up, nor extremely low down.

The library should be accessible to people of all physical abilities.

The very best possible handicap/accessible design must be included. Carefully consult with "experts" and real-life users for a realistic and practical plan that will truly and effectively serve a wide range of needs for persons with disabilties.

Wheelchair accessibility. As the population ages, universal access will become increasingly important and should be incorporated into every modern renovation/redesign plan. Consider meeting with local disability advocacy groups for consultations or advice.

wheelchair/cart/stroller access

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Ensure Natural and Adequate Lighting (32 responses)

Adequate space and low lighting in microfilm reader area. Ensure that the building light fixtures and windows(if any) do not shine/glare on the reading surface.

Again, lots of natural light to minimize artificial light.

as much natural light as possible,

As much natural light coming in as possible

As much natural lighting as possible!

Full spectrum light rental for treating seasonal affective disorder.

good lighting for senior, esp. in reading areas

good natural light as well as comfortable seating with lamps

Great lighting with good lights for winter sun emulation. Thanks!

I and several people are sensitive to low CRI (color rating) florescent lighting. PLEASE check the CRI rating on bulbs you buy and make sure they are above 90. Otherwise, people like myself CANNOT use the facilities without suffering migraines. I'd love to be able to read in my library.

I'm glad that lighting is a factor and appreciate a well-lit library with natural light and windows. However, please consider how seasonal change will affect lighting - also how changes during the day will affect lighting. There are times of the day/year where you cannot see the screen of the public computers at Pittsfield at all (in certain rows). Other times, the sun shining onto the circulation desk shines directly into the eyes of patrons and staff.

it should be eye-catching yet feel peaceful. lots of natural light.


lighting fixtures for after hours in the parking area and areas around the building.

Lighting should be "accent" type instead of the monotonous, all pervasive fluorescent fixtures that illuminate floors, ceilings and everything else in a bluish factory style ambiance. More like a house might do it.

LOTS, LOTS, LOTS of natural daylight.

make sure that there is a lot of light - no caves wanted - make sure that there is a lot of room for books, not just DVD's etc.

make sure there is plenty of nature light

More natural light (than artificial)

More natural light is definitely key.

More windows, cheerier color schemes, brighter more designed look. The Ypsi Library Whitaker Road branch is a terrific example of how vibrant and alive a public library can be simply by its design. A more welcoming space visually might inspire patrons to take better care of it - certainly would improve the "enjoyment" aspect of using the building. Especially build a lot of that visual beauty into staff/tech services areas - give them the same windows, natural lighting and art displays as in the public areas. Folks enjoy their jobs so much more (and work better) with windows, nice views and not being stuck in cubbyholes in the basement!:-)

more windows. In general, I love the current library. It serves the community so well, and has very interesting,relevant programs.

My concern is the lighting. The Flourecsent lisht is great for lower electric bills but it is not great for peoples eyes. I can see them flicker and it bothers me greatly.

Natural light good!!!! I love the Oak Valley library and wish the downtown were more like this.

Natural light makes all the difference in how inviting a space is.

Natural light throughout!

Natural Light, Table work spaces and comfy reading chairs, Computers available to search collections.  All of these are important.

Natural lighting and comfy seating are important.

Open Spaces within the library with Natural Light.

plenty of natural light

Well lit around the library.

Windows, natural light

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Mixed Responses on a Café Option (41 responses)

" If you had a cafe or allowed more food than is already there on the 2nd floor, it would attract more mess and people using the library to hang out rather than using the materials. For me, a library should be for access to and use of materials, not a school or a club house. "

A café would be very cool!. Ann Arbor is noted for it's fantastic selection of books in it's huge library system- why not make it noted for cool, modern, and comfy library systems?

A coffee shop to relax and read book/newspapers

a large civic plaza and a cafe/bookstore, a la zingermans, with outdoor seating in the plaza would be great.

A vending area where children are welcome. The "cafe" on the second floor is not suitable for children right now.

Also I hope you do not build a snack bar. This is not the purpose of a library.

An indoor snack area for children would be a great help; I tried to give my children their afterschool snack once last winter near the vending machines upstairs, but it was difficult to keep them quiet enough so that I felt we weren't bothering other patrons. Ruling this out meant ruling out afterschool library visits, since there just isn't time to go home for snack AND go to the library. The problem disappears once the weather is nice enough to use the garden off the Youth room. I don't feel a need for a full-fledge cafe in the library myself, although it does seem a shame that the organization can't capture some of that revenue that's going to cafes a couple of blocks away.

Cafe space for eating with healthy and affordable choices would be appreciated.

computer stations/work tables in the cafe area so people who "work from home" have a place to work and can enjoy their coffee too :)

Eating area where people can eat food purchased elsewhere.

"Given the current economics of our state and city I think the city should spend money renovating or updating a useable space. Please don't locate the full service cafe or snack areas in the research center for the library. This is currently a very difficult situation when lunching with several kindergartens after the story time, but before going to school."

Having cafe is not such a good idea.

How much public money are you spending to compete with private vendors? (E.g., coffee shops) Why is this appropriate?

I checked the box for "full-service cafe" and for "retail", but I think a half-service cafe and newstand would be most appropriate. Perhaps I misinterpret "full-service" cafe, but I think something along the lines of the new cafe in the UM undergraduate library or what one sees at the airports (e.g., Caribou, Starbucks) would be appropriate) with seating nearby.

I don't think a cafe is needed.

I don't think the city needs another "borders" - with cafe and entertainment. I have been happy with the Library over the years and use it often.

I don't think there will be an adequate return on the rent investment by putting a full-service cafe. Please, it's downtown, people can get to any of twenty cafes in ten minutes and bring their favorite food/drink with them. THE DOWNTOWN LOCATION IS DIFFERENT FROM THE BRANCHES in the same way that downtown retail is different from suburban retail.

I have an adult sister that is in the library constantly and things like the cafe could possibly entice her to stay longer, it would not prevent her from going to the library.

I think a cafe would be more trouble than it's worth. If i want Borders/Barnes&Nobles cafe & books experience I go there. I don't need my library to be one too.

I think a designated vending/snack area would be adequate & more cost-effective than a whole cafe (no need to become Borders).

I think that the library is mainly quite wonderful, and the idea of a cafe/public art, etc. seems a bit silly to me. I understand that may be the trend in libraries, but I've been coming to the downtown library my entire life (32 years) and I think a library is a library, and doesn't have to be a shopping mall! With some minor improvements it will be up to date and fabulous.

I think the proposition of a cafe is utterly ridiculous, since Ann Arbor already has a surfeit of cafes.

I would love a cafe

if there is a cafe, should be private vendor

If you do choose to put a cafe in, please make sure it is healthy and "safe" for children with allergies (maybe all food would have ingredient labels?), children should feel safe at the library.

I'm not sold on a cafe, but if it was on a green roof, had outdoor space, and some evening hours, it would be a nice alternative.

Include space for eating foods brought from home. I wouldn't purchase from the cafe, but I would like to be able to feed my small children a snack.

Instead of a full-service cafe, a place indoors to sit and eat a picnic or vending snack, similar to pittsfield that is somewhat close to the youth area. This is important for parents with kids. Also, I would support a gift shop if the purpose was to raise money, not just to purchase stuff.

Instead of a full-service cafe, how about a space that's big enough for patrons to eat a little something that they bring, themselves. My family and I are always squeezed out of the tiny eating area downtown. At the Pittsfield branch, the small eating area is great.

Keep food any food areas well away from book and study areas to discourage bringing food in those areas.

Keep it non-commercial (ie if you add a cafe, it should not have a 'brand' name).

"no cafe please, competes with local business and is a distraction. this is not a Border's, etc"

No cafe. People who want a coffee shop reading atmosphere can take a few steps up the road to a cafe, or have that atmosphere at Borders. There are plenty of food places around the library. A cafe would bring noise and traffic to the library that normally wouldn't come. A place for reading, learning, and art should be the emphasis. Same goes for the bookshop.

no food "in" the library, i.e. provide a cafe space but please do not allow pop, candy, etc. in the book area

no-- just don't put anything in that's found commonly in other places-- a cafe, or art. it's wasted tax dollars that should go to more books or maybe a bigger library.

Not a full-service cafe either but definitely a snack area with vending machines with healthy options for snacks and beverages.

Please, no cafe in the library--there are plenty of places to get food downtown!

Quick affordable place to eat or drink that is clean and welcoming.

Retail/Cafe space would hurt an already ailing downtown commercial sector.

Stay away from coffeehouse environment, and put the funds into organization and efficiency, and ease of use

The Downtown Library has been a wonderful resource for my family and I'm looking forward to the renovation. Please don't put in a cafe though! We need someplace in Ann Arbor where people aren't drinking coffee.

To strongly consider the addition of a cafe (vending machines do NOT count), and make the library a place for people to meet, work, and play instead of them seeing other cafes as a more relaxing and enjoyable alternative to the library.

"I, personally, do not think food should be available in the library."

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Entry Ideas/Input (25 responses)

I'd like the front desk to be more visible from the front door and a defined area where people can queue up.

" Entrance on William would be nice -- now that the bus depot has moved Williams is more convenient than 5th."

A building that opens up to the surrounding streets would be nice.

A much more inviting entry with clear direction.

A specific area where people can congregate outside the building, that isn't the main entrance (where people entering might feel intimidated by the people and not enter).

A welcoming entrance, with good directional signage to areas within the building.

At the front entrance, if you sit down to wait for a ride, security makes you leave! This is most inconvenient when you're waiting on a taxi or someone else to pick you up. There should be a couple of benches outside for people waiting for a lift -- not everyone hanging out outside is just loitering!!

Celebrate main entrance to the library.

Clear reception area. Employees on hand to answer questions.

easy pedestrian access

effective interior signage

entrance from underground parking

Entrance off of William Street.

Exterior of the library needs to integrate into the physical fabric of the surrounding downtown. Incorporating commercial space in the first floor of the Library, with sidewalk and interior entrances will help enliven the block and keep the space "live" after Library hours.

Good access by bus, bicycle, and foot.

good pedestrian integration, as well as parking accessibility. Right now, the library is only "open" on part of one side. It should be more inviting to approach.

I hope there will still be a pedestrian entrance on Fifth Avenue!

If the building is going to occupy more space on a lot/corner than the current library, more than one street entrance would be nice, especially if a drop-off lane (for books or passengers) is being considered.

Is there a way to make the entry less appealing to people who want to hang out and smoke? As appealing as the existing large outdoor covered entry is, it's too difficult to patrol and forces patrons to walk directly past the smokers. I think a very small covered entry is the max. and you could have a larger interior space for people to stand out of weather while waiting for rides. Thank you.

It is getting better, but the cloud of cigarette smoke I would have to walk through to get to the front door is a problem.

It should be possible to tell from the street whether the library is open without having to get out of the car.

Regarding the entrance to the library: I would propose an entrance not located on 5th or William for that matter. There are always so many little children around that an entrance off the busy streets would be helpful.

The building should be very visible and very easily accessible from the pedestrian corridor (Liberty); it should draw people to it. This refers to both the exterior and the pedestrian experience getting to the library. Walking thru a parking lot can be dangerous.

The current entrance is uninspired and insufficient. It does not meet the needs of disabled and able bodied users equally, does not create a sense of entry or transition, and is an overall detriment to the library experience. Focus should be placed on improving the entry sequence.

The current setup with the checkout near the door so they can act as greeter/help seems to work well.

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Mixed Input on Meeting and Performance Space (53 responses)

Lastly, I have been disturbed that a community member must *pay* to use the library's main meeting space for community meetings (unless the library itself backs the meeting). If larger performance spaces are put in, I hope they will also be open to the community for *free* for planning community events.

The meeting rooms should be State of the Art A/V equipped (including teleconferencing). For rent or free to non-profit organizations.

" Community meeting space, and public gathering space is really, really important. I'm glad you are considering it."

" Really would appreciate small conference rooms were, again, work from home people can go to concentrate separate from the main hub bub of library users - this space would not need to be a ""quiet"" room but would allow limited, low-tone conversations. "

Adding leasable reatial space(which leasees would be approved by the board). This will also generate revenue and in case of the need for expantion, the contrats will state this.

Affordable business meeting spaces and small presentation/meeting venues. Color printing services. Advanced/specialty software training. (Photoshop, AutoCAD, etc.)

As a staff member at a local non-profit, free and inexpensive community space, including performance space, is a great need of ours. If you do have a larger performance space, I would like to help develop policies about how it can be used by the general public.

But a nice room where seniors and children could do joint projects (see the kinds of things the Brits did with their Common Ground project, or that the Scandinavians arrange for after school interactions.....

Consider the various options for holding public events in this area. This is a very nice location, far enough away from the Hill Auditorium location to provide space for more local, artistic ventures.

don't replicate other community services, partner with them and complement them.

Have access for local and touring art groups (performance space)

Having a public performance space is badly needed in Ann Arbor. I do theater and am well aware that people are in need of venues to perform. I like your interest in a variety of possible types of rooms, as well, from small conference spaces to larger ones.

I also think that Ann Arbor has very little (none?) available low cost meeting space for community and political organizations. This ought to be a City responsibility, but this city's government is unlikely to provide it. It would be wonderful if the Public Library would step up.

I do not perceive a need for new performance spaces in downtown Ann Arbor. There are numerous theaters and other venues which adequately meet that need.


I have no oppinion on the meeting areas, as I have never used them. The kids' area is already quite nice.

I love attending library special events, but usually end up relegated to an outside room with closed circuit tv or audio. Improving the library for these events would be my 1st priority.

I really don't see the need for a 400 seat performance site. There are other sites downtown that serve this purpose.

I think that having a community arts and performance center would be the greatest addition to the library. Presenting art and performance through local education would draw a great sense of positive notice in ann arbor. Maybe even a food thing. seiriously, look at how big food network is and the old homemaking/doing what your mother says so you can grow into an adult thing. It's the whole challenge of growing up and living. anyhow, i just thought food classes would be sweet. learn about culture, ethnicity, and just good eating. food is life.

I think that having a stage with an auditorium that could be inexpensively leased to school, church and dance or theater groups would be fabulous!

I think that the idea of incorporating a large auditorium into the space is wonderful. Ann Arbor is a vibrant place and the AADL seems to attract lots of fascinating speakers/performers. Great job with the planning!

I used to live in a small apt. in a house right across the street from the library. The library was our "living room." Now I live some miles away and do drive downtown about 3-4times/ month. We use several libraries downtown and branches. I think you need to update the library a bit and keep it is good shape, but no need to go overboard. We have lots of nice satellite branches to choose from too. As a volunteer with an active 100% volunteer run nonprofit, I know that we often need meeting space and cannot afford to pay. I would certainly appreciate more accessible community spaces. We need a larger meeting space than your free room, and occasional space for small trainings (several classrooms at once) The auditorium idea is lovely, but the schools all have auditoriums...

I would put the public auditorium lower on the list than workstations, tutor rooms etc. If AA needs a public auditorium the City should build it.

If ya gotta build something, then the community & public art stuff above. I really wish I could've gotten a private tutoring room when I was with washtenaw literacy---my client did *NOT* like being in the children's area (personal dignity v. important to foreign learners) plus it was noisy. As a resident of a2, the library was not serving her needs, at all

If you design a large auditorium space, I think you should make it available for lease to local theater groups. This may become less of a need once the new High School opens - but it would be useful for community theater groups and private schools.

In question no 4, Couldn't the "large public performance space" also be the "large community meeting room" ?

Inexpensive, or better yet free, meeting rooms for 30 people, for non-profit groups to reserve/ schedule, especially in the evening, would be terrific.

Is there a reason that the library should have a 400 person performance auditorium? Is this the mission of the "library"?

It seems like the residents of Ann Arbor already have access to some of these things, such as performance spaces and art museums. It may be better to focus on building things which are more scarce around the town and will be equally beneficial to the residents. Great ideas, thank you!

It would be delightful to have free/low-cost meeting space available for community use. I'm imagining being able to come to the library for a rec & ed class on computers, or a lecture series, or to have neutral book-group meeting space that is sound proof enough to allow for lively conversation.

It would be wonderful to be able to reserve tutoring rooms.

Meeting space! Meeting space! Meeting space!

Please get a piano for the public performance space!

Reading room for magazines, a bright, quiet study hall. Music library.

Regarding large meeting and performance spaces. Ann Arbor has an exces of such spaces presently, particularly with UM offering many spaces for rental. the public would not recoup the value of such investments if they would not be heavily utilized, even if fees are charged. A similar argument holds for Cafe space. The town is saturated with Cafe's presently. A less expensive choice might be a food-permitted lounge area on the entry floor where people could bring their own food. Or perhaps allow a concession contractor so food service can occur without expense to the AADL? The concession could be offered to an Ann Arbor based cafe business, so the food service would have more of the home town feel that contractors like aramark can notprovide.

small theatre space for showing DVDs from the collection that can be reserved by library patrons when not being used for other purposes

Some meeting space that allows food

Some of the proposed functions seem to me to be beyond what I imagine a Library to be.Do public meeting spaces really belong in a library. Why not use space in that ridiculous new high school.

Some space por going in group to we cant talk about something.(proyect, school whiht other parents,etc).

Some space that can be used for school groups to perform in, as opposed to a larger space for much larger groups.

The "up to 400 seat" auditorium seems far too small. Current library programming routinely draws crowds near or exceeding 400 persons, with local and/or B-list events such as the Yarn Harlot and Harry and the Potters. If the new Downtown Branch is to meet the needs of our community for decades to come a arger auditorium seems justified. If AADL were to build an 1100 seat auditorium, the library could host A-list events and speakers: independent directors could premiere films, nationally and internationally recognized figures could present, and musicians could perform. The space would also expand the pool of potential renters for conferences and other non-library sponsored events, adding an additional revenue source. While serving the needs of the residents of AA should be a priority, I think that the AADL Events Center should be a Michigan venue, if not a Midwestern venue. It should draw people into our city from the rest of the state, people who will then patronize local shops, restaurants, and hotels.

The down town needs a "meeting hub. I think the downtown library could and should serve this function.

the downtown library is not a dinosaur. it meets many needs. from my point of view, the most chronically evident problem is not having a large enough public meeting space for some programs. many of the above criteria would be 'frosting' on a basically good cake. in challenging economic times, a somewhat renovated library should be pursued.

The library could offer community groups a place to display posters/flyers for their events. Commercial locations for these have all but disappeared and it is one of the best ways to reach the public. The website could also offer space for this type of information or links to these groups.

The one shortcoming I do notice is that the largest public meeting space downstairs has often been too small for events I have attended.

The variety of meeting areas within the library needs to continue to be a part of the renovation/redesign.

WE already have MANY large auditoriums in our community. I do not think this should be a priority. There are already many coffee shops and cafes. we do not need this at our library. The childrens area is wonderful as it is currently. It is so large and bright and nice. no improvements needed. The teen area could be bigger. The CD/DVDs could have their own special section with better labeling.

We are frequent users of the downtown library even through we are much closer to the Mallett's Creek branch; the bottom line is though Mallett's is a lovely place, it doesn't have the facilities we want to access. I think the library would pull more people in if it did offer better public meeting/ conference facilities. As it is, school board meetings, etc. are SRO. Also, when designing to incorporate art, it would be nice to keep in mind that art gets old and taken for granted; it is more interesting if it can be rotated on/off view occasionally.

We do NOT need an auditoridum for 400. We have them in many schools and should b e using those facilities. DO NOT NEED a cafe!

We don't need an auditorium for 400 people in terms of space usage; it would clog parking and is not in keeping with the library's purpose. But smaller tutor or classrooms could be good for teachers who want to give their students a way to meet during off school times or presenters with an approved message.

We have participated in summer reading club as well as many special events that required a large space to accommodate many people i.e. Dr. Seuss' birthday party and there was hardly enough room to sit much less move anywhere. A large room to accommodate perhaps a 1,000 as opposed a few hundred is in order.

What are opportunity costs of 400-person auditorium? Gift shop/cafe only if it can make money.

Why is the question of "public performance space" inextricably included with "state of the art"? I don't think state of the art is needed (at least in a case -- as I think this is -- where the resources will inevitably be limited, and stretched), there are other places in town for such stuff.

Would love to see a room dedicated to showing movies. We have seen several movies at the downtown building, and none of the rooms used seem designed for it.

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Technology Needs/Input (77 responses)

A three-D lab in which children AND adults could experience and experiment with unusual objects in a virtual multi-dimensional world. Wall-mounted computer screens showing real-time web-cam views from all over the world. An in-library GPS system; as kids come into the library with their parents, for example, they can take a numbered bracelet/GPS unit; parents will know where their kids are; kids will know where their friends are; the kids will have fun learning about GPS.

Free public wireless access for laptop users.

Perhaps a wing dedicated to new technology (ie, computers, computer classes, and other electronic media) could be developed, since that is a new and developing library function which was probably not planned for in the original library design

A large number of computer kiosks for searching books in AADL as well as other local libaries. Access to books at other local university libraries on a short term loan basis.

A really strong presence on the web. I like what we have but it is important to keep up on new services there. Samples of new items available to check-out - new CDs or promoting "under-utilized resources" - a sort of "did you know that the library..." Some people may need a little help thinking outside the box. There are probably some things that the library has invested in that people don't seem to be using as much as anticipated.

A semi-permanent computer user assistant. Regularly accesible tutors on basic subjects.

ability to use my ipod for e books downloads

Actually, one of the most important things that isn't listed here is the number of outlets for laptops and computers. Making sure that there are more outlets (there are hardly enough anywhere in the downtown branch) and that the outlets are in pleasant places to work.

Also the library's web-based services need to be upgraded- the current system looks very nice and has great options. But it is often very slow. For all the money spent on the upgrade a few years ago the connection speeds (from one site to the next inside the library's website) are often ridiculously slow.

Although I said I agreed strongly to download stations for music, videos, I have no idea what these are.

Anything the library can do to help kids and seniors get comfortable with technology is important. It's the future!

As computer needs become more varied, each station should be able to do a wide variety of things--ie download, burn CDs,DVDs, make PDFs, work with photos, etc.

Better computer system is needed.

Better places to plug in your laptop, so that other won't trip on the cord.

Comfortable short-term previewing and listening dtations for a/v materials, perhaps via Library's catalog so even items that are not available might be previewed.

Computers need sound. The Ypsilanti Public Library offers headphones on all its computers.

Computers not for downloading, but for searching book reviews etc.

Continue to upgrade the web access to the library. A fifth option should be "Not Applicable"

Decent internet connection, because the one you have now kinda sucks. I'd focus on that instead of ridiculous crap that no one needs (a gift store?! it's a library. come on. i guess it is an interesting idea. but still -- you are first and foremost a library, how about you worry about stocking books, music, and movies for people to check out? it doesn't need to be a freaking community center. it's fine the way it is right now, save for the continual construction inside... quit tearing things apart, it's getting annoying and has made me stop coming there.)

Diversity in languages of collections. Multiple languages capability in IT/computers.

Email access

Faster computers

Filters on computers so no porn can be accessed!!

Foreward looking planning for future technology.

Free Wireless Internet access should be offered to ease public machine congestion

Free wireless internet access.

Free Wireless Internet. Public

get with the latest technology for books on cds, have ipod downloads instead of loaning out the book/cds. lthat might increase your available books. right now your books on cd is limited and basically crappy.

i don't think that everyone that doesn't pay property taxes like i do should have free use of the computers. i think there should be a fee, or fewer computers.

I feel strongly that the library should provide access to the internet and materials available on the internet. As more and more content, songs, journals, newspapers, movies, books become available on the internet, I feel it wise and important to provide public access to these to citizens of all means and abilities. To me this means the library should provide additional computers, high bandwidth access to the internet, and pay for subscriptions to online publications and services.

"I have a computer at home but I think people need more computer literacy and the library can help community members with that especially for people searching for jobs and those with less privilege than many of the Ann Arbor patrons.That's why a computer make sense--also for the elderly. "

I noticed that there are very few areas for lap top use. More plugs and private rooms would be great!

I really think it is imprtant to have more dedicated quiet areas with computer/internet access. Right now there is limitted access to internet if you really need to wk on a project from the library. That is a limitation.

I think it is important to install wireless internet in the library if it is not already in place. But laptops should only be allowed in a specific area as typing might disturb people who are reading books.

I think it would be nice to have more computers and especially ones that can use flash drives. Also, maybe it would be nice to have a bigger foreign language book collection.

I think that the best way to improve would be to offer more computers with a better internet server. The current server is slow, will not download attachments (and as I do a lot of my U of M homework @ the library, this is very inconvenient) and certain sight such as google and gmail will sometimes not work at all. All in all, updated computers would be ideal, but I hope that the library continues to focus on a cultured environment for families.

I think the downtown library is fine as it is, EXCEPT the public computer area could be vastly improved and the computers need to be upgraded. If a renovation happens, please do NOT install any 'interactive' children's exhibit in any section of the library where it will disturb adults. The one at the Pittsfield Branch is noisy and is very, extremely, completely annoying. The Pittsfield Branch is very near my home, but I rarely go because there are no "warm" or comfortable spaces. The steel and burnished concrete give it a cold, hard, industrial feel. It is not a welcoming place to browse and read.

I would like to boot my own software.

I would like to see more computers available for searching for materials within the library. Such computers can be very difficult to find. It would also be nice to have a better indexed search system online and in the library.

If some of the outdoor area or green space still picks up the libraries wi-fi, that would be a plus. It's funny to see people camped out with their laptops on the railing of the platers across from the old (former) YMCA

Improved wireless access!!

In what ways could changes in media technology over the life of this building invalidate the usage extrapolations you've made?

Increased emphasis on electronic media, both on and off-site. Staying on the cutting edge of media access options as technology evolves (e.g., exploration of licensed, time-limited downloading of copyrighted materials in electronic media form, in lieu of hard copy materials -- not sure how this would work, but may be cost-competitive with the expense of physical storage space).

It is important to realize the furture, the internet is a big plus for us. I hope that we can keep the library as current as the people needs.

It would be great to have access to color printers.

maybe a "mini Kinko's" - self-serve office center for a user fee; computers adapted for the disabled, e.g., touch screen, audio

More computers

More high tech

MUCH more spacious computing area -- it's a been like a cattle shed in there now.

music listening stations and video watching stations with good headphones

New book and CD lists and description available on the website and availability at any given time

Oh, and don't forget robust wireless access for all. It wasn't listed in the technology section, so I assume that it is a given?

Project ahead 25 years when many of the space-consuming books will be available on line or microchip and plan for more technology accomodation vs. shelves except for archived originals/ classics / tabletop editions / larger format treasures

Redesign for electronic media, less for physical books. Better access to librarians to help with database searches, how to use the resources, etc. Large screens (24"+) and readers for scanned media.

Regarding technology, I don't want the downtown library to be all about the Internet. I have that at home and don't need to go downtown for that. I want the good stuff. The library currently places too high a priority on making computers and the internet available to the public.

short-term listening station to pre-screen CD's before check-out

Significant numbers of electrical outlets and network cable connections for laptop users. Closed off "talking areas" for people that but need to make the occasional phone call or conference call.

The current computer system is horrible. The programming is not user friendly, there isnt enough room on the shelf to move the mouse around, the mouse often does not work effectively you have to keep moving it to get it to do the right thing on the screen. The older computer programming was much more user friendly. Dont make these systems too complex and inconvenient for the whole age population to be able to use them. I have been using computers for fifteen years in my work and personal life, and this system is one of the most frustrating I've ever used.

The download stations will soon become a hub for high-speed piracy. Beware.

The library was built for the computer age; what it lacks is only more stations for quick internet access: perhaps standing or seated 5-minute stations are in order; or a time limit could be installed on computers, which might save the need to replace EACH computer in the second-floor lab. (They certainly do need to be upgraded, as they are very slow.) For these reasons, a new building is unnecessary!

The library's ability to provide computer access for those who don't have it is a crucial public service.

The speed of the Internet should be speed up. With the personal laptops popular, I think the amount of public computers increased are not more important than the update Internet wireless equipments.

This is a topic that you've already listed, namely, computing facilities. At present, there are too few computers available on days and times of high usage. AADL needs both IBM-type PC's and Mac OS X computers, running up-to-date operating systems, and with faster performance.

tired of west branch closing off computers for classes--they should all be downtown--

Ubiquitous and conveniently located electric outlets and wireless access for laptops. Outlets located on/below/on side of tables are better to avoid having to lay power cords across the floor.

upgrade the computer system so that it runs faster. upgrade the software to more current versions. add some sort of scanning device for slides, pictures & text etc to be integrated into the computer system

Various ways of looking up books and media on the computer so that patrons don't have to guess the logic under which items are filed. For instance, if I want a list of all Agatha Christie videos that the library carries, I shouldn't have to search separately TV series and movies and dramas, etc. to get a list of all. I should just be able to type in Agatha Christie and get a full list with appropriate call numbers. Knowledgeable and courteous staff that can help with requests like the above.

Well-integrated, well-designed website. I primarily reserve items via the website and pick-up/drop-off items at the downtown branch. The AADL website is an important interface and could be improved as well.

wi-fi access for people with laptops

Wi-Fi, since the library is becoming more and more a space of learning and information retrieval. Reference desk people's role will turn to helping people tease out what's valid and what isn't on the web. Is the library a learning space? A cultural space? A social space? It's probably all of that and more, so the architecture needs to reflect that. Also, when building the new building please use not only sustainable but also non-toxic building materials using the EU standards for both. That will greatly affect the indoor air quality and the health of all the patrons, now and for years to come.

Wireless access for people that want to bring their laptop computers and use a quiet area to work or do research, but using his own laptop. In that way, people could communicate with their company's network through vpn but using wireless access from the library. They would have access to research material to finish a particular project (marketing, technical research) they could be working on.

Wireless internet throughout the building

Wireless internet very important.

Wireless internet.

wireless work stations where we can use programs from the library and access online resources here. like downloading media onsite and have it expire after a week on our computers

Would like a space for previewing videos (dvds and vhs).

yes. More computer terminals with faster service. Better software. Some computers in dedicated teen areas for group interaction AND a separate Quiet area for people who desire quiet while using the computers. Also a third separate computer area for parent/ child or adult group work.

You should provide a seperate room for personal laptop computer usage with electric plug-in and wireless internet access


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Provide Larger, Clean Rest Rooms (56 responses)

*Better bathroom access for adults with kids (other than in the children's section which is fine)

1. More (women's) restrooms, and another sort of security so there could be a door to the restroom. 2. "Airport" style lockers; get your quarter back when you return your key.

accessible bathroom. more use of natural solar power to generate the library. safe and clean water fountain. more accessible for older people and handicap people.

Adequate and easy to keep clean restrooms.

Adequate bathroom facilities that are well maintained and ADA accessible.

adequate bathrooms to match increased use. Library is community center now as well as books and records.

Adequate bathrooms.

Adequate public restrooms / warming area for those who just want to stop in for a break.

Bathroom at every floor.

Bathrooms could use upgrade.

Bathrooms, making sure that they are easy to find, adequate number of stalls, clean. Having enough water fountains.

Better lavatories/restrooms.

Better restroom facilities

Bigger bathrooms or more of them.

bigger restrooms

Can you do something about the rest rooms?

Clean bathrooms

clean bathrooms

Clean bathrooms. Bathrooms dedicated to just children and families--that do not have an odor.

Clean safe restrooms where a stroller can fit. Easier options in restrooms for moms with kids.

Conveniently located restrooms that are equipped for children

enough bathroom spaces.. toilets as well as stalls

Good restrooms

Have larger restrooms / restrooms on upper levels and employees to keep those restrooms clean

larger Bathrooms

larger bathrooms

Larger restrooms with improved privacy and good ventilation.

less claustrophobic restrooms

More / better bathrooms that are DESIGNED to be spacious, easy to keep clean (no designer faucets spewing water all over countertops, no tricky "disposals" that are difficult to access and empty) and safe.

More accessible restrooms throughout the building.

More and or larger public restrooms.

more bathroom

more bathroom stalls

more bathrooms

More bathrooms and cleaner bathrooms. I would spend more time *in* the library if the bathrooms were not so chancy. Perhaps having some that require a pass key or some sort of pass card would help. Also, there needs to be more of them -- if I am on the third floor I have to leave what I am doing for too long to use the rest room.

More bathrooms, not so much larger bathrooms, but more small bathrooms

More bathrooms.

More restroooms, gender neutral restrooms.

More spacious restroom space throughout the building for each age group space. I.E more stalls for adults as well as more in the youth and children's area.

Nice, clean, spacious bathrooms. Lots of them. At least one on each floor.

Perhaps a bathroom key/code system for library patrons only.

Plan for better ventilation in restrooms

Please include larger restrooms with brighter lighting

Plenty of handicapped restrooms

public restrooms each floor

Public restrooms, media storage

renovated restrooms.

rest rooms

Restroom accessibility and safety

restroom. I mean restroom in the Downtown Library is samll and uncomfortable.

Safe, clean restrooms

secured washrooms, some for patron use only.

some more bathroom and woman supplies is something happens (tampons, pads)

Spacious and adequate bathrooms with ventilation!!!!

These are great ideas. Bathrooms on each floor, easy access to each floor and

Updated restrooms that are adequate for library users.

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Include a Green Space (28 responses)

I would like to see more green space downtown and sidewalks, streets, and linked greenways designed to encourage and accomodate walking and bicycling in the downtown area. Developers of residential and commercial space should provide parking for their residents and customers on their own sites as a part of their own building designs. Any parking next to the library should be for the library users and not for nearby residents or businesses. In my neighborhood, the developer included space for a driveway and gargage on the lot with each house. Downtown developers should do the same and they should not expect the public to subsidize the parking needs of their residences or commerial spaces.

Public green space that creates an engaging indoor /outdoor presence.

. Accessible rooftop greenspace (helps with water and is nice).

a courtyard would be amazing. make the building more "green". This will make people proud of their library and it will do good.

A garden on the roof. Instead of wasting precious land for an open park, create a green roof that has more than just grass; incorporate a planned garden up there and it will be good for the environment and also create a new space for library patrons to enjoy books and the city.

A park/green space about the parking structure to bring more families downtown- this is more of a city planning issue for me

A renovated space that modernizes the building would be nice and I like the garden area and don't want to lose that if the buidling is rebuilt. Too many nice trees and green spaces are being lost all over town as it is.

covered area between entrance and parking for winter access access to green areas within the library with benches/lounge chairs to read outside

Creating an outdoor area that is vibrant, creative and useful 365 days per year (to at least a small degree); attention to making the library building distinctive, architecturally "significant" and worthy in itself of public love and support (above and beyonf what happens inside)

don't get rid of the trees and flowers!

Expansion of the little outdoor area would be a lovely improvement.

Gardens that one can see from the inside, such as courtyards.

Green Space is very important.

Green space--trees, flower beds, benches, water--as part of the surface of the underground parking lot.

I hope some surface green space can be incorporated into the plan.

I just want to emphasize how nice it would be to have a usable, safe, and inviting public greenspace. The downtown needs it, and by the library would be a wonderful place for it! I would love to check out a book, get a coffee, and sit down in the greenspace on a summer Saturday!

I only want to repeat that I think engaging green space both indoor and outdoor, or a cross feeling with the use of more sky-lighting is crucial. Also, possibly multiple entrances for pedestrians from both sides of the building (on opposite blocks).

I think a lot of effort should be put into the public green space simply because the library should be a calm and relaxed area to be.

I think maintaining an outdoor area that is accessible from within the library is really important. It's really great to be able to sit in the sunshine and read a book before you borrow it.

I was very interested in the idea of a public green area next to the library as a town gathering spot. I think it would benefit the library and the public to have a town square in that location.

I'd like to make sure we don't lose the garden! I want to be sure that there's welcoming pedestrian access to the space.

It would be a shame to fill up the entire space that is now parking lot with a building. It is nice to consider making some of it park-like, open, courtyard, or garden space.

It would be nice to have an adjacent city park.


It would be nice to have more "green space", perhaps gardens with benches or tables in a space larger than the present courtyard or an enclosed atrium for year round use.

make a plaza out of the parking lot - a central plaza and spots for reading under trees would really add life to the library. parking is available on the street and in large parking garages nearby.

open courtyard feel in the center (covered for the cold) but with sunroof style so sun comes through

Outside grass, trees and seating

Think about an outdoor garden seating area, with tea and/or coffee

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Ensure the Inclusion of Quiet Spaces (33 responses)

I think it would be wonderful if there was an area that was NOT laptop friendly, where people can go read a book and/or talk and not have a sea of computer screens. But, there should also be incorporated into the space accommodations for laptops so there aren't electric cables running across aisles, etc. It seems most of the world wants to go out with their computers, and they should be able to do that, but it would be nice for there to be a couple of laptop/wireless/cell phone free zones -- can you do a room, clearly marked, that blocks wireless and cell phones?

" ""Dedicated 'quiet' areas??? Those are called 'libraries'."

A more comfortable feel would be nice..more cozy, quiet places to sit and study/read.


Be quiet (yes, very quiet! no screaming children running around!).

Emphasis on dedicated quiet areas, natural light where possible,wood,together with high tech notes and glass. The Mallet's Creek Branch designers appeared to have evaluated the users' attendant needs much better than those who worked on the branch near the Ice Cube which is overly cold and clinical tho it seems to function OK and the brief may have dictated such an approach but on a freezing winter day it visually offers more of the same, rather than the relative "warm" haven of MC.

Functional study spaces for students-- places w/ cubbies or tables for quiet study... enforcing rules so these aren't meeting areas for group work, but instead a quiet place to read or concentrate.

I like a quiet reading space. I also love the fireplace room at Pittsfield

I love a lot of the creative ideas being brought up in this survey- the one thing i would be concsiencious of when incoorperating all these features into reconstruction is not to make the atmosphere too overwhelming. The library should be modernized and I think these ideas are very creative but i would love to see it keep a quiet, peacefull atmosphere at the same time.

I never spend any time at the library because they are always so loud! I find my books and leave quickly. The noise is distracting and disrespectful, and makes for an unenjoyable library experience. The library is often so loud that I do not browse for books- I only check out the specific books I know I need. I would say that quiet areas are most important to me. I'm not sure of the purpose of "dedicated quiet areas." When did any part of the library become a social arena?

I think the parking lot should be a public square and outdoor ice rink and kept open.

It is important to retain enough quiet areas in the library for people who have come to read/study.

It seems like libraries are no longer the quiet spaces they used to be. Having more comfortable quiet places and encouraging quiet would be a definite must.

keep the quiet and serene areas away from the busy/noisy areas.

LOTS of quiet space.

More quiet working and reading space which is not dominated by by noises of youth and homeless people.

Please be considerate of library patrons who do not appreciate the library being used as a play area. The Pittsfield branch is very unwelcoming to anyone who does not appreciate the noise and commotion of running screaming children.

Please include sufficient quiet study areas, and design it so that people using small group study areas are really soundproofed. I'm a law student, and I often study at the Pittsfield branch, but there's tons of noise from the "quiet" study areas. I'll come to the new downtown branch if you can offer me a nice quiet space to concentrate.

Please preserve calm and quiet spaces in the library.

Quiet area....quiet areas...quiet areas. Thanks

Quiet areas, quiet areas, quiet areas. For example, I love the Pittsfield branch, but there is not a single area where a quiet experience can be had unless it is next to empty.

quiet browsing/reading area (away from clicking CD/DVD cases);

Quiet is essential for many of us who use the library. There is too much talking and general noise in AADL sites around town.

quiet reading lounge overlooking green space;

QUIET space! (I find it very difficult to do concentrated work at Mallett's Creek open computers because of noise from children's area

Really need to have more small study rooms, or a dedicated large quiet room so that people can work in a quiet space.

The entire library shoud be "quiet" space with some sound proof rooms for those who need to talk. No food should be allowed at all.

The issue of a "quiet" library. The Mallet Creek library can be very "noisy" at times. The sound of normal conversations really carry. Please use construction materials that would soften this noise.

The Oak Valley library is too noisy to be used for reading or studying and is generally obnoxious for general use. Need to quiet down the new building.

The question aobut dedicated quiet areas makes no sense to me. The ENTIRE library should be a quiet area.

The quiet study room could be more welcoming, currently the quiet rooms you have feels like prison cells.

what ever happened to a library being quiet? I really don't understand why families and the library itself tolerates whining and screaming children and street level talking in a library. I THINK QUIET IS VERY VERY IMPORTANT !!!!! Actually the library is fine the way it is, and what about being green and stop unnecessary building and put the money into pressing social services??

"When you say ""Dedicated 'quiet' areas, I hope this doesn't mean that the rest of the library will become a loud area. I was appalled at the noise level when I visited the branch out by the Cube a couple years ago. There was a large noisy children's ball game right in the center of the main library room, making it impossible for anyone to read carefully. One needs quietude to read, and that quietude should be available throughout the library, not just in ""dedicated quiet areas."" We have too much noise and too many distractions in our lives today. We don't need more. Thank you."

sound proof group study rooms - and lots of them.

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Input on Furnishings (37 responses)

I am a little wary of living room style seating throughout the library downtown because I am afraid the comfy seating will become a nice place for transient people who are not really using the library for anything other than a place to loiter will be the only ones using the comfy seating.

More comfortable seating near the periodicals would be nice.

" I would like long study tables in designated quiet areas similar to the New York Public Library or Rackum. ."

"Airport" style seats so that one cannot sleep on them


Aquariums/Terrariums/etc not just in the kids section.

As a former bum, lets not make the library *too* comfortable for obvious reasons.

Catalog computer stations that have room for a purse as well as paper and pencil to write down info.

chairs at the computer stations that roll in and out easily - for elderly or disabled patrons

comfortable chairs to sit in for all size people. The chairs for the desks at the Main Library are very uncomfortable. I am short. the edge of the chair cut into my legs. I cannot sit in them for very long. Keep in mind short people as well as others.

comfortable reading areas with good chairs and tables

Consider also the needs of those of us who bring our own laptops to the library to work. Outlets near tables, tables without bright light right behind where you sit, space to spread out materials, and excellent wireless access, preferably with printing capabilities.

Consider the wide range of users when determining furnishings. While at first the idea of "lounge type seating" throughout is appealing, the reality is, is it going to look trashed and grubby quickly because kids spill food on it (even though no food allowed) and pee on it (I have small kids myself so nothing against kids) and certain types with heavy cigarette smell on their clothing decide to nap there, imparting their odor? Is it an attractant for those who are more interested in using the couches than the books, so to speak?

I would like more comfortable areas to just read at that has couches.

In addition to more group space, better work areas for individuals would be great. I would really appreciate having ergonomic/adjustable desks and chairs (they use these in the "green" building at EMU), good task lighting, seating near windows, etc. I also really like the idea of having a cafe where I could get some coffee and work on my wireless laptop.

Last, "living-room style seating" is a double-edged goal. On the one hand, it can make one more comfortable reading; on the other, some people don't want to sit in an intimate circle with a bunch of strangers; and on the third hand, the library attracts people who will simply sleep in the chairs. Many people have abandoned the downtown library because they perceive it to be an adjunct to the homeless shelter. Whether that is a true assessment may be less relevant than the fact that the perception exists. I have heard people commenting on this at Pittsfield and at Mallett's Creek on more than one occasion. Perhaps putting this style of seating in an area where there is likely to already be a dedicated staff presence, say near the cafe, circulation, or the reference stations, will help. I would advise against putting this style of seating in areas out of public view, however.

Lounge areas to sit and read.

More 1-seater tables / desks with chairs. Also more family sized tables with chairs.

more appropriate shelving for DVDs (control the slip and slide; open up so less crowding of browsers)

MORE COMFORTABLE SEATING for people bringing their laptops or working/reading at teh desks: current chairs are not very comfortable for working/sitting longer periods of time.

More individual desks to do research & studies. (With electrical outlets for computers would be nice too!)

More room (for papers, note taking, etc.) on tables that have the computers that access the catalogs, currently very awkward & frustrating!

More tables/chairs like a traditional library quiet study area. gift shop and cafe will make library into local coffee house, cyber cafe, ie borders and that is not a place for study and quiet learning or a safe place for kids and teenagers.

Please bear in mind that the more "living-room" style chairs you have, the more people you will have sleeping in the library, and otherwise treating it like a living room.

re computers in fiction section, stand up stations. Platforms should be wider. Inadequate space for taking notes.

Some of the fixtures, floor coverings and wall treatments or finishes in the branch libraries maintain easily and can handle the traffic through the space. There are places in the Downtown library (bathroom partitions, center stairwell carpeting as examples) that appeared more worn over time.

Something to consider would be the use of multipurpose wall systems and furniture that can convert into various configurations. Living room style furniture thoughout the library would be a nice touch but the material should be made of something that can withstand a great amount of wear and cleanability should be a top priority.

special emphasis to comfy seating, green space and study rooms

The ability to have "clean" fabrics. Chairs, etc, that are covered in material that does NOT quickly become gross with frequent public use. Or material that is easily cleaned. No one wants to sit in chairs that feel nappy or smell funky.

The ability within a new or renovated structure to reconfigure spaces to address library needs--like more computers or study areas--as they develop over the years.

The feel of open space - higher ceilings. Furnishing that are easy to maintain with min. upkeep and yet stylish and comfortable.

The idea of comfortable chairs and a cafe would make the library more of gathering place. I really like that idea. I also think that added a green space for those summer days when you need to do research is also a great idea.

We really need seating in the adult fiction area. It would also be useful to have at least benches in the front lobby where one could wait for friends who are still in other parts of the library

"We should have a Mosaic in the library! I just installed one in a public library in Medina, OH, and it certainly made the space look beautiful. Please, see photos on: This type of project can also be made possible with the help of volunteers. At present I am creating 8 panels for Matthaei Botanical Gardens with the help of volunteers. Please, see progress on:"

When ordering seating for the computers, please pick ones that are EASY to move back and forth. The ones at West Branch are not easy to slide into place or to move back.

When they design the stations, chairs and floor for the computers I think they should make it such that people using the computers can easily roll their chair on the floor. Now it is such that heavy carpetting under the chairs makes it almost impossible to push the chair back to the computer desk. Actually I have had to lift up a chair to move it appropriately to its position.

work surface at catalog lookup computer stations

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Input on Building Style and Architecture (50 responses)

Dow is a significant Michigan architect, and it would be good if some of the character of his building be preserved. It may be difficult to imagine now, but in the future people will appreciate that something from this period of history has been preserved.

It would be nice to keep some nostalgia at the downtown branch.

My family and I see liraries as the center of towns but, with technology and sprawl that has changed.Our city is more dynamic than most and I feel that we should have a library that reflects that and will accomadate further changes easily and cost effectively.

A beautiful building and lot, something that is pleasant to be around and something that the community can be proud of.

A well designed building that is attractive and inviting architecturally . . . that communicates more intimate/community spaces. Current library is ugly and uninviting.

Architectural uniqueness that reflects Ann Arbor's culture/heritage is, in my opinion, a key consideration for this project.

Architecture that enhances downtown, rather than another ugly box (i.e., 101 N. Main)

As a downtown building, the library must present a welcoming front to pedestrians, who should take precedence over cars. New curb cuts in the block, if any, should be as few as possible.

Based on the question, I assume that the present building will not be destroyed. I find that it has man attractive features, and I would like to see it preserved.

better architects via a fair process, how embarrassing!

bright clean colors

Build a signature, showplace building that is really unique and architecturally interesting.

Carefully treat all elevations to provide maximum interaction with pedestrians and the downtown fabric. The existing library turns its back on all sides except Fifth.

Contribution to downtown streetscape

fireplace, use of natural building materials (stone, wood, sunlight).

For the love of God, PLEASE don't use the same architect you used on the butt-ugly new Northeast branch. I have never seen anything so unattractive in my life.

High quality architecture and design.

I believe that it is important for the building to integrate the library into the surrounding neighborhood. Currently the building seems staunch and detached from the sidewalk and pedestrians.

I do not like the Mallet's Creek Library design because sound echoes in it, the shelves are at a height where my young children can run without my being able to see them, and the long central corridor invites my young children to rev up. The Malletts Creek Library emotionally feels cold and uninviting. It is beautiful, but I don't like it. It also has dreadful parking. My favorite libraries of all time are the U of M graduate library because it has a sense of place and is very functional and Muskegon's Hackley Library. The Hackley library is an old building that I will go to despite having to deal with parking in downtown Muskegon which is not a particularly safe area. The library is grand and beautiful with a glass block floor through to the first floor stacks to provide additional lighting. There are stained glass windows, wrought iron back staircases, solid wooden tables and chairs, stacks that are nooks and easier to find books in, and art is dis played. It has a historic sense of purpose and place and resonates calm and knowledge.

I find the new branch in Pittsfield township to be cold and uninviting. I like the older style designs like the downtown library or Westgate. Please don't waste money on a new facility just for the sake of having something new.

I liked the "library" design from the movie Name of the Rose, so make it look like that.

I suggest some distinguishing features in renovation, that would reflect the spirit of Ann Arbor as a town filled with book lust and a thirst for knowledge. At minimum some sort of inspiring statue on the exterior of the building. I always see wonderful things when I go in to the library, but the exterior is barely noticeable. The Ann Arbor main library shouldn't be the red-headed stepchild of the University's libraries. While circumstances and funding are surely quite different, I think that there should be some distinguishing features that reflect the glorious book lust that flourishes in this city. I think that the interior is good, but could be improved upon. The current exterior is really lackluster- this could be solved with cosmetic changes.

I think an architecturally unique library that offers unique and innovative services would best represent the ann arbor community.

I think it is important to keep the architecture of the redesign the same style of the building, as Alden B. Dow originally designed it.

I visit the library at least once a week -- mainly taking my daughter to the kids' area but also checking out books and music for myself -- and in general I think it functions very well (except for the lack of signage.) I didn't agree strongly with things like a safe entrance and so on because it already seems pretty safe. But it seems like there is an opportunity to do some very cool design with the library to have something more of a "commons" feel. And more natural light, if possible, like on the top floor.

I was in a library in Birmingham Alabama a couple of months ago, and it was really beautiful. I think this is very important - that the building itself is artistic, whether the style is classic or modern or a fusion of the two. Also, mixed uses, like a full service cafe with indoor and outdoor seating. I love that idea.

I would like to see a continuation of the innovative designs that have been used at the satellite campuses.

I would like to see the library be very functional rather than fancy, "homey", or luxurious. Materials that are easy to maintain, hold up well to heavy use (thinking about the carpeting on the stairs downtown,which has never held up well at all),

I'd like space to continue to be architecturally interesting and tasteful.

Immediately hire a world-class architect to prepare the design, such as OMA of Rotterdam, Netherlands (see the new Seattle Public Library). Have your local architect coordinate to meet the local requirements and the construction documents. In other words, I think you selected a boring designer/engineering team who is not capable of transforming the old concept of the library as a fortress of moral goodness into the library as a warehouse of information. Make some changes in your project approach or stay behind the times. Good Luck!

It should look and feel more "homey" and less industrial. The library in Chelsea is a good example of this.

It would be nice if the building itself generated interest (for example, like the new branch location off Plymouth Road).

Maintaining key external features of current building to respect/reflect history of the City and the Library.

make the interior spaces architecturally interesting, make it a place where it feels good to be in

Modern Stainless steel architecture with plenty of windows for natural light

Most of all, I would like to see beautifully designed space--I think the entrance/lobby should signify that one is in a library--not a shopping mall, not blockbuster video--but a place of learning,knowledge and information. We moved to Ann Arbor from Seattle over 15 years ago, from a system of beautifully designed Carnegies libraries...My children grew up with the Northeast branch--the horrible smell of the floor cleaner at Plymouth Mall, thinking that the library was just a part of Baskin Robbins. They have no sense of the library as a special destination--and I think that's what the Ann Arbor main library should be. You might consider an atrium type of inside space with natural plants and places to read or drink coffee. Natural light would be lovely; energy efficiency is a must.

Murals, mosaics (beautiful creative interesting ones - not boring like the one on the side of the parking structure on fourth ave) - architecture as art.

Outstanding Architecture

pay for a top dollar architect. Make the building have architectural value, not just we feel good about ourselves because it's so "green".

Please don't tear down the original building.

Quality Design. Beautiful Building

Respect for historic neighborhoods that abut the library.

the building itself should be an inspiration, not just a filing cabinet.

The building should be more inviting from the street. It's too much of a fortress now.

The exterior of the building should be attractive and should add to the streetscape, not be a detriment (which the current building is, because of its ugly exterior, lack of green space, and barricade-like appearance).

the original building as designed by Aldon Dow should be preserved, especially now that the Community Center is in danger of being swallowed by the city yard's "redevelopment", and the City Hall may be overshadowed by a building that looks like a prison.

This probably sounds superficial, but I'd like for our downtown library building to make a "statement" from the outside. I know we shouldn't judge the book by its cover...

Try to keep the architecture more traditional. We live in a city with a rich and long history and "modern" architecture tends to become outdated quickly. Traditional architecture, aside from being aesthetically pleasing, also tends to never look outdated.

While it's probably not comparable in size or scope, the design of the Traverse City Public Library may provide some good design ideas to model.

You hired the wrong architects

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Improve Signage (41 responses)

I don't know what's going on with main floor check-out, but signs to communicate what's going on would be nice.

1) At-a-glance sign at the entrance: New Books this-a-way, CDs over here. 2) Better signs at the end of fiction aisles. 3) Sign near elevator: what call numbers are on what floors. Thanks for asking!

A central public posting area for events. I do visit that space quite a bit, currently it is stashed away in a corner...

A DIRECTORY!!! It is impossible to find anything in there.

A legend of how the CD's & DVD's are archieved.

A multimedia TV screen that would advertise local businesses, weather, and community events, similar to the one used at Times Square (obviously on a smaller scale). This would minimize the need for paper waste in booklets and brochures that may or may not be recycled properly by the library user. This feature may also be beneficial to the hearing impaired who may not always be able to hear announcements through the public address system. It would add a great learning tool for young readers who could attempt to read the announcements while in a youth reading room. Some ads could promote library usage by reminding customers to apply for a library card and including info on what is needed to obtain a libary card. Ads could also remind patrons what materials may be checked out and what are the differing terms for checking out various items.

a screen that shows AATA bus alive schedule and a sensored trafic light in front of the library for people who cross the Fith Ave. to get to the bus stop.

A sign that explains the Dewey Decimal System, and details what can be found where.

"A 'you are here' map; information as to the areas, and what the are holds should be near greeting doors. A central location for information, near front doors. Thank you to all the people that make the Library such a good place to visit!"

better signage and instruction for self-checkout.

Better signage that direct patrons to different subject classifications and different media.

Better signage to clearly indicate the various sections.

better signs / displays - public view event/activity monitor in reception area - more book selections

Better signs to find books on a specific topic like psychology on the bookshelf right next to books so some one can see where it starts and ends.

community bulletin board in visible location. promoting community activities.

"Easily navigatable building. Easy to read signs and paths."

Have a giant sign that reads: "This is not a homeless shelter"

I don't use the library that much, I'am alwalys "lost" More signs or a poster helping all us "library challenged" saying go this way for.... or over here to find.... That would help me.

I feel it to be a bit overwhelming to know where everything and each category is located. I would like to see a more user friendly navigation/map that we could find our way with.

I strongly feel that there should be more signs indicating various special areas such as books on cassette, DVD movies, etc. Also the new self-service stations should have signs.

I think that prominently placed 'you are here' signs with layout of the floors (and what call numbers are in each bookshelf) would be extremely helpful. Maybe the place of prominence would be the doorway on each floor.

I want to see a map near OPAC stations that shows me where different collections and different call number prefixes are grouped - there are many many confusing prefixes layered on top of each other in a single call number - and no map. I have no hope of finding items on my own.

I would like clear signs telling you what floor certain departments are on, etc. It took me a long time to find books with knitting patterns, and I wasn't clear where adult fiction was found.

Include a large wall map depicting other library locations and times of operation, to inform those not familiar. Must have everything handicap accessible.

It needs to be easy to identify/find places to go to get help with questions, checkout, etc...

It's unbelievable that there is hardly any signage in this library. I'm not sure who's making this decision to take every sign down, but it's not right.

Label the shelves clearly and have overhead signs - right now it is not easy to find things.

listing of computer classes

Make signage large

Make sure you have signage. The signage Downtown and at the new branches is wholly inadequate/non-existent.

More information, baby steps, by the computers when looking up items in your "card index."

No cellphone use signs

Signage-example, pictorial instructions on removing DVD/CD cases

signs for no cell phone usage

Signs that remind library employees they are in a library and should keep their voices down.

signs/information written in Spanish as well as English

The dvd section of the library could be better organized with tabs separating different collections to make browsing easier (i.e. television shows, documentaries). The dvds are already separated as such but signs that show where one ends and the other starts would make it more patron-friendly.

The few times I have gone to the down time library has made me confused all the time. So I think if there are more clear and visible signs inside the library that will make so much easier for a stranger like me. I go to the North East Branch all the time. So I'm use to that surrounding but when I go to the Downtown library I'm always mixed up. I think because of it's hugeness.

The present libraries lack the use of the visual word to direct, explain and make useful the library and it's technology as a whole. We do not have enough librarians to be available for everyone who has questions at any given time. How about using the written word to tell us how to use the self-check, the copy machine and the microfiche; let alone where the different sections of the library are located. Or doesn't the board think any of us can read?

Ways to acvertise/display current events and schedules on the outside of the building - maybe posters or electronic display.

Where is this library's signage... please ensure that there is adequate signage. It's truly weird that whomever is in charge of this at this time doesn't like signage.

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Physical Space - General (215 responses)

I think it's important to have adequate space, but not "more spacious".

The space must create and encourage community. Let's avoid hyper-indivualism at the expense of connection to others. Public spaces where we can meet new people and chat with neighbors about issues important to our community. least one small "screening room" to view classic films; however, conference rooms and such "extra" non-traditional library space should be limited to no more than 10% (or so) of expansion.

A better means of locating videos.

A better way to discourage trespassing (e.g., illegal overnight squatters) than removing the suspended ceiling tiles in the existing men's rooms.

A check-out area with lines of waiting customers clearly marked. I had a very scary experience when you couldn't tell where you were supposed to wait for the next check-out librarian and some people just walked up and cut in line ahead of a large line. It was extremely awkward and threatening. Please make clear lines for people to stand in while waiting to check out books.

A library gift shop/retail store was mentioned. How about space for a used book bookstore, as we now have. I believe this is a very important item.

a library should be a place where the public can come and sit and think, in addition to reading. I have appreciated our library as such a place thus far and hope that it will not become so "media-oriented" that a place to think is lost. Also, I like the current low ceilings in the library, making it feel more homey, and do not like, for example, the new Farmington Hills library, with the high ceilings, making it feel more like a Costco or Sam's club and less like a library.

a location where people can eat and drink while reading (or at least drink),

a long counter at the check out so we have a place to rest our stack of books and keep our children somewhat confined

A new fresh air system to clean up the stale body odor in the building, smells like old tennis shoes at all times..

A pedestrian mall is far more important than drive-up book return. Public art, public access, more emphasis on public rather than on "Border's."

A place that makes you feel relaxed and feels like a home away from home. A destination. A second place.

A safe and welcoming environment would be much appreciated.

A small garden area outside with seating for in the summer might be nice. Also, a nook inside the building for selling used books. The Brighton library has that and it's nice. Otherwise a few shelves dedicated to used books work. I'm not sure if Ann Arbor has a friends of the library program that sells used books to raise money for the library, but I'm always fond of them.

A space for the Friends Bookshop

A spot to sell used books area would be a great way to earn money and provide the community with wonderful, older resources at good prices.

Access to bathrooms and drinking fountain. Copy station area. More easily accessed location for donated book drop off

Accessibility for all.

Acoustics. If each floor's space is open (no walls) then keeping sound from reverberating throughout the floor is important to both quiet and loud users.

Adequate space for enhanced collections of books, audios, videos and other items for the library.

Adequate ventilation.

Although a beautiful building would be nice, I believe that the resources people gain from having access to the library are most important - this includes space to study, meet, and learn (books, media, technology, etc.).

An area for Seinors should be provided because that segment of the population is growing very fast.

An atrium would be neat with plants and a small pond.

An escalator would be nice. But is not necessary.

An interior design that is not distracting. Simple, not a lot of texture or bright colors.

Ann Arbor needs a non-U art gallery -- a true gallery not just display space around the walls of a meeting room. A central library would be a good place and fit in well with the excellent art book collection that you have.

Are you trying to shoehorn a community center into the library redesign? If so, then why stop now? How about adding a gym and a pool, too?

Area for book clubs, children's reading program area to give back to donate books for those that don't have any

As a computer professional, I caution against building a building specifically for today's needs. We don't know what the future holds so having general spaces that can be reconfigured and redecorated easily with accessible conduit and wiring seems to me to be the best idea.

As little bending as possible required to take and replace books on shelves. I think renovation is preferable to a whole new library. I hope to see warm and inviting decor rather than cold, modern, and clinical looking. I hope the updated library will facilitate browsing by subject and not emphasize technological access at the expense of traditional library functions.

As to the interior of the building, I think all it needs is some sprucing up - some renovation. I don't think a cafe, gift shop, green space, download stations, or art display areas are at all necessary. What do they have to do with a library?

Backs of stores on south side of Liberty (Seva, etc.) should be like entrances that face the new library. Make it a town square!

Be efficient with the space used (i.e. don't waste space in order to make the building's design into art)

Be sure to maintain a Library atmosphere - quiet and centered around books and technology for learning. Not be like a bookstore with cafes & stores.

because libraries are changing so rapidly, any design needs to think about what the library will be in 20 years, as well as in the next 5 or 10. Somehow build in flexibility in the design to move and change as the users needs change over the next 25 years. Since we can't really predict, flexible design is key (modifiable/moveable furniture etc)

Being of shorter stature and not the best eyesight, it is often difficult to browse items on the highest shelf, especially when trying to find a book by the dewey number. If there is any way to reorganize the shelves for better access, or be certain that step-up stools are available and obvious.

Better air circulation, it feels and smells stuffy.

Better dedicated space for DVD selection, rental (clearer organization, less crowded...).

Better display of books on cd. Also I was just there and was in the mystery section and I could not find the continuation of "K" I finally found it and it was 6 book cases away. What's with that. And no indicator of where the "K's" continued.

better elevators -- maybe glass walled?

Better laid out resource area.

Better set up for the computers on which patrons look up card catalog entries--right now there is no place to put your "stuff" to easily use the keyboard and mouse and no area to write down catalog numbers.

Better use of climcate control. The library is often too cold.

Book services should be returned at least to previous levels. The library should not be dominated by computer browsing and e-mail. Off-site storage should be considered. Periodical storage should be increased.

Books divided by subject - for ease of browsing.

Books on tape and CD at a level where a 71 yr old doesn't have to bend to view the titles. Thanks.

bring back the stanchion (place to rest books while waiting for check out, either assisted or self checkout)

Building/lighting/heating/cooling systems should be state of the art environmentally sound - so the library and souroundings are an inspiration and great draw to our area

Can you build on top of existing building facing 5th Ave?

cds are noisy when people are thumbing through them. contain them in a room

Clean up the area surrounding the library; demolition of the ymca will help; brighten up the rooms and entranceway of the library. hire someone who greets you at the door and asks you what you need. as is everywhere downtown, too many street hustlers make it uncomfortable to be there, people go out to the outlying branches, but we love the large downtown library!

Collections of books and media easy to browse, adequate computers to help people find locations, room for new books, browsing section, etc.

comfort, accessibility, efficiency

Comfortable, quiet and safe.


Consider developing the new library as par of a mixed use complex of buildings developed to feature an outdoor public space

Consider the newness of the existing Downtown Library and its special touches: a walled garden, natural light, excellent artificial light for reading, and more than enough computers for the public.

Continued space for free magazines, community info, etc.

convenience and engaging visuals to encourage reading at allc ages and stages! a community feel is good as well.

Currently, the computer area on the 2nd floor feels crammed and is smelly. I don't use the computers, but when I pass by to use the restroom or peruse the magazines, it makes that whole area depressing and icky.

Design a library, not a school board meeting palace.

Design staff spaces with care so that workers have a quiet, comfortable orderly space and then face the public with less stress. Staff entrance could be made easier to enter, wider sidewalk, less obstacles to traverse, vehicles to dodge, and curbs to trip over. For programs, a small nicely done 'green room' near the stage would be nice for guest speakers.

Don't forget that libraries need to have adequate space for books and periodicals. I've heard of libraries that have expanded but have actually had to get rid of books despite having more space. This is because too much space was dedicated to meeting rooms, grand spaces, and computers. A proper balance must be achieved so that books aren't sacrificed.

DVD shelving area needs to be expanded or more spaced out. There is lots of people congestion in the DVD aisles every time I go to the downtown branch. It takes me longer to scan the DVD's available because of that, and then I become part of the congestion.

Ease of access to materials (ie, locate library database computers throughout the floors & stacks, not just in the lobby area) and better signage.

Easy access to literature for all (e.g., attractive displays of material).

Easy access to reference librarians (and sometimes help with the computer catalog system) is very important. (More than greeters.)

Easy drop-off sites to donate books.

Effective, well-designed, use of space that meets traffic safety regulations but does not leave homongous hallways and ceilings. Make the library interesting, warm, inviting, without excessive frills.

enlarge the space for books

environment has access that facilitate all ages

Excellent air handeling system- not too hot and not too cold. A better systme of keeping it clean.

faster elevator.

Flexibility to reconfigure all sections of Public and Staff space.

Flexible space to accommodate future changes in library service that are sure to arise in the next 20 years; adequate planning for future enhancements to electrical wiring and internet connections in order to ensure easy growth of library services as the internet changes; variety of single and group study rooms with adequate lighting and ventilation; "phone booths" for people to go into to use their cell phones on every floor

Good sound proffing. Pittsfield is terrible.

Green building. What about office space, bathrooms, air quality? I hate rooms without a view. Please, NO MORE BLACK and gray in libraries how depressing and ugly. I like atriums. Don't be afraid to wire the whole thing for sound, sometimes soft music is ok. NO WATER FEATURES anywhere=Mold factories. Carpet squares so you can change out the soiled ones easily. Traffic patterns that are not always corridors. I'll stop now.:)

Have all movies down in basement not on 3rd floor like the overcrowded Electric Car movie last year.

Have the Friends of the Library more visible. Didn't really know it existed and had to get on library website to find out where it was.

Higher ceilings, more open feeling.

Hooks or places to leave your coats in the winter. Entering the library in the winter with 3 children ends up with a parent with 3 coats in their hands

Hooray for keeping the library downtown! How about a coatcheck room? I like the recycle magazine area. Also good are the flexible bulletin boards with temporary displays. Lots of desks for librarians important.

How about a drive-through for pickup of reserve items? Also, a better way to find CD's and DVD's in the bins--the call numbers generally only get me in the neighborhood.

How about a fireplace which is the trend in CA libraries? Maybe facing out to "green" area.

"I dislike books on the bottom shelf aka Mallet's (can't see the titles) and typical of the downtown branch, too tall shelving is a problem. The used book store is awesome and should be open often. I would like the ""oversize books to have space in the area that they belong in, NOT on another floor. I would like the loud audiovisual hard plastic cases to live in a room away from the browsing library."

I am fascinated with Ypsilanti's newest library. The design is gorgeous, feels free, and has tons of sunlight that just makes it feel nice to be there. I'm very impressed by the idea of having public art displayed! :)

I like the way the Pittsfield branch flows. The front part is where the children's areas are and then as you move towards the rear, it gets quieter and more adult. tutor rooms should be enclosed for noise control. No cellphones should be used.

I prefer a "cozy" feel to the area; high ceilings and empty spaces should be avoided.

I really appreciate how family-friendly the Pittsfield branch is. I would love to see the downtown library shift from being basically a quiet library with some kid-friendly and group-friendly spaces to being a library that welcomes noise and social interaction while also offering quiet spaces.

I really enjoy the latest lobby renovation. I think it has streamlined the check-out process a lot. The self-check out is great!

i really feel that the library is very well done as is, there are a lot of conviences that would be nice but aren't necessary. Having "love seats" or "couch's" would be wonderful, but they aren't needed.

I think it is critical to keep a door/access on the side of the building facing the Blake transit cetner. This facilitates running over to the library for quick dropoffs during the daily commute. I also really enjoy having the new books section for browsing on the main floor near the entrance. i have noticed, recently, that there is premium space alotted to videos, DVDs and CDs. I hope that the new library includes premium ground floor near the entrance area for book browsing as well.

I think it would be better for the library to move the entrance to where the current loading dock is for three reasons. One, it would be more pedestrian oriented; two it would move drop-off traffic off 5th and onto William St (or perhaps into the new parking area), and three it might help discourage the library being a more comfortable adjunct to the bus station.

"I think that the new branches are cold and sterile. I would like to have some warmth, natural wood, mellow colors in the downtown branch. "

I think the set up right now, while not the prettiest, is very convenient. The things I use the library for most often - fiction, audiobooks, DVDs, and holds - are all easy to access, right on the first floor. It is very easy for me to pop in quickly and get what I want, and I like that a lot.

I was incredibly impressed with the Chelsea Library renovation. I know it is a lot smaller, but it was classy and warm. Also, I think it is important to keep in mind that meeting rooms and auditoriums are available thru the public schools.

I would like to see the computer areas kept separate from the bookshelves. At the westgate branch, for instance the computer area is right next to the area of books I am interested in. It's uncomfortable for both the computer users and the book searchers. The noise from the computers is distracting as well.

I'd like to be able to park, come in, get my things, and not wait in a long line. The new design for checkout makes one wonder if the designer has ever visited our library.

If the present room were more brightly colored it would be flashing neon lights. films separated by original language and parking are my priorities.

If you want to see a beautiful, welcoming, and highly functional library, take a trip to Bloomington, Indiana (Monroe County Library). It is well worth seeing. There are two main entrances, one from the free parking lot which goes into the main stacks, and one from the street (also free parking, yeah Bloomington!) which goes to 1st floor with the children's stacks, media center, auditorium and meeting rooms. The two floors are connected by a graceful winding, open staircase alongside a large atrium with skylight. Every Tuesday in the atrium there is a book sale open to public with books, magazines and music donated from public and discarded from library. The books are excellent, many rare finds, and very, very cheap. The sale is always packed. AA library should consider doing that on a regular basis. I don't use the AA main branch because of paying for meters (which always expire while I'm inside), and I don't find the building welcoming and pleasant to be in. If you saw the Bloomington library, you'd see the difference. It's always busy and is a wonderful, warm, inviting place to go, for everyone.

"I'm really only an occasional user of the downtown library since the gorgeous, wonderful Pittsfield branch opened near my home. Overall, I think my opinion (and those of people like me) ought to count less than people who are heavier users. One other comment: I hate that section of fifth in front of the library because people stop for pedestrian dropoff (unsafe!) and pedestrians cross to get to the bus station (also unsafe!) I would prefer the library entrance be situated in such a way so that people found this less appealing."

Important to make access to the Library, whether by foot or car, convenient and affordable (10 minute "drop-off" parking spaces are greatly appreciated)

In all of the libraries, I would like to see the selection of dvd's at eye level, spread around the perimeter of the room instead of having them down so low that disabled people like myself can't see or reach them.

In any renovation of the DT library, please use materials that will withstand the trekking of snow, etc. When the library was renovated last, carpeting was used that was "pretty" but got extremely dirty and had to be replaced. The stair railings also are of a metal that is constantly chipped and in need of repainting. Borders has a very nice wood stair rail. In other words, please think about practicality before spending oodles on money on this project.

Individual study carrels with a place to plug in a laptop would be great!

Instead of paying high prices for public art integrated into the building design- use high quality local children's art.

Integration with the downtown business and residential plan

Interesting design and ease to navigate in the space are the two other important areas to consider.

Is there any way at all that books could be stacked with tilted, or horizontal spines so you don't get a crick in your neck looking at titles? (And don't bring back those awful Apple mice!)

It doesn't need to look or feel like a bookstore

It seems to me that less physical space is needed at the library with the increased electronic media use. It looks to me the current physical space is adequate.

It would be nice if there were chairs located every few rows of shelfs of books. That way, if a person finds an interesting book, they can start reading in in relative privacy right away.

It's a great facility, and we're lucky to have it. Being a downtown location however, I don't think that the addition of a "coffee--house" ambience would be advisable, as that would just encourage more people to "camp--out" for longer. My 2 problems with the downtown/main library are the parking, and having to share a close space with people who aren't washed properly, and sneeze upon you, etc., spreading lots of germs. I understand that it's a public space, ultimately.

Keep it looking and feeling like a library!! The new Ann Arbor libraries are too "cold" and have too few tall stacks of books.

keep the nice big tables for good working space

Keeping smokers far away from all entrances and enforcing same.

Less "hidden" areas that are out of the librarians sight and better lighting.

Less emphasis on being a "social center". Mallets Creek and the other branches are too noisy and disruptive.

Libraries are community centers today and the Chelsea, Redford and Livonia communities have this. Ann Arbor has great satellites, but the downtown facility needs help. Meeting space for larger events and parking are major problems which need attention and I think you're getting these in place.

Library as a multi-media & living location (hence the need for teen space and a cafe)

Lighting, lay out, convenience, safety--seems like you've hit on the features that would be most important to me.

Live plants are very comforting!

Location of the Friends' Bookshop in a more public area for better access to everyone.

Lots of open space, lots of space to study for high school students, more featured books area

Maintain the presence of usable stairs so that it is not necessary to use the elevator for every trip In other words stairs should continue to be open, well lighted, inviting and in an obvious location just as they are now

Maintaining the friendly feel and open spaces of the library. Considering spaces for your wonderful programs including youth and adult sessions.

Make available small seating areas near the CD electronic media areas.

Make greeter stations, checkout stations and teen areas soundproof so the noise doesn't travel to parts of the library where patrons are reading, etc and would like quiet.

Make it a functional library, not a work of art.

Make it functional and not a show place.

Make sure the books are accessible - when the EMU library did it's renovation they hid half the books in the basement - not condusive to browsing...

Make the public access computers more sanitary.

maybe consult a feng shui expert so you can have the proper energy flow within the various rooms

More current fiction or current bestsellers near the front.

more display shelf space for new books

More display space for new books, books on CD and tape on the first floor. An expanded collection of fiction.

More emaphasis on art, natural light and lounge chairs; less focus on computers, food and parking

More space between public computers and privacy.

More space for people to sit and enjoy a book.

More space for spreading out the DVD section. It gets really crowded with everyone trying to look at the titles.

Music CDs & movie videos should be better organized, easier to look through for a specific

needs will change, therefore the building design should incorporate flexible and multi use for many different areas.

Nice display area for community functions and events.

Not separate art gallery rooms but definitely display local art throughout our library!


Perhaps a separate room and checkout for films, DVD, CD, books on tape.

Perhaps an area where local non-profit groups could place small displays of information (sort of a mini version of the Art Fair Causes section).

Place for parking strollers

Please avoid the kind of noisy atmosphere that the Oak Valley branch has. Separate areas for different needs. The cafe doesn't seem necessary.

Please consider not installing carpeting in all areas, especially the meeting rooms. This allows them to be used for more purposes (dances, children's activities, etc.). Hardwood or laminate flooring is very versatile. You can always put removable rugs or modular carpet tiles ( on a hardwood floor for noise-dampening purposes, but it's difficult to improvise a large hard-surface area on a carpeted floor.

Please consider paths through the library that do NOT include rugs (challenging for those wheeled and be-caned visitors) and please rethink the drainage mats at the entrance -- those pose a difficulty for be-wheeled visitors at the very least.

Please continue with a fish tank!

Please continue with the used book shop. This is a wonderful resource for the city that is used by many families I know and in addition by the school librarian at my sons' school for improving their library.

Please don't do another "open" concept library like Mallett's Creek or Pittsfield. While these spaces are nice, I prefer a library that is cozy rather than open. The open plan is often too loud for a library.

Please make it feel like a community space and not so commercial.

Please please don't make it a horribly loud echo chamber like the Mallett's Creek branch! That library is a cold and unwelcoming room. Higher stacks of books in a library would help absorb the noise and house more books.

Please please don't turn the library into a cavernous space like the Dearborn library. Let it retain some intimacy of scale.

Please try to keep the library cleaner. I know that it is a struggle with the number of people who use it every day, but there has to be some way to fight the buildup of grime on almost every surface.

plenty of space for books so that browsing is easy and plenty of space for quiet reading & study.

Probably redundant, but envision a hub, an aesthetically pleasant,welcoming environment for people in Ann Arbor, adults and children, to have relatively easy access to a gentle place to explore, read, listen, think, and communicate with others. I already love the library with its thoughtful, helpful librarians, books, books on tape, and computers. I like to bring my granddaughter, to get her in the habit of finding much of what she wants and needs right in the middle of the city.

Public libraries should be a destination with public art, public spaces for everyone.

public spaces where people can talk,

Recent branch libraries--especially Malletts Creek--have modern innovations, but are totally unwelcoming. Please make a new library comfortable for all age groups, instead of making people feel like they can't wait to get out of there. Controlling young people ccess to some computer sites is essential. I have not used library computers since the day I realized the child sitting next to me was participating physically with a porn site.

Redesign the library of sound recordings providing access to all holdings.

Regarding techinical space : I think it is important to separate children from older. Additionally, special lights for those who sight challenged and for elderly.

Reuse as much of the existing structure as possible. More windows to the front.

secure stoller parking area; also secure locker space for purses/coats during events or visits with kids (like at hands on museum).

Shelves large enough to hold both regular and over-sized books. Eliminate the separate, over-sized book area where patrons must go to two or three separate places for the same subject matter.

Short term storage of items so that there are less "bag people" or stroller loaded to the gunnies

since some people need to use the phone or talk, there should be a seperate place to do that. Not in reading /computer/ magazine areas.

Since the Downtown Library is a processing place for new materials, it should be a pleasant place for those staff workers to work with adequate work space. I used to work there on the Bookmobile. The main or "downtown" library should be in a downtown location! Do you have room for all the things above?

Sound-absorbing material to dampen noises/voices; no creaking floorboards. Hardwood floors are a little annoying in quiet spaces, especially if people use "tic-tocs" (noisy shoes!)

Space for the library offices that allows them to work comfortably.

spacious, not crowded separate reading rooms for magazines and papers

State of the art concert facility that is available to the public would be terrific, and very needed in our area.

Sufficiently wide approach at circulation to accommodate folks with strollers and other paraphernalia that moms must bring.

The adult fiction section on the main floor is very hard to browse through. I think it should be more inviting, with wider aisles and lower shelves. Also, I often use the library to play with my kids and meet up with other moms. Lots of play space, especially for story times, is important!

The current library is OK, but the space is poorly utilized

The design ought to be distinct, and memorable. It must create a sense of place for Ann Arbor, a new destination.

The design should be welcoming and peaceful, unlike the building on Oak Valley.

The display of art. Fine woodwork.May I suggest a visit to the Libary at Adrian College. suggested reading lists diff. ages

The display of CD's and DVD's needs improvement. That part of the library always seems darker and more crowded to me.

The downtown library is wonderful and it can become better. I think it shoul also have easy accessability, and be visually stimulating. I refer to the Seattle main library as an example.

The fell I get when I walk into the Ann Arbor Dowtown library is very depressing, compared to the vibrant wonderful feel of entering Mallett's Creek or the other new library. I think it is essential for Ann Arbor to renovate the dowtown library. Adding a hangout space for teens would be great, maybe a place with some X-Boxes or Wii's. I also think renting out video games would add a HUGE teen and youth boost to those who come to the library.

The libraries need to be "browsable" -- more like the bookstores, where you can easily see titles and get ideas.

the library also needs to function effectively in terms of check out, holds, and shelving.

The Library building should remain at the scale it is. Many of the items you mentioned would unnecessarily add to building space (cafe!!--outrageous--there are plenty of cafes very near the downtown Library. Also, extra space for an art gallery or gift shop is ridiculous. Downtown AA, both Main St. and State St. offer loads of gift shops and art galleries. It is not the Libraries function to compete with these. Keep the focus: it's about "books" (informational media). My BIGGEST concern when I go to the Library is will the book I want be available! Leave space so you can have a large collection. Adding to the books on CD section is more important than taking space for a gift shop. A concierge is also unnecessary. I've always found friendly help when I needed it. Space for more public use computers may be a good idea for folks who don't have a computer. The whole Library should be quiet. It should not need a "dedicated" quiet area. Exception for children and youth areas.

The library does not necessarily have to a state of the art technological center. The newer library designs are very cool with the environmental friendly architectural designs, but if a new downtown library is built, I would much prefer character over modernness. Something a bit eccentric, but not bizarre, something new but not intimidating. Comfort and a clear entrance/ ease of access is very important to get more people to the library and feel proud of Ann Arbor.

The library is beautiful as is compared to what otherp laces have. better book displays --perhaps in area NOT near that section--means it is more likely people will check out items they were not originally planning to if something looks interesting enough. More space between the DVD aisles--it cna get tight in there.

The library is too sectionalized and closed. Make the downtown library a more cultural, artsy yet warm and welcoming hub for everybody's use. Make sure the feel of all information desks is more welcoming.

The more colorful and visually appealing the library is, the more people want to be there and feel more comfortable as well.

The most important improvement you could make would be to re-gear the stairs so that they are not as steep. Add more stairs with less rise, and also make the stairs deeper from back to front. This will make the staircases easier for all to use. The current ones are miserable. I've always thought so, even when I was a short distance runner in my twenties. Abundant plants and natural light would be a plus.

The new main desk is terrible!!! Who is coming up with these moronic ideas. It's a library, not Starbucks.

The Pittsfield Library, your latest project, is cold and uncomfortable. I took a class of teens there each week for a semester to write fiction set in the library, and everyone single kid wrote about how they disliked the setting! Please make sure your renovation has the "warm" and "cozy" feel that people associate with libraries and bookstores.

The property should be designed in such a way that people can cut through on their way to somewhere else. It should have pedestrian shortcuts, basically.

The skyline of down town is quite nice. I would love to see some quiet rooms several stories up that offer a good view. The YMCA has a similar type of view from it's track and work-out room and these are the most popular places in the building.

The spaces should be open and welcoming.

Traffic flow and congestion points should be carefully studied in any potential design. Open spaces are necessary near the most popular sections while less popular sections must be easy to find (lest they get even less popular...) One notable issue with many other new libraries I have been in is that a great deal of attention is devoted to "interactive spaces" and piles of computers, which while very flashy and modern, are not much of a resource in a community as affluent as Ann Arbor. I would prefer to find nicely laid out books, recently published works on display, and some attempt to draw people away from their normal habits and into new ones (books, non fiction DVDs, etc.) I would particularly like to see a radical expansion of the non fiction multimedia section which at the moment is beyond poor.

Traffic flow on first floor should be smooth and visual clutter at a minimum. Provide better space for newspapers and periodicals

try to create a place where people would like to tour. A meusem and a library w/ a place children would love to venture

Try to make it intuitive to find things.

Unlike the high-tech feel of the two recent library projects (Pittsfield and Malletts Creek) the library should feel warm and inviting, not harsh and cold. It should be a place where one wants to curl up with a good book! Not a place like the two mentioned above where we just order our materials online and rush in to pick them up. We enjoyed the old Loving branch and often went there to spend time as a family. We NEVER go to either of the new branch facilities to linger and enjoy the space. They are too cold.

Varied ceiling heights. It's not comfortable or cozy to read in a room with a 20 foot ceiling. Public spaces don't have to be like airplane hangars.

Very important that the library be pleasing to look at (interior design). I am a college student who loves studyin/reading in public libraries, but feel Ann Arbor Distric LIbrary is not "comfy" enough to stay at. I suggest small sitting alcoves that present a plesent atmosphere inwhich one can spend long amounts of time studying/reading.

Video disks are disorganized and hard to look through.

view of outside - multiple level car part is uninviting/depressing

Views outside from library areas, both for connection with outside, but also to see parents coming to pick up kids.

Warmth -- the last two new libraries while modern and functional lack some degree of warmth. The West Bloomfiled library uses more fireplaces and warm colors -- a little less contemporary. Also, parents of young children use the library with their kids quite a bit. We need an enhanced children's area. Barnes and Noble on Washtenaw has a stage, a train set -- these would be helpful. But, no. 1 is warmth -- less high contemporary.

Warmth, natural light, and coziness; an emphasis on green building techniques and energy conservation - similar to the Mallett's Creek branch which is a joy to spend time in. The Oak Valley branch was much appreciated, but it is very cold and austere - not a terribly inviting space, and very noisy. I have used the Oak Valley branch several times out of convenience, but much prefer the natural warmth and feel of Mallett's Creek if I plan to spend time browsing and reading - along with the greater quietness. Libraries were always intended to be quiet, contemplative spaces and I believe we should get back to that.

welcoming gathering spaces w/benches outside library entrance

While new and exciting aesthetic frontiers are visually interesting, it is important to remember that the library should be functional as well--the layout should remain comprehensible and welcoming. Too much avant garde designing can render spaces graphically intruiging but unusuable.

Why have the new branches been so industrial and less classic in design. So less welcoming, less motivating to stay and read. The Pittfiled branch actually stinks of rubber at the entrance. A comment I hear every time I enter with my kids or others. Don't want to hang out there with all the "hardness". TOO much emphasis on media, so much less emphasis on books. All the Dvds are great, but what a shame to be downplaying actual books and reading! DVD's have the most prominent space in all branches. I'd like renovation at the Main, but am leery that it will just be another harsh design like new branches that will overtime become increasingly uninviting

Wider aisles in between bookshelves

An established area to snack and read or run a laptop (like a coffeehouse or cafe) would be very nice. Also an atrium. The present garden is usually empty. To make the library a community center is a good idea, but does it have the space??? Small community arts classes, reading club meeting places would bring in more people and children.

a more defined check-out desk layout. After the removal of the half-wall in front of the check out desk, it became muddled as to where to line up. Also, it would be nice if the self-checkout stations were moved off from the main check out desk a bit, to make it more clear that patrons do not need to wait in the main line(which can get quite long at times) to use the self-check stations when they are free.

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Focus on Collections and Core Mission (296 responses)

Books, books, and more books.

do really appreciate that the downtown branch is still full of BOOKS. I like the physical plant of the Pittsfield branch, but where are the BOOKS? (Aside from christian fiction, which there seems to be a great deal of out there in Pittsfield.)

I use the downtown branch most often. Appreciate seeing BOOKS there as opposed to the newer branch libraries where so much is online. If you want a travel guide, there is not much at Mallett's Creek, for example, but downtown, I find Fodors, Lonely Planet and more.

There should be an intentional effort to identify popular titles and get more copies so that people don't have to wait many months to ch

" I don't think the library needs to be another live entertainment location, but if it helps fund the library that would be good. A cafe and store are niceties that are unneccessary, but if they can bring in funding for larger collections than they would be good to have."

" more books I cannot find books on lives of saints for example"

"1) Increasing (or at least maintaining) the number of BOOKS, CDs, and DVDs in the collection at THIS central location; 2) Increasing the quality and scope of reference matereial!!!!"

A bigger variety of children's books is needed.

A donor to our non-profit organization agreed to purchase audio recordings of rare musical shows for donation to the library. We were told that audio recording were a low priority of the library and that if there wasn't room, new CDs might either not be put out or disposed of. Our donor was insulted and withdrew the offer. Not attempting to make room for donations of local intellectual material is a big mistake, and should be addressed in any plans to improve the library.

a library is not a junior college, nor yet is it a coffee shop. Far more important to serve library functions well than to diffuse energy into gift shop, coffee shop, or classes

A library is not and should not be considered an art gallery or a cafe. Libraries are repositories and disseminators of information.

A library should be a resource for media, but not a entertainment arena to accomadate the few public at the taxpayers expense

A library should be dedicated to it's purpose of providing media for learning- not as a cafe or a gallery (even though I am an artist). Being too many things to too many people dilutes the value.

A separate section for Foreign Movies and Books that is clearly categorized to the extent possible.

Access to books and other media by all patrons should be the library's top priority.

Access to out of print books through inter-library loan and also access to out of print University Press books.

Add more books

Alot of these questions make it seem like you are planning more than a library. Please remember that it is a library first and foremost.

Also, I know that my grandfather uses his library a lot just as a way to be out of the house, so he goes there to use the computer and read the paper, which he could of course do more easily at home. Also, it's important to keep in mind that most people use the library for books, reading, and reasearch, not as an art gallery or hang out spot (well, maybe the teenagers...)

Although I believe we need a vibrant community library with a pleasant ambience, I am not enthused about turning the library into a commercial, entertainment-focused "Borders"-type atmosphere, that tries to be everything to everyone. The library to me represents an oasis of calm and order in a sea of chaos, meaning that being able to find materials in a quietly respectful atmosphere is of utmost importance. Designated quiet areas are essential for those of us that need to study or just relax away from a noisy household.

And more biography and history books. Fewer $ on "cheap" thrillers read so avidly by one member of my household, more $ on art reference, archaeology, and less popular areas of history needed for those doing research...esp. school children not able to use the U of M libraries.

Anything that can be done to make the library express the primacy of digital media, and incorporate that into the public interfacing with the materials and services being made available would be really cool! Redesigning these days is a great opportunity to push those types of boundaries!

As a new genealogist a room or set of rooms decicated to local information helpful to our searches and with the eqipment necessary would be wonderful. Also posibily teaming up the the county geneaology soceity to provide space for the refrence materials they have would be great.

As a scientist, I would like to see more scientific journals and reference materials.

Audio tapes

Basic Math and Science emphasis

Better access to more popular books

Bigger is not better. Lofty visions and highfalutin ideas from architects and politicians need to be grounded in a firm understanding of who uses the library and what their NEEDS are. Please do not confuse the wants and desires of the Visionaries with the ability to meet the NEEDS of having a good library downtown.

Book selection could be improved - when looking for a book, you can find a large collection of books printed years ago but rarely can you find on a shelf a book that has a recent publication date. To mee the material selection is more important than the building that it is housed in.


Books on CD important to me, please keep selection as broad as possible

Books should remain very important. In the youth areas in particular, electronic experiences should be downplayed and books should be more important than electronics.


Books! The biggest disappointment of the Pittsfield Branch is the lack of books. While I am a regular user of technology, I still want to read books.

Books! Please make sure there is lots of space for books. My local library where I used to live did a huge renovation and got rid of half of its books. It was the most terrible thing. Please do not get rid of books in order to make the space more appealing. Books are the number one thing a library provides and I would rather have a place crammed with books than any of these other delightful accomodations.

Books!! More books.

books!!! At you new branch libraries.... we call them the libraries with NO books... The invenory of books is very limited, and it is really annoying to go to the library and not find a good slelection of boos... there are lots of computers and pretty spaces, but NO books!

Books, books, books. . . . and also classical music (especially opera and vocal) and high quality videos. This survey didn't ask anything about the most important feature: collection improvement!


Bring back the Browsing Section!!!

can the AADL consider making kroger-style key tags with library cards, so that I won't forget my card?

collection format -- feature local authors

Collection quality should be focused on 1) resources that are useful to small "information centered" businesses and 2) resources that are useful to education, K-adult. This is where Ann Arbor's opportunities for growth are.

collection size

Collections and material acquisitions are more important to me than comfortable chairs.

Community rooms and open spaces are nice, but leave lots of room for the collections and spaces to sit. Quiet reading areas and providing lots of great books should be your primary purpose.

Concentrate on breadth not depth of collection, i.e. more extensive collection of BOOKS and not multiple copies of in fashion, popular items. Makes me feel like form is more important than content in the surveyors mind. Function is much more important than form when we are talking about sustainable practices. Please keep that in mind when you plan wide open areas with very little shelf space for books like all the new branches. I am very disappointed when I go to the Mallet's branch to see so few books and very low (3-4 foot high) shelfing units to store the little volume of books. Libraries are for books the other things should be secondary.

Content is king. You must keep the collection of material at the forefront over ambiance.

Continue to provide print format books.

continuing growth of book, video, cd music and literature collections. Space as nice as the 2 latest libraries by Carl Luckenback and associates.

Design consistent with public library mission using public-sector quality levels. Don't make it look like a Starbucks, a fern bar, a Borders, etc.

Disheartened by how little attention is given to books in this survey. They are the primary purpose of the Library not cafes, community center expansion, etc. There are issues about acquisitions, distribution, budget, staffing, and balance between Main Library and branches that should be at the heart of any discussion of the Library's future.

Do not decrease the amount of material carried: Mallett's branch is pretty, but severely lacks available material!

Do you remember that this is a library, not a cafe, community center, music hall? You are in the business of lending BOOKS, promoting reading and literacy, not an entertainment center.

Do your best to have complete works of all Ann Arbor-connected writers (excluding textbooks).

Don't foget the books!

Don't get carried away with technology. To me the library is still the place for BOOKS!!!!!!!!!!!

Don't hide or crowd the books themselves--they are what libraries are for.

Don't neglect books! All the improvements to facilities are fine if they actually result in people READING.

Don't spend a mint getting all the bells and whistles. Just aim for a standard functional, friendly library. Spend the extra money on collections.

downloadable books and readers

Emphasis on books, reading, a welcoming and comfortable atmosphere and good service. Remembering what made the old library an award winning library and not a public gallery.

Emphasis should be on continuing to provide the best possible collections of books and media, comfortable and clean facilities, and good support and service from library personnel. These we already have. Public funds should not be spent on turning the library into a bookstore/cafe/retail store.

Enlarge and update the book collection. When the newer libraries were opened...very few books were in it! When Loving moved to Mallet hardly any books moved with it. The shelves were/are bare. Libraries NEED BOOKS!! We need Ebooks that are compatible with Macs and Ipods...although art is nice...we need books..reading materials for our libraries...or soon there will be no need for libraries as all information will be available in our homes via the internet! Take a look at the Bloomfield Hills library, their renovation brought in lots of technology but they still have a large selection of books. Do we need to update the library...only if you are creating a real library.

expand new releases

Expand subscription for financial and commercial periodicals.

Expand the number of books and media.

Expanding library collections.

Expanding the book collection is very important. I think that the changes made in the past few years have all been positive and really like the library building as it is...except please bring back the stanchion! It was a great improvement and was REALLY useful in maintaining an orderly line, which is crucial to patron "flow through."

Focus on being a Library, not being all things to all people. Focus and Reflect on what that statement means.

Focus the money on the books and materiels not on the building.

For any library, its worth is measured in its collection. That, I believe, is where the focus should be. The library's travel section, even its Michigan travel section, needs beefing up.

From the questions on this survey, it feels as if the public library is trying to compete with commercial bookstores. Please try to keep the library less commercial and spend money on what is important - books!

Function and form should go together, but form should not be overemphasized. The function of the public library is to make literacy activities available to everyone, not to compete with Borders or cafes or museums. Beauty in design has a place, but we should not go for luxury as much as durability, light, ease of use, great collections.

Getting solid levels of basic service without going overboard on frills. Our duty is first to those without these resources at home. I know you won't forget access and services for the disabled!

Given all the questions above, it seems that you might be trying to be something more than a library. That's great but most importantly you need to be a GREAT LIBRARY first.

greater area for alternative books, such as gay and lesbian materials

I am an old fashioned patron-- I just want lots of books and tapes and disks available. Every dollar spent on better seating or lighting or decor instead of books is contrary to my preference.

I am more concerned with the accessibility of materials and access to specialized books and online journals than the library as a social space. At this time in my life information is more important than the library as a part of my immediate social activity.

I am more concerned with the materials you carry than I am about the space I use to retrieve them. I'd like to see more books on CD such as the Modern Scholar series that I can "read" while I commute.

I am more interested in keeping our libraries as libraries in the traditional sense, and not as art centers. I think it's important in this planning that the library try not to be all things to all people, but to be that library I know and love.

i am so happy this is being done. i do wonder about the actual collections of books/so limited it seems to me

I don't like the Pittsfield branch - too cold and sterile, and not enough books. Please make the downtown library a warm and inviting place, and keep the focus on books.

I feel that you are letting the book collection shrink to accommodate technology and I think books are very important

I hope that any changes being considered will be viewed through the lens of expanding the user base and revenues of the library while still providing services that existing customers expect. I think that more ideas like "Zoom Lends" and a PROFESSIONALLY managed cafe can go far in terms of bringing more of the "bookstore" allure to the library. If people are willing to give their money to AADL for services not normally associated with a library, and little else is sacrificed, it's worth changing the mission statement to reflect that, in my book! Please view the old film, "The Social Life of Small Urban Spaces" for a primer on how to create great public spaces--it's available from North Campus if you don't have it.

I love the design of the Mallet's Creek library branch, but I'm constantly dissatisfied with the small number of books there. When the downtown library is redesigned, I think it's very important to let the books (not the meeting rooms and special features) remain the real backbone of the library. I'd love to see some of the new things mentioned above, but NOT at the expense of having fewer books available to browse.

I love the library and all the branches, but I think there are not enough new books. I am more likely to go to Borders to look at art and design books than to the library. If you can't buy books, I think people would donate art books if they knew they would be accessioned.

I love the library, but am basically a very frugal person. We should invest in human capital and the actual books, DVDs, CDs,etc... of the library, rather than the fancy building. Benefits for the library staff are more important than expensive public art in the lobby.

I miss the genre groupings of fiction. Sometimes you just want to grab a quick read.

I mostly use the Library for books and movies. I would just like to see a lot more books on CD and a concentration on good books and films so that I don't have to spend a fortune on and BlockBuster's. I depend on the Library to keep up with current good reads as I don't have time to do this on my own. I am very concerned that the Library is trying to do too much and losing focus on this. Thank you for hearing us!

I prefer densely packed books, spine-out; but, it will be better for the library if it can partially remodel itself to look more like a Borders/Barnes & Noble because that may be more appealing and inviting to the rest of your patrons. I might suggest, also, that you consider subject area clusters that contain books, DVDs, audio, and magazines for those subjects all together. This would probably not be appropriate for all subjects, but one or two of these, if clearly marked, could enliven those subjects; an area that combined those for mystery fiction, one for science fiction/horror, one for history and social science (particularly military history), one for architecture/decorating/home improvement, etc.

I suggest you stop trying to be a community center and concentrate on what we really need--a fine library with public access to books and special collections. I do not want my tax money supporting these extraneous functions like meeting spaces, interactive children's areas, etc. that we can get elsewhere. Your core competency is books, videos, and other printed materials and special collections. Stick to it or I cannot support any additional funding for this venture.

I think all this money for renovation could be better spent in making the library collection better, not the building.

i think constructing a new building is a waste of money. i'd prefer the money be spent to get more books, and update the current building in ways that will encourage more people to use the library and get more people reading (ie the café idea listed above.) i highly value green building practices with whatever construction/renovation is done. thankyou for asking our input!

I think efficient user access to all the media the library owns/loans is far more important than a cafe or retail or performance spaces, etc. Let the library be a library. There are plenty of institutions locally that fulfill the other functions.

I think it is important to focus on the library's core mission: access to information. This should take precedence over other activities, such as being a community center and comfortable gathering place.

I think it is of crucial importance that science fiction and fantasy gets its own section, rather than the back wall of the fiction section. Don't ghettoize SF.

I think it's important to remember it's a library and not an art gallery. Rather than a cafe I'd rather see more variation of books. Maybe an enlarged rare book collection that was scanned and available for public use.

I think it's important to remember the primary purpose of the library, to house books, records, etc., and not get too caught up in the novelty of having a full-service café, gift shop or other flashy but trivial enhancements

I think our library is great! I do not think we need to add much. The bookdrop should be made more convenient. I think it is already a great and inviting space. We can head to the UM if we want state of the art everything. I'd rather see our money go into books.

I think that you shouldn't lose sight of the point of the library with all the fancy things offered to you.

I think the books and computers are somewhat more important than the space. I think if there is money for all this stuff we should have more books and other media instead. I think the current downtown library is already very nice.

I think the needs of a downtown branch differ from those of a remote branch. My uninformed perception is that the demographics of visitors to a downtown branch are skewed away from kids and teens which explains my answers that youth services are relatively low importance. I do believe that these things are more important in other branches to encourage kids to visit libraries and develop a pattern of reading and a love of reading. On a separate note, recent renovations (Pittsfield in particular) seem very oriented towards movies at the expense of book space. While many people probably prefer movies over books, I hope that the library's emphasis will continue to be on books and fostering reading habits. Encouraging kids and adults to read advances societal educational levels and provides a higher mission than just entertaining the masses.

I think the recent new branch libraries are ugly and not welcoming, especially for people looking for books. They seem, in fact, to me to be designed to discourage book reading and browsing. So I would hope this would not be true in the design for a new downtown library. It ought to be not just green, and open to the exploding reality of technology, but a greatly comfortable place whhich honors the place of books in our history and community.

I think we need to have a quiet, safe library, with limited "big ideas" and more focus on the basics. Yes, we need to have some "high tech" features and access, but a library is a place for books, research, contemplation, refuge from too-busy lives. We don't need to provide all things for all people at the library. It can stand on its own, in large part, as it has done for a very long time. I often feel (as a townie) that Ann Arbor is just too full of trying to be too much. It is fine as a nice little town.

I think we should do a good job with basic services and items such as cafes are not as important as space for nice displays of materials.

I think you guys have covered most of it! A better selection of books would be great.

"I use the library in a traditional way. I focus on books and helps designed for finding interesting subjects that I would not normally consider reading. Short-term computer access is important in this regard. I also see a need for computer access for research projects - such as local history or special topics (environment, technology, etc.) For me, a ""beautiful"" space with artwork and green space is nice, of course, but not at the risk of reducing funding of core functions. I feel the same way about multi-media (music, popular movies, etc.) That stuff is fun, especially for younger visitors, but is available almost anywhere. If funds are available, great. If not, that's OK too."

I would like it to be functional as a library without a one-stop shopping component.

I would like more consideration of the collection than the decor of the facility or public meeting places. Keeping patrons up to date via email is a valuable service.

I would rather more effort be put into the library collection, not the building itself

I'd like to state my worry about the implications of the questions about cafe/retail establishments in the library. I feel that such things are entirely unnecessary and would reduce resources (money, energy, space, etc.) that could otherwise be used for things related to the core mission(s) of the library. The downtown library, especially, is already close enough to several dedicated retail/cafe locations, so there is no need for having them in the library itself.

I'd rather have more books. I liked the library the way it was last fall.

I'd rather see the money used firstly, to extend the book collection and secondly for comfortable chairs and tables for work, or comfortable chairs for casual reading.

If the library is well equipped, well-lit, well-staffed, well-stocked, accessible and attractive, people will come - as we always have. I worry that the library is trying to become too many things to too many people. worrying too much about if they have done enough for children/teens/young adults - just keep a good book selection for all in dedicated areas - just like every other subject in the library. also, while i appreciate that the world has gone "computer", the library is going to lose it's "shirt" if it spends too much time and money on dedicating huge amounts of space/staff/money on computer equipment, education rooms, etc. let's stay calm about this; it's a LIBRARY where we read from BOOKS, not computers.

If there are art displays, I would LOVE to see instruments from the Stearns collection. The collection is one of the largest in the country, is mostly stored at UM, and doesn't have much display room. It would be very cool to see these rare instruments on display.

I'm more frustrated by gaps in the collection than the facility.

Improved Foreign Language CD selection

Improvements that stress content--books, computers, etc.--over plant--more, larger and highly decorated rooms and common areas would best serve the real needs of library users.

In a library, books are more important than computers. Please carefully weigh any purchases of new technology against the books that could instead be bought. The internet is accessible from anywhere; the library need not be that place.

In my opinion though, the two most important parts of the library have nothing to do with the facility. They are 1) a great selection of books and videos and 2) knowledgeable and friendly staff. I believe you have both of these and I hope that emphasis will still be given to these two fundamental aspects of what makes a library great. If renovations and art and design mean taking money or emphasis away from training and supporting your staff or from continuing to maintain a great collection of books and dvds, then none of it will be worthwhile.

"In terms of the library space, I'd like the focus to be maintained on the *books*. Many libraries are moving to a model of concentrating on computers and performances. I'd like a library to focus on books, and making it enjoyable for people to read in the space. Also, I hope the library will keep it's non-commercial ambiance. It's one of the only spaces where I feel I'm not bombarded by flashy displays. Some of the survey questions implied that such displays were being considered, which would make the library basically into Borders. I hope things will be left low key."

Incorporating an international section to house resources from other cultures.

Increase the book collection!

Increased Washtenaw County history and genealogy collections. Improved microfilm viewing and printing accessibility. You have one great machine..the others are poor quality for printing. Decreased "loitering" in the library. Seems high in the winter time and results in a very unsafe feeling environment.

It important that a library remains a library not a retail store. As a single mom I use the library as a way to save money not spend money.

It is a library, more books, fewer computers. I HATE Mallet's creek due to the lack of actual books.

It is a library. Not an auditorium, not a playground, not a mini-mall. Have it do what it is meant to do, conveniently, safely, well.

It is important that the Downtown Library have a large book collection.

It is important to have a good functional library that caters to varied interests. I would rather see funding go towards educating the public by getting more books and Video material and showing short documentary in the auditorium over the weekends on special topics rather than spend the money on flashy exterior design.

It is much better to spend money on the collection rather than the buildings.

It need not be a theater, art gallery,living room, or a cafe. It should be the best library (book and media resource for the individual)in Southeastern Michigan

It seems to me that you have added so much in terms of infrastructure that you have not kept up with books and audio materials. The branch on Oakbrook has very few books. The Saline library has a bigger and better selection of audio tapes and CD's. I hate to see the selection of materials hampered by "growth." Frankly, I would rather see more seating out by the main aisle so I can read while I am waiting for my family to make their selections and they can find me, than more space.

It sounds like a community center is in the planning. While this is an excellent idea, the "library" focus should not be forgotten.

It sounds like you are building this for entertainment and a tourist trap? The function of a library is for reading and learning. I haven't read anything in this questionaire about purchasing more books.

It would be appreciated if you had a larger selection of books on CD or even MP3.

It would be nice to have the books back!!!

It would be nice to see some way to be able to highlight new collections or new items in each of the collections so that people can go see what is new as they walk in the building. There used to be something like this, but now it seems harder to find new items in the general collection. This is done very well in the teen area.

It's a library - it doesn't have to meet All the needs of the ENTIRE area, just library patrons - there are plenty of places groups can meet without the library spending the money to build more places to meet! I have never seen more than a teen or two in the teen area - they have a big enough space - same with kids area.

It's a library not a cafe or theater, etc.

It's a library, not a gallery or coffee shop. Let it be a library.

It's all about the books!!!!

It's important to follow trend, but I hope that the new library will not lose focus on providing information to patrons. Cafes, gift shops, and performance spaces seem expensive and detracting.

just make sure there are lots of good books! that's what a library is for!!! thank you

Just remember it's about the books and media material, not a conference or convention center.

just try to keep as many books as possible!!

Keep foremost the Library function of providing access and borrowing previleges to the communicty to reading & educational materials. Use funds wisely. Other community institutions are best suited for other functions - like schools for training, museums for art galleries, theaters for performances. Focus the Library's resources on being a great library.

Keep in mind that the library is primarily for books. If you have good books and good reading space, that is sufficient. Anything else is just an extra perk. We appreciate the artwork and the children's play area and the many other delightful features of the library, but the real joy that comes from a library is the privilege of borrowing books and discovering a whole new world within those books. This is something that all ages can appreciate. A library is not for socializing and playing; it is for reading and studying. Anything that enhances the reading and studying is good.

Keep in mind that there is a giant university and a YMCA right around the corner. Do not try to duplicate what is available at UofM and the YMCA. Focus on books and childrens stuff.

Keep in mind why most people go to the library. It's _not_ about art, cafe service, beautiful spaces, gift shops, etc. We have plenty of all that elsewhere. It's about books, magazines, newspapers, reference materials and a quiet place to use them. If you want another Borders, don't ask for my money to build it.

Keep it a library and not make it all things to all people.

Keep it classy and LOTS of space for books.

Keep it simple! It's a library, and it should be friendly, inviting, easy to access and easy to use (some of us still like to come for the books!). Possibly consider LOCAL public art in some areas - plenty of great artists in the area that you could work with.

Keep it simple! It is a library.

Keep it simple!! It's a library, and *maybe* a conference center -- It doesn't have to be a day-care center/teen center/Kinko's/playground/cafe/tschoshke shop, too! Forget the interactive teen center, make the bathrooms bigger and cleaner! In all seriousness, as a regular patron (and fan!) of the AADL, I would suggest the library concentrate its efforts on making the library as CLEAN, GREEN, QUIET, SAFE, spacious, well-lit and easy to access/use as possible. Increasing the green space around the building would be great, too. But please, keep it simple. You don't have to be all things to all people. It's already a very well-run operation. If you try to throw too much into the mix, you'll end up w/ an unmanageable mess. Just stick with the stuff that makes for a really great library, like a big quiet reading room w/ high ceilings and tall windows and fast wireless internet.

"Keep the books of primary importance"

Keep the focus on books and keep electronics and technology on the side rather than the prime factor.

Keep the focus on books.

Keep this strickly a library, not a cafe, not a school, not a public meeting place, not an extension of UM. Focus on more books and more parking.

Keep your focus - it's a library not Borders with a Starbucks!

Keeping a large selection of books is a priority to me over DVDs, computer space, CD's and other non-book offerings.

Keeping the core function of a library, while also serving a variety of other functions for the community - meetings, small preformances, book sales, etc.

Larger collection of books etc.

Larger collection of new books; larger collection of poetry; retain focus on books (versus computers, DVDs, etc.).

Larger selection of romance novels. Canton library has a huge selection and the Ann Arbor one is extremely small and that is annoying to women readers!

Less fluff and more books

Let's keep to the basics - - a well-run, well-staffed, well-stocked library. I don't think we need to have cafes, large meeting spaces, expensive decor and design, or art galleries within the library - - Ann Arbor has plenty of all of those. Just continue to improve basic services and materials.

Let's not forget the original purpose of the library--to loan books. The library is not competing with Borders.

Libraries primary function is to make books and other written communication available (can be electronic form).

Library is a place to check out books!

"lots of books and DVDs (PBS NOVA collection)"

Lots of Books on CD.

Lots of books, magazines, cds and places to house them.

Lots of books, not too many computers. The OakValley is a disappointment because there aren`t many books.

Lots of great books and cds and videos

Maintain enough shelving to keep a lot of books on the shelves. AADL has a good collection, don't give up bookshelves to make room for computers, etc.

Make more titles accessible! I miss questions about the collection. Its a library, right?!

Many of the items on the survey (cafe, bright colors, computer use) would be nice, but seem beyond the necessary functions of the library.

Maximize the amount of space dedicated to core library materials - books, videos, music, research items, journals, online access.

Money should be spent on expanding collections rather than messing around with textured walls and whatnot.

more books

more books

more books -

more books on CD

More books on disk or books on tape

More books! Classic books on CD

More books. Fewer computer/electronic dollar sinks.

More collections may require compact and/or robotic storage archive.

more copies of best selling books/so a person is not 93 out of 93 on the waiting list for best sellers.

More copies of popular selections and new books.

More current books for business, e.g., marketing and web


More DVD's

more dvds available

More emphasis on books, greater number of books - aisles don't need to be so wide - would rather have more books.

More foreign language texts.

More large-print books -- not only new ones but the old favorites. Our population is getting older -- the large-print books section (system-wide) is inadequate in number and in selection.

More Movies.

more room for the collection materials - ie books. don't worry about the prettiness so much, just make sure you have a lot of space for the books (dvds, etc)

More selection of books on CD, especially mind, body, wellness, best sellers, etc.

More space for books. I was very disappointed to find that some older, much beloved books that I wished to re-read were no longer available, gone to make space for newer books. A very hard balancing act, I know.

More space for open stacks! Browsing the collection is what I come to the library for....

More subscriptions to proprietary databases for research uses: i.e., Proquest Historical Newspapers, etc.

more titles

Mostly lots of books and music

Needs to provide traditional "hardcopy" resources as well as electronic.

New features are great, but don't neglect the library's core function.

New libraries are great, but they need more books. Don't spend money on a new building if you have to divert money from adding to collections.

No decrease in the book budget.

Other community libraries have destroyed their core usefulness by trying to mirror the image of chain bookstores. Whatever you eventually do, please DO NOT allow those pushing changes to degrade the library into a mere distribution point for the current best sellers.

Please consider expanding selection of periodicals to include more topics relating to the human services arena (i.e., social welfare, aging, social justice, etc.)

Please do not add "glitz" but keep the traditional function of a library, a quiet place to read, etc.

Please do not make computers the focus of the library.

Please do not move it away from the core of downtown like the YMCA did.

Please do not turn the library into a Blockbuster or Hollywood Video. The quality of the book collection should be a point of importance so patrons can feel confident that their available reading choices have an intelligent design behind them.

Please don't decrease the space devoted to books.

Please don't fancy it up with coffee and knick-knacks so it becomes more like Borders/Barnes&Noble than a library. If I want food, I'll go to a restaurant, and if I want toys, I'll go to a retailer. We need a library, and that's what you do best!

Please don't forget books; too much emphasis on electronics;

Please don't lose sight of your primary mission - to provide a wide variety of books for loan. Often I have trouble finding what I want to read, particularly newer books, at AADL. Don't try to be like Border's, they're hardly a good business model. Focus on your core mission and let others provide cafes, art galleries, and theaters. Please focus on the books.

please have more books -- both new and old. Too many books are in storage such as natural history and art.

Please have plenty of space dedicated to books!

Please keep a section for new books!

Please keep in mind it is a library and not a bookstore. We have enough bookstore atmosphere available.

Please keep in mind that libraries are the best place to get BOOKS...the movement toward more technology and smaller book collections is distressing.

Please keep the library, well, library-like. The majority of the space should be filled with books and quiet. The majority of the budget should pay for books. Please don't try to "grow" the library like a bookstore or a business... that's not what we pay our taxes for.

"Please keep this primarily a LIBRARY, i.e. a place to access information, mostly of the published kind. Please do NOT become an all-purpose community center, wasting money and attention on auditorium, cafe, computer instruction, etc. These are needs that should be met by other institutions (rec ed, retail, schools etc.). "

please please please keep a lot of shelf space for books and browsing!

Please prioritize learning and access to materials over country club atmosphere....we can find that elsewhere.

please remain downtown. You cannot be everything to everybody -- so rememeber "its the books, stupid."

"Please remember a library's main function: to provide BOOKS and READING materials to a community.With the rising prices of such items, this should be the main priority."

Please remember that a library is supposed to be about BOOKS! Over the past few years, the percentage of AADL space devoted to actual books has dropped -- as has the variety of non-best-selling titles available -- to the point that I no longer visit the library on a regular basis. If the decrease in books must happen, please consider reviving AADL's participation in the MiLoan program, so patrons will have some way to access a wide variety of books.

Please remember that print books and magazines should be a major focus of the library and its collection, not online access and computers taking up large amounts of space

Please try to buck the trend of "funky colors!! OMG!!!" and focus on an engaging space focusing on BOOKS. Not public meetings, community, blah, blah. While I love the aesthetics of the Pittsfield and Stone school branches there is a severe lack of actual collection. I realize that most people crave DVDs and 1 billion copies of Harry Potter but please don't limit your service to the more "classic" (read: NERDY) crowd. Having to wait almost 2 months for a very popular, 10-year old George RR Martin book makes little sense.

Plenty of room for books which you have failed to mention but should be the library's main purpose

Put more emphasis in the actual collection than superficial 'cafe', 'comfortable' seating etc. Libraries are meant to give access to materials, not to 'please the eye'. The building in place is already descent - maybe the money should be allocated to collection development, and maybe to reconsider how some materials are organized- in terms of the actual patrons that use them.

Rededicate the library to focusing on the unique strengths of a library: access to all types of books and a quiet, well-lit, place to study them. Design the library so noise does not carry -- I visited a library in Boulder CO recently, which was beautiful -- however the children's area was directly below and open to the reference section! It would be hard to use the building for serious study. The main San Francisco library is great to look at and explore, however, I hear that there is not enough room for the book collection. I hope that we can continue to have a functional library. Librarians should be on each floor so they can answer questions and keep an eye on what is going on. More carrels would be great.

Remember it is a LIBRARY, not a computer games arcade or lecture/performance hall. There are enough of those in A2.

Remember that the Library is a library, not a media super-center. If people want a community center, we should be looking at developing that.

Remember the books. Don't forget a new building is only as good as what is inside!

Remember what the library's core function is when prioritizing all the features being evaluated.

Special collections should receive more equal weight. The library has giant signage and real estate devoted (perfectly reasonably) to its African-American materials. Why is there no comparable presentation of Asian-American or Hispanic materials?

Spend more money/time on expanding the library's collection rather than on aesthetics of the library itself.

Spend the money on books, and protecting and preserving them! Its a library!

Spend the money on the books.

State of art cataloging. Dewey scatters related books into too many categories physically distant. Browsing, which is essential to good research, is handicapped by present system.

Stay within the Districts Mission, Training is for the University, WCISD Head start, the AA school district, Green space is for the Parks dept the rec dept, Gameing is for Parents to provide to kids. Have your Library systems talk to the university systems UM, EMU, CU, WCC, ETC.

Thank you for doing this survey. I'd like to see consideration for space to add additional collections of non-book materials, e.g. a tool library.

that the renovation does NOT take away resources from building and maintaining the collections

The collection and service are the most important features of the library to me. I just wanted to add that, even though it's not the subject of this survey.

The collection is the most important thing.

The collection(book) is the reason that our family primarily uses the library. It is not often that we are there for long periods of time. Although we have taken advantage of the dvd collection and public programs, we appreciate them as well. Thank you for my input.

The emphasis should be on convenient access to a large collection of books. A library should not divert its resources in an attempt to serve as a community center. The community centers are not spending much money buying and lending out books.

The focus of the library should be the convenience and service to library patrons. Improving design or appearance is also important, but it should not be the main focus.

The focus should remain on access to information, books and media. Libraries should be full of books. Other buildings can provide meeting space, gallery space, retail sales or food service.

the full service cafe is a bad idea...lets not turn the library into another noise borders store!

The highest priority of the library should remain the TEXTS. All other uses of the library are secondary to storage and public retrieval of written information. Please don't redesign the library as a restaurant! We have enough of those in A2.

The importance of stocking out-of-print books in the collections.

The library doesn't need to be Borders. We *have* Borders. The library should have a lot of books, a lot of magazines, a lot of audio-visual. In English. Seriously, how many times do all the foreign-language materials get checked out, relative to materials in English? If it's level, then ok, but if that stuff takes up shelf space and doesn't go out very much, tip the scales back in favor of English.

The library is a LIBRARY not a retail shop or computer lab. I can go to Borders, a gift shop, etc. if I want or need that experience. I would rather the library be a place where people can sit quietly (if preferred) and read or study.

The library is a library, not a bookstore. Also, it seems that there are numerous meeting areas available at the various Ann Arbor Public Schools, or are there restrictions on them that would not be relevant for the library?

The library is a library, not a meeting hall, school, museum or pubic playground. Trying to be all those other things costs too much, and degrades the library, especially when the community already has museums, meeting halls, schools and entertainment facilities aplenty.

The library is absolutely fine as is. It does not need a cafe, art gallery etc. We have cafe's and art galleries separate from the library. The library's main job is to be a LIBRARY.

The library is computerized, but attention to books is the main thing for me that the library offers. I appreciate books as they are more fun to read than sitting at a computer. Both are important, though.

The library serves a very basic function and it does that well. Please focus on the basic mission of a public library and don't try to be all things to all people.

The library should enable local people to access information. We need a good collection of books and adequate computers to access online information. Some books, such as travel guides, need to be of recent publication. The public also should have access to video information, such as instructive videos: how to exercise effectively, how to identify birds by ear, how to see the best sights in Spain, and so on.

The library should focus on its core mission, bringing reading material to the public.

The library should focus on promoting literature and literacy, and needs not already served by other venues in the community; not serve all audio-visual access functions. I see no reason to stock commercial movies; these are readily available already. (for example - the Pittsfield Branch is so heavily into CDs and DVDs that you get the feeling there are hardly any books!)

The most important part of a library are the collections and librarians. Many of the proposals above would not add any value to the library--cafes, gift shops, color schemes. I would much rather have the library invest in the collections and services that it provides than in making it look more like Border's.

The most important part of the library is the books. Please keep the collection high quality.

The most important priority should be access to books!

The most important thing to me is an excellent book selection with new current books as well as some of the harder to find older books.

The most important things in the library are up-to-date reading materials and resourse materials, and librarians who are ready to assist people.

The opinions and experience of your librarians (2) I want a library to go to... not a library 'experience'... form should follow function. I want to be able to find a book or other media without well intentioned clap trap. Please do not, in your excitement, forget your basics... accessibility, reference librarian, and the widest possible range of materials including ebooks.

The purpose of a library is to lend books. Allocating money to other things detracts from that purpose.

The quality of the collection and customer service is most important to me.

The section of DVDs seems inadequate compared to the other district libraries. The other libraries have more options to choose from and are more organized.

The very most important service the library provides me is its very extensive collection of fiction and non-fiction BOOKS. Don't skimp on that part of the budget.

There are many gathering places in town to socialize. The library should NOT be one of them. It should be a quiet place to do research, read, get on a computer and get information.

"There are many luxuries listed in the survey. While those are nice, it is important to remember that it is a public library. Don't increase the hourly operating costs to the point where hours need to be cut. Providing access to basic library services (books, study rooms, internet) is most important. I'd rather see you expand the hours of operation than offer amenities such as a gift shop & collection displays. It's a public library... not a commercial for-profit endeavor. The library I use most often is the Pittsfield branch. It is a great little library. The main branch should be a bigger version of that. (Not a copy of the design... but rather of the services it offers)."


There are plenty of coffee shops, that is the last thing the library need. There are plenty of gift shops in town already. Keep the library focused on books, which our young people need so as not to forget history and literature and searches that require in depth learning.

This project sounds very exciting. I, for one, am not for having the library integrating gift shops and cafe's in the library. I feel the upgrades - asthetically and physically, is enough to engage many interests to spend time many hours and lose themselves in the surroundings.

To me a library is still ALL about books. Given that much of the collection has been culled recently, I hope more book shelving space will be included and the culling stopped.

To not get so carried away with possible new features to add to the library that old features which are still very, very important are overlooked. I, for one, still come to the library looking for a quiet place to read, browse through books, consider your CDs, etc. I have never had a problem getting on a computer and I very much appreciate the bookstore in the basement. I appreciate the older knowledgeable staff who know about resources related to city history like the clippings file. I don't think the library needs a huge amount of parking. Look at all the people who come to the downtown library despite any supposed difficulties with parking.

To remember that it is a library, not a Barnes and Noble. It needs to be comfortable and easy to use, but it doesn't need to copy a retail store style. Keep your mission in mind when designing this space.

uh ... books? Collection in general? I'd say that goes without saying, but you never know these days. :)

Variety of newly published books bought frequently.

We have a wonderful library system. Please consider how to use public funds wisely. An auditorium full of public programs is a wonderful idea but only if there is enough support. Otherwise the library could lose its areas of strength. Dedicated quiet areas presuppose that there are going to be unquiet areas - I prefer a pretty quiet library...

we need a place to house and distrubute books and other media. I don't need another public sponsored living room or restaurant. Times are tough and if we have enough money for all these non-library items then I believe we are paying too much in library taxes.

we should have a collection of all previously and currently banned books available for check out

When I go to the newer branch libraries, I always get the feeling that books are no longer important to the library--only computers, etc. I hope the "new, improved downtown library still features BOOKS.

When the library quits having books, I won't need the library. I have my own computers (3) for a household of 2. I am finding more and more that books I am looking for are not on the shelves and I have to buy them. Not happy about that.

While cafes and nice seating and decor are nice, please don't lose sight of the primary purpose of a library, to make resources (books and other media) available to the public: have what we want/need in the library & employ people who can help us find it!

Yes, space to increase the number of books is more important to me than space for retail (coffee, gift shop).

Yes, Try to keep it more of a library and less like a Borders.

You can't be all things to all people. The primary purpose of a library is to lend books. Secondary purposes are meeting rooms, community programs, computers, etc.

Your constant use of the word 'more' is highly misleading. Of course we 'want' more of everything, lighting, greeting services, whatever. But there is no place you provide to give us a choice between more of this and less of that. The book supply seems to have suffered considerably lately. At least, when I go to the main library to look for books by Tolstoy, I expect at least the best known to be on the shelves, and they often are not. Other books disappear altogether and must be ordered by inter library loan. It would be enlightening to know how much the book collection has grown in relation to the use of the library. Big, fancy buildings with gorgeous lighting and other extras are all well and good, but not if the book collection suffers.

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Minimize Costs (81 responses)

Yes, I am a taxpayer, so I'd prefer you don't go crazy with spending. The Main Library is mostly ok now. You don't go into any mention of the cost of all of this. How is it going to be paid for??? I do NOT want to pay more taxes. I've already been hurt by the continuing down-turn of the economy and going over-the-top for the library is a little obscene with so many people struggling financially.

" I still have mixed feelings about putting alot of resources into the library downtown -- I keep thinking of Ypsi's new library with plenty of free, easy I usually go to the AADL downtown on Sundays -- free parking and usually not so hectic. If you're going to keep it downtown, renovations need to be done, so maybe my answer to #8 is '4' agree"

Ann Arbor has enough satellite libraries. While I think it's important to maintain the downtown library, I'm against spending a lot of money to renovate/redesign it in this economy, and would be against an increase in property taxes to fund it.

Art in a parking structure, especially in times of scarce resources, is an egregious waste of money.

As our economy is pressed to pay for more services with less $$$, we should look to economize. Perhaps the Ark could host large entertainment sponsored by the library.

At a time when Michigan is hemorrhaging jobs, the local economy is in a downturn, local businesses are closing, and a recession is ahead, we do not need to spend money on the downtown library at this time.

Be as fiscally conservative as possible. Ann Arbor residents are heavily taxed.


Beauty and simplicty - not extravagance.

Being conservative with the public's tax dollars. The library should provide access to information/media and not propose to be a luxury hotel. I'm often struck by the fact that I am not able to remodel my own bathroom with beautiful marble tiles yet the publicly funded schools and libraries rival the priciest hotels with those features.

Budget and cost savings. This is a public library, not Borders.

Considering the cost of the Library, it would be cheaper to buy every book checked out and throw them away than it is to keep the library open. Public Libraries are a misguided holdover from the past.



Cost - keep it reasonable. Citizens of Ann Arbor are overtaxed as it is.

cost and cost over-runs

cost and eco conscious!

Cost and timing...with the state of the economy/foreclosures/unemployment--we all need access to the free services the public library provides. However, who will be paying for this? higher taxes for this already depressed community/state? Surely, there is much to consider. Thank you for allowing community input--hopefully, it is not just a placating survey.

Cost of project.

cost to the taxpayers needs to be kept under control.



Cost. Dont' go over budget.

cost; and "mission creep" the dangers of trying to provide such a variety of public services (e.g., auditorium, classrooms, cafe) that the Library is lost within the Community Center. For example, if faster public-use computers cannot be afforded (and replaced on a regular basis when standards change), there's no point in a "state of the art" computer classroom, as there would be no place to practice the skills gained there.

Costs- Do not create a plan for a new/renewed building that will burden the taxpayers. We are in a time of VERY limited moneies, for necessities of life. Do not make a family choose between food & shelter and the value of a modern library.


Do not go over budget in planning.

don't break the bank in these tough times

Don't over budget.

Don't overspend because my neighborhood library (Pittsfield) is all that I use. Part of me thinks additional satellite sites would be preferable.

Don't WASTE money on needless amenities.

Durability of all items, from the building, windows, walls, doors plumbing, shelves, furniture, etc. Build it once. Build it right. Avoid repair and replacement costs. I am a taxpayer and I'm going broke.

efficient use of funds. taxpayers are struggling be extremely conservative with their funds. economic realities should take presidence over this project. Spending lots of up front money on studies is depleting the resources. funds are extremely limited as the tax base in Michigan is shrinking.

Expenses. My desire is for the library system to be high quality, but not based on disregard for the tax burden. I believe the library system can serve its purpose very well with a small decrease in its millage rate. I would like to see a small cut in that rate.

I do not support raising city taxes for this effort.

I don't see a comment space below...but I feel very strongly that I don't want to pay higher taxes so there can be this beautiful new parking structure. Yes, downtown needs new / more parking -- but it just has to serve the purpose; it doesn't have to look gorgeous or have all sorts of fancy decorative features.

I think that cost should be the top priority with reasonable space provisions next. We do not need an elaborate facility.

I think the cost is one of the most important areas to consider. Too much money is being spent in Ann Arbor on such non-functional aspects of buildings, putting ambiance befor cost-effectiveness. It's not that I think the new library should not include ambiance at all, just that it is not as important as this survey would indicate,

if there's a cheaper but adequate alternative, do it.

I'm all for a new renovation/redesign but a little less so if my taxes are going to increase. Especially in this current economy.

Impact on Taxes, seriously, UM Student families are being priced out of town.

Important not to exceed the town's tax resources in planning this new structure. I would not want it to be an overly extravagant landmark. Then it no longer will feel homey.

It doesn't have to be super fancy (and super expensive) to be a great library. There are better things to spend money on (for instance, not collecting the money as taxes in the first place).

Keep cost and taxes low.

Keep cost in check. The present downtown library does most things well.

Keep costs down!!!! If there is a strong movement for renovation, keep it at a minimum!!!!

Keep costs low!!!! Think long term. Get smokers away from entrances.

Keep it affordable, don't even think about a millage increase.

Keep it affordable. We do not need to have a state of the art building on every street corner. It is most important to remember the function of the library as a place where books are available. Building beyond our means, thus shorting our budget for FILLING the building with books would be most tragic!

Keeping the Friends used bookshop in the downtown library.

Limit the cost of renovation

Low cost. With all the empty buildings in Ann Arbor, why is a new building being constructed??

Major renovations are a particularly bad idea during the start of a major economic downturn. Should something happen where more money was needed (e.g. because material costs are skyrocketing), the city would likely not be able to obtain those funds due to the collapse in the municipal bond market. I expect this will be a fiasco.

Make sure to use the renovation money wisely.

Many items in the this survery hint at sky-high costs. I love my libraries and use them often, but please priortize on spending and keep our taxpayer costs down!

Minimize tax dollars

"OK, after reading the PDFs below, I am wondering about where all this money is going to come from. I can see that if the new building uses actually happen downtown, more parking will be necessary. Will the revenue from the new parking be used to pay back any loan the city has to take out? This just seems to me like a huge amount of money (and disruption) for these additional spaces. In this day and age I wish we could have as much attention (and money!) given to public transportation alternatives, and to bicycle transport. But I have just no clue how to go about this matter."

Please carefully weigh the costs with the benefits. The current Downtown Library is great as it is.

Please do not wast tax payers' money.

Price. Do we need a major renovation? or just improve the current space. This survey is worded towards the grandiose. Lovely, but don't think the enormous tax burden of this city needs more than paying attention to the core business of the library that is good staff, good selection and access to rarer items.

Rather spend money on books and other materials.

reduce costs, lower tax.

responsible spending since the library is supported with tax money. I think that spending should be constrained due to the difficult financial climate we are in - espcecially in MI.

Set priorities carefully in view of a realistic budgetary goal!

should be inexpensive

Some of the above points (full service cafe, sale of flowers and newspapers) seem to position the library to compete with tax-paying, for profit businesses. This is inappropriate for a publicly owned facility. Please do not use my tax money and the library's tax exempt status to compete with a private business! There are plenty of unmet needs which are within the library's proper scope of operation.

Stay well within budget!

stop wasting taxpayer's money! The purpose of a library is to meet the literary needs of the public, NOT to pump up the ego of the director!

The library is a phenomenal asset to the city. Just do not get snookered by low ball contractor bids that generate continuous and costly change orders. Good luck!

The Library should not ask for a millage increase.

The people of Ann Arbor are running out of money with things like fancy library branches and a new high school and the need to financeally support them. I call it "not living within our means".

Trust or Foundation funding instead of tax increases or millage increases.

Unlike much of what has happened with the AAPS spending, those making decisions need to have some accountability for overspending on projects. Typically, those in charge make the decisions and we taxpayers are left holding the bag....

Very important to keep cost down.

we appreciate we have a very good library system. with the newly branch facilities, it has become easier to access books from there without visiting the Downton library. Unless the downtown building is falling apart and structurally dangerous, I hope the renovation be kept to the minimum level if you must do renovation/redesign, so as not to cause tax inrease to us the city residents who are already overburdened with the very high tax and the very poor state of economy in the State of Michigan. Otherwise, we will have to begin considering moving out of town like many people I encounter these days.

We spend too much money on the downtown library and the branches, it seems that you are constantly renovating the downtown library and it is unnecessary and expensive, the millage should be lowered or eliminated - the library should have enough money to maintain but no more expansion or renovations are necessary

We're currently in the middle of a recession (regardless if they admit it or not), and while important city services (police / fire) are under financial pressure, we need to reconsider some of these extravagances. Perhaps this would be a good time to consider delay on this project instead of plowing more money in at a time when the city's hurting. A millage for a new library will have problems when property values are 60% of what they were at 4 years ago...

Where is all the money coming from to pay for the new library branches and the proposed new main library? This is an important question that the Librarian should answer publicly, on paper and with sufficient publicity so that all the citizens of the City know in a high degree of detail, before we develop a huge new plan. Get it clearly out in the open. Our City, in general, does not have a very good record of spending public money wisely or explaining why and how much. It would help if the "Committee" would recruit as a member a citizen from the private (profit making) sector who is known to a high number of citizens as an expert. Some one with the credibility and reputation as a knowageable straight shooter. I'm not talking about one of Ann Arbor's numerous "finacial analysts"(they're not usually numbers guys) who is a local do gooder on every school or civic project. The person must be a "tell it like is" kind of individual; not a rubber stamp. A Bill Broucek, Del Dunbar or George Borel type of person, or perhaps one of the many retired auto execs who populate our city - a person of vision but certainly not a pie in the sky dreamer. Thanks for listening and sorry about the bad spelling. Did you really read this?

You are embarking on an ambitious project, esp. on the heels of 3 other new libraries. I am most concerned about financing the new library, esp. given the downturn of the economy.

You must have a surplus of money to consider this type of renovation after just finishing the last one--it is disappointing this money can't be better allocated.

You want to spend WAY too much money, and so does the city on these new buildings. BUY MORE BOOKS AND MATERIALS. QUIT GIVING YOURSELF PERKS.

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I Love My Library (65 responses)

In general, I think the library is currently terrific!

We have one of the best public libraries in the country

" The library as is is really good. I would not want it over-modernized or too busy with media or greeters."

AADL is a wonderful place, I like it very much! We should use more money to buy more new books and e-books.

Downtown library is so unique and precious place in Ann Arbor.

I am always impressed at the number of people using the library at all times of the day. It is a public treasure and you must tread very carefully in renovating something that works well right now.

I am quite happy w the current building, but think the current arrangements/layout needs improvement

I am wildly enthusiastic about the library as it is. I don't think big is better. The library has plenty of easy chairs and private places. Occasionally we can't get in to an event on the lower level, but hey we should have gotten there sooner.

I enjoy the library and find it generally well run. In the past few years I have had the need to use civic public libraries in several cities. I would strongly encourage that you look at the library in Livermore California. It's a recent renovation, and one of the best I have seen.

I feel it is an excellent facility as is, however, a few improvements might be nice.

I find the library easy to use and the staff well-trained and accommodating.

I have always enjoyed the downtown library. You offer so many programs that we love to participate in.

I have used the library for the past 25 years and have felt it is quite functional--not fancy but adequate though I can appreciate and do some support some renovation.

I have very positive feelings about the current building. It doesn't seem like a good use of resources to tear it down.

I just can't say enough about how much I LOVE the Ann Arbor library--the services are so wonderful now any improvements are just "icing on the already amazing cake"!

I like our current library and when weighing the cost against the improvements, I am happy with our current space.

I like the current library design. While self service is important, it is very important to see people as well.

I like the current library, and do not see a need to redesign it.

I like the library as it is but am not opposed to renovations. I appreciate having the opportunity to provide feedback.

I love AADL! Keep up the good work! I know that updates and renovations are needed, but I really do not think the library needs to compete with private businesses and be all things to all people. Keep it modest!!!

I love all these suggestions and they would certainly be improvements but the library works well as it is. I hate to think of a long period of closure.

I LOVE love love going to the library and drinking coffee and reading magazines. Anything that would enhance that experience (like more comfortable seating, a full-service coffee shop where I could read the magazines, etc.) would ROCK! Also, I think the library could definitely stock more newly-released books. No matter what, you guys are doing a GREAT job, and I love the library!

I love the downtown library. I have been going there since I was a young child. I still sometimes venture down there even though I have several closer branches, just to revisit my youth.

I love the library as it is. There is art, texture, fish and lots of books and videos to borrow. I wonder if moving the Y decreased pedestrian traffic.

I love the library. Adequate long-term funding is critically important. Whatever you think it takes to make the library relevant to many groups and to keep the funding coming - gets my vote. I like great ambience and convenience. I don't use the library for computer-related work.

I love the library. I have been to libraries all over the country and it is one of the nicest public libraries I have ever been to. Whatever you do, do not take away the intimacy of the library for more bells and whistles. Do not make the same mistake they made when they replaced tiger stadium with Comerica Park. Spend your money wisely.

I love the library--please make sure the new design maintains the library feeling.

I love the location and I like the size not to big and not to small, if I want bigger I go to the University Libraries.

I love the set up of the downtown branch as it is--video and cds on the ground level, where noise is not restricted, but peace and quiet in the stacks.

I love, love, love the AADL. Your online ordering/wait list is teriffic, along with MEL. I agree that the library needs to be expanded and updated, but no need to make it the Taj Mahal of libraries. People who use the library are thrifty by nature, and we would like your building to be sensible and thrifty -- not over the top. By the way, I love the public library in metro Detroit that's very arts & crafts in style. Is it the southfield library? Yes, I think so. Now there's a very comfortable library that seems inviting and functional, yet not over the top.

I pretty much love the library as it is now, I use it often and really don't think it needs a renovation

I really enjoy the current library but if changes are needed to make it more comfortable or productive for the staff then go for it!

I really like out library and the children's area is great!!

I REALLY like the current library. I do not feel like it needs anything else to make me happy as a user and tax payer of this library.

I really love the library as it is and would make few changes other than to upgrade (kids) computers to keep up with the times.

I really think the Downtown Library is perfect as it is, but needs a little renovation inside.

I think it's already a very good library. I'd hate to see you spend millions of dollars when, in my eyes, very little needs to be done.

I think our library is GREAT and does not need major renovation or replacement.

I think the Downtown Library already looks really cool. You can really relax, sit down, spend your afternoon peacefully...

I think the ease of finding a book by its call number could be improved. The AADL is one of the greatest resources of A2, it is excellent. Thanks for improve it even more!

I think the library is outstanding already. We come every week to use the youth area and check out books, and have been doing so for the five years we have lived here. Although I think these improvements sound great, I'm very happy with the library as it is.

I think the library is very nice as it is right now.

I think the library is wonderful. What's wrong with it now? The only obvious thing is drive-up book return (which would be great) and a pick-up/drop-off area for kids. Other than that, the most important thing to me is your wonderful web site, the ability to reserve books on-line, as well as keep a record of what I borrow, and that you continue to keep pace with what's being published.

I think you are doing a great job! Thank you for all the great info at our fingertips!

it is beautiful and functional as it is.

It's the most wonderful library around and I want this library to continue to be a model for serving community needs.

Keeping it the way it is and not spending money. We have a great library.

Last summer we moved from Ann Arbor to Oregon, and we really loved the downtown AA library. I'm surprised it is being replaced. It was our library of choice while we lived there, and we visited the downtown library about 2-3 times per month. The answers to my questions below reflect the library usage and parking usage when we lived there.

My family LOVES the downtown library. Keep on doing what you are doing.

No. But thank you for such a wonderful library!!

Nothing in particular - y'all are doing an excellent job overall. AADL is one of the best public services in all of AA.

Purchase of books continued at the high quality rate they are now being purchased. I have nothing but praise for the Ann Arbor library system and the people in all of the libraries/service areas

Right now I think you are doing an excellent job and would like to see you keep all that you have now and add those newer things if you desire. It is a great space, just a bit hard to stop by for a moment when you are not on foot. I used to live downtown and walk there and it was much easier.

Some of the features of the newer libraries are very nice and a renovation would be enjoyable, but the existing library is really great and a frequent destination for our family. If you've got some money to spend, I'm sure we'll love the new facilities even more.

Some of the items above, while they would be nice, seem like the ultimate library. The downtown library is already good. Is the goal really to compete with Borders? The thing is, Borders doesn't let you borrow books. OK, it could be more comfortable. It could be more community oriented. But I hope that grand ideals won't cause the whole project to be scrapped.

Thank you. The AADL is fantastic, but change for its own sake is not a good policy and some of the aesthetic decisions recently are troubling to me and to others I know and respect.

The current facility is outstanding.

The current library is very nice.

The Downtown Library is already one of the best public libraries I've ever had the privilege of using. I think all of these ideas are great and will contribute a lot to an already fabulous library.

The downtown library is an outstanding resource for the community. I support it hugely!

There is no need to change anything...we have a wonderful library! Spend your money on improving the collection and on branch locations.

this is a great library. Would like to see more educational videos and books on CD/tape. More educational stuff. Great job otherwise.

This is the heart of the community. I love this library.

We love the downtown library. Keep up the good work!

We love the library the way it is.

You are already doing a wonderful job! Keep up the good work. We love the library!

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Is the Renovation Necessary? (77 responses)

" Also, I guess I'd like to know WHY a new library is needed, beyond just hearing that the library ""has decided it is necessary."" The place seems fully-functional to me."

" Also, I think a renovation is only worthwhile if it is as innovative as the AADL is in other respects. It would be great for the library to make national headlines!"

" I do not think the Downtown library needs to be rebuilt. Perhaps some renovation is called for in the downtown library but the over-all redesign and/or renovation is unnecessary. This board and its director seem determined to continue to build instead of putting money into public service necessities such as qualified staff,(including more librarians) salaries and benefits,a continuous and well-funded outreach program to seniors and economically disadvantaged patrons, and a dedication to educating the public, especially children, as to the many uses of the library instead of simply entertaining them. The patrons of the library want good parking, one-stop shopping convenience. The downtown branch or the other branches for that matter don't offer this. The downtown consists of restaurants, gift shops and art galleries. Why should the tax payers of Ann Arbor spend millions on a branch that is becoming less relevant by the year? "

" The library was library of the year not too long ago. What exists must not be too bad. I can see for the future, however, that some changes can be done to make it even better."

"don't try to change things - you'll only make them worse."

1. Ann Arbor is fairly static in population 2. We have built/are building several new/remodeled branches. 3. Therefore, why do we need to do anything to the downtown library?

Ann Arbor spends a lot of money on ridiculous things. I didn't think that the library would do this as well, considering it is well run and managed in my opinion. It is a wonderful library and unless the staff is complaining about things, needs no renovation. Spending millions of dollars to make something more technologic and with more textures seems incredibly dense.

Are we certain that a downtown library expansion is necessary?

demolition of the existing building would be travesty - it is attractive, functional and accessible. how in these times could one defend the waste (environmental + financial) of such a quality structure. the three new branches have apparently gone to the library board's collective head - be careful, the public's collective pockets are only so deep.

Don't mess with it too much.

During the planning and execution of the Library Renovations, please consider what is needed versus what is wanted. Also, please consider that while some of these renovations would be nice, the Downtown Library that we currently have is an amazing resource as it is now, without any new additions or renovations. Renovating the Library would not only prohibit customers/patrons from comfortably/easily using it, if it would be able to remain open, but it would create a large disruption to all traffic flow in the downtown area.

enlargement would be useful, not sure about building a new library from scratch. That new Ypsi Library on Whittaker Road looks impressive but doesn't function as well for library purposes.

How about giving back to the rest of the community. You already have a huge, beautiful library. I can't fathom why you need to tear it down to expand into some mega-structure. Part of being a responsible, sustainable part of our city should be to keep things simple. Why build a huge facility if it wont be used 100% of the time.

How much is the downtown library used versus the branch libraries. Perhaps a more extensive satellite system would make more sense.

I am not sure we need a renovation at this time. I don't ever encounter lines, overcrowding or anything. I find what i need and a computer is always available.

I am surprised the library is doing this. It seems like they did major renovations not that long ago and I personally have no complaints about the library the way it was. If there is extra money I'd rather see it spent on collection development and the Bookmobile. :)

I believe that the current downtown library is more than adequate. I find it very hard to understand why any improvements need to be made. It seems like the white upper class always has its' eyes set on progress. This is the group of people who use the library the least. It would just make too much sense for these funds to used for something that would actually benefit people in need. Which would especially make sense in Michigan where our economy is suffering severely. I guess however that the bourgeoisie is condemned to make the same mistakes repeatedly.

I do not use the downtown branch, so don't see the need to 'expand' the existing facility

I do not use this libary often because I fuse to pay this city any more money than need be. The other Libarys are so nice and easy to use it makes no sense to pay down town. Also the times I have had to use downtown the Street folks behavior and smell forced me to leave with my child who at the time was in high school.

I hope that the current library will remain until there are problems with the structural integrity of the building. I think that building a new library at this point is a waste of time, labor, and money.

I like the current library and wonder if there is a need numbers of patrons-wise for a new facility. This competition in town for bigger and better is ridiculous. We had nice retail and grocery in town years ago and they all left due to hig rents. I resent the DDA and their willingness to destroy our town's ambience for their greedy pockets. The building is ugly and unnecessary. Filling downtown with outsiders who do not appreciate the twon that many of us grew up in does nothing for the ambience or the children who are growing up in this town.

I like the library as it is. Do we really need a new one? I walk to it, and like the location.

I love the library, and I don't want to see it turn into some kind of a theme park to cater to making it "trendy." I love being surrounded by books and just being able to interact with them on the scale that you can at the A2 library is really great. So please don't change the library too much.

I personally do not believe that major overhaul is really required. Signage could be improved but, at the end of the day, the current library has a up to date, clean, good condition and welcoming look. I think funds could be much better used for something else rather than updating the building. Frankly, the only problem I have ever had has had to do with homeless individuals behaving in a manner that inhibited use of library facilities which I know is a difficult issue to address. At any rate, I don't think this renovation is a good use of public funds. I do think that paying for up to X amount of time of parking would attract more use. I will drive further to other libraries if not in the downtown area to avoid that fee.

I personally think the current library space and its adjacent parking functions very well.

I really don't think there is a rush to make a new downtown library at this time.

I think a renovation would be nice, naturally, but honestly, the library currently meets all of my book and media (DVD) needs. The self-check-out lanes are great, service is good, and best of all is the location. I walk there from work on my break since I work downtown. It's a huge asset to the community to have a library right downtown.

I think it is more important to have local library spaces in the community than to spend money on the downtown facility that is not easily accessible.

I think renovations would be great, but the timing is wrong. The economy is so bad right now that we cannot, as a community, afford expensive renovations. I feel strongly that this needs to be postponed until we feel more stable economically. Ann Arbor has always supported its libraries, but now is not the time to be talking about expensive renovations and parking structures.

I think that the current donwtown Library is fine and Parking is the main difficulty. HOwever, the other branches are very good and I don't have the need to go to the Downtown Library.

I think the current library is terrific, and I do not think it needs to be redesigned or renovated. Some areas are relatively new.

I think the downtown library is fine the way it is. We don't need any cafe areas, retail stores, or anything like that. It's a public library, not some borders store or anything like that. That's why we have those places for things like that. I think the library set up itself is great, and the fact that there is now security at each branch, or at least the "high risk" branches. The materials are good and a good variety, the designated areas for certain things are fine the way they are, and are spacious.

I think the existing facility meets the needs of library users and a new facility is a complete waste of money. Also, the new library that is being built on the north side of Ann Arbor is a ridiculuos waste of tax dollars. A much more modest facility would be adequate.

I think the library is fine as it is and that the AADL should consider how this renovation would be an inconvenience to those patrons who would be unable or discouraged from using the facilities as the place undergoes unnecessary construction.

I thought that the downtown library was renovated pretty recently, and I think it is fine the way it is.

I visit the library frequently, and it is a very pleasant library. I believe renovations are not needed

I was surprised when I read of plans to renovate the library, because I didn't think it was in need of renovation -- and I do use it a lot, weekly in person and much more often on the web. I use the public-use computers when I'm there and have never had to wait to use one.

I was very surprised that it was being considered; the library has easily suited my needs most of the time. My main issue has been with parking in the times that I drove to the library. It's great having it right next to Blake, keep that!

I would consider post-ponning this until late 2010, this is the time to invest money. NOT just spend it cause we have it. "If it is not broke, don't fix it"

I would prefer the library to be maintained as it is and conserve our taxpayers money.

If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Ann Arbor has plenty of meeting spaces - the library doesn't need more.

If money was no object it would be nice to have all the bells & whistles listed above, although I'm perfectly happy with the existing facility.

If you build it will they come? The branches are closer and more convenient to most patrons. Think "white elephant?"

I'm not convinced a renovation or rebuilding of the downtown library is needed at this time. I just don't think it rises to that level yet.

I'm sorry but I really think you should be considering the economy. Public libraries are supposed to feel like Borders. Please don't waste taxpayer dollars. Given that many of your customers are homeless, they would probably appreciate food, housing, and health care instead.

It seems that money would be better spent investing in the libraries that are closer to our own communities. It's easier to walk or ride a bike to those locations. I guess I see conflicting strategic visions here.

It seems to me that the present main library has lots of space that's not being used - why not just make use of it.

It should be left as it is.

I've always liked the downtown library. Does it really need renovations and redesigning? I'm surprised as it is already a very nice public library.

I've never quite understood what the problem is with the existing library, that the AADL wants to solve. It's not a masterpiece, but it seems to work pretty well and mainly just needs better maintenance.

keep the current library

Leave the Downtown library as is and enlarge and improve branchs.

"Leave well enough alone! Avoid CHANGE for the sake of CHANGE, which is a frequent pattern for politicians. The main library is fine as it is. Tell the downtown development people to go to hell. Don't build any kind of parking structure on the current library parking lot, which is perfectly adequate for the use of library patrons. Do not become like the U of M, driven by arrogance and megalomania to endless expansion. That may be gratifying to the careerists in charge who lust for endless CHANGE, but CHANGE for the sake of CHANGE doesn't always serve the public good. Change the arrogant statement below ""there is a commitment (by who? did the public have any real say in this or did God send down the commitment from heaven?)to constructing new public support the activities at the library, nearby government offices, and commercial areas"" to ""parking at government offices and commercial areas is not the concern of the library, let them take care of themselves."" Keep the library lot for library purposes! I'll probably never come to the downtown library again if you build any kind of parking structure on the site of the current lot. Thank god for the branch libraries!"

No need for a change

Overall I question benefits of new structure or major redesign.

The facility is wonderful as is.

The citizen's of Ann Arbor pay a very large amount in city taxes each year that are earmarked for the library system. There are already many beautiful family friendly libraries throughout the city of Ann Arbor. Hopefully the current economic climate of both the city of Ann Arbor and the state of Michigan are put at the forefront when thinking about the "importance" and "need" for a new library.

The current downtown library is a wonderful building and should not be replaced. I think additional space needs should be addressed through renovation and/or expansion.

The Downtown Library does not need a renovation/redesign. We have several new branch libraries. The downtown library is fine.

The Downtown Library is an integral piece in what makes downtown Ann Arbor special. It is indeed a destination in the most positive ways, and thus should be the "main trunk" of all branches. Primary functions must be the focus, providing information through a variety of methods, using technology and innovative ways to serve public needs. I'm really glad the Downtown Library will remain downtown. I'm not concerned about offering "cafe" options (that's what makes the downtown partnership work - interaction with nearby downtown businesses). I'm so impressed with the great variety of evening programming and hope to attend more in the future. Kudos to the events manager! The Downtown Library is operating really well right now. Does it really need extensive renovation? What are the real and immediate needs from the perspective of internal library functions? Kudos to the business department for righting the ship and setting out good plans as the new branches were launched. I'd be interested in seeing how both renovation and redesign will impact the budget, both short term and long term. Is this the right time for a new library? Thank you for sending out this survey. I hope to attend one of the informational meetings in May or June.

The nature of many of these questions reflects the values of marketing consultants and developers--an emphasis on superficial design, technology and marketing elements. In fact, nowhere in this survey is anything as important as, say, the library's collection mentioned. I have yet to be presented with any compelling reasons for rebuilding or expanding--at great expense--the downtown library. Why is a new library or major renovation needed? What are the structural problems of the present building that would justify replacement?

There needs to be a lot of candid, forward-thinking to evaluate the relevancy of a physical library building and property in the era of the Internet. Libraries face the same dilemma as movie theaters years ago when video tape and DVD movies entered the market place. How did they survive, what changes did they make to survive and cultivate a need by customers for on-site services.

Timing : current economic climate is such that I do not believe project should be taken on at present. I think the service & facilities presently serve the required function even if they are not ideal.

We do not believe a new library structure is needed or a responsible use of taxpayers' funds.

We just renovated the library. It's a very nice library. There are MANY lovely branches. Many nearby communities are having to close their facilities because of the recession. Who do we think we are? I mean literally, who do you think I am? I could lose my house because of taxes. We don't need this at this time, nor can we afford a skatepark at this time. If you think it's that important then you should round up a bunch of the millionaires around town to endow it. I don't mind the Fitzgerald or Monaghan room. To look at some renovating 10 years down the road is good planning. To consider any thing of this nature right now is actually immoral.

We like it the way it is. We don't think you should change it, and it seems a waste of money. Buy more books instead!

We think the AADL provides terrific and wide-ranging programs. We are less concerned with a renovation or redesign as we love what the library has to offer and would want funding to continue towards those efforts. If there is funding for both a renovation/redesign and programs like what the AADL currently offers, terrific but if we had to choose one over the other (it's not clear where the funding would come from or if it would mean fewer services in certain areas), we would want the programs and we would be less concerned about a renovation/redesign.

What we have is all brand new, as far as I am concerned.You see to have a lot more money than you know what to do with. The survey questions seem to be "loaded". Who could possibly be against such wonderful proposals?

What's most important for this library: 1) common, comfortable reading areas, 2)dedicated quiet spaces, 3) safe place to drop off and pick up people, 4) parking, 5) more bathrooms, 6) enhanced beauty (color, art, lighting) of the space. I don't believe it's necessary to build a new library.

What's wrong with the current library? I am a regular user and I think it's excellent as it is. Why the distruption and expense to "fix" something that functions quite well as is?

Who is asking for a change? I use the library frequently and am satisfied. I wonder if patrons who DON'T use the library think we need a change, even though after the renovation/change they still won't use the library.

With increase use of neighborhood libraries and easy trasfer of materials, downtown does not need to be that large.

With the new branch libraries, the emphasis on different living styles and costs born by city residents, the current library is adequate space. Many of the best libraries for reading and public are the older, more crowded buildings which force public interactions and accomodation for others

Yes, I don't think we need a NEW library. the one we have is fine. Who's going to pay for it? ME! I won't vote for it.

I think a renovated library is needed, not necessarily a NEW library.

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General Concerns about Safety (66 responses)

A visible security presence in the library. I generally feel unsafe outside and within the library.

Above all,consider safety and the safe use of all areas.

Access to the DT library that is safe and convenient is a priority in my mind.

additional security -- it's not safe for children (even pre teens) to walk around unaccompanied

As Ann Arbor becomes less safe, with a diminished police presence to keep citizens safe I think the library should take into consideration the safety of the patrons of the library. You can pretend this is not happening in Ann Arbor but the city is much less safe than it used to be. the design of the library and the parking structure will either add to the safety of citizens or make us more vulnerable. Since the library and proposed parking structure are right across the street from the bus station citizens are vulnerable to people passing thru the city who make trouble and prey on citizens.

Better security procedures for all materials

Considering the unfortunate increase in crime in urban areas in the last several decades, public safety inside and in coming into and out of the parking area should be as safe as it is reasonable to expect one's library to be for decades to come.

Do anything possible to keep a downtown conference center from being built on top of the connecting library parking lot. We do not need the elements that would be drawn to this. Those of our downtown development groups do not LIVE near downtown. We do, and have seen more problems with the 6 mill. shelter. And many of the people using the shelter are NOT Washtenaw County people of need. This has drawn more crime to our neighborhoods. Please use your influence to keep the downtown safe, or you will see a decrease in the use of your facility even after remodelling. TX

Full time uniformed security staff.

Green areas, better security protecting users from "weird" people hanging out in the library.

I am currently often quite intimidated by trying to access the front door. I often feel unsafe when people are loitering near the front door. Sometimes it seems like the nearby bus station is drawing in people who are engaging in illegal activity. I witnessed a drug bust in the parking lot as I was trying to return books. I am afraid that my purse is going to get stolen. Perhaps if a pick-up and drop off location were created away from the front entrance, then less people would be loitering by the door.

I end up going to branch offices which are newer and cleaner; so to me downtown library could be improved on cleanliness (maybe it is clean, but with more of a crowd it draws, it seems like there are many sick people in the winter months, and I feel not going there)

I think that it is important that the space be well monitored so that it can be safe for students.

I think the overall important things are safety, availability/access to a wide range of materials and comfort.

I would also like a focus on safety both for pedestrians entering/exiting the library and within the library. There are strange people in there, including in the bathrooms.

I would appreciate a front/main entrance designed to discourage loitering. I often feel ill at ease when entering or leaving the facility on 5th Ave and walking thru a crowd of ne'er-do-wells hanging out on the steps. Double disturbing when I'm accompanied by my small children.

It needs to be very clean and safe. I like the surface parking lot, and don't want to park in another garage.

Make sure that library is safely protected

Monitoring of patrons to make sure that noise and disruptions are handled immediately. I enjoy the library when it is quiet, but have been frustrated by library staff's inability to deal effectively with noisy patrons, often teens/youth who are there ostensibly to study but instead spend their time talking loudly etc.

More than one staircase (for safety reasons)

My issue with the downtown library is not access, parking, or inventory - it is safety. I do not feel as safe at the downtown library as I do at Pittsfield or Mallet's Creek.

My teens are frequent Axis event participants. Their safety, including hassle-free entrance and exit, is of primary concern.

parking and safe drop-off EXTREMELY important - i see many unsafe drop-offs/pick-ups on 5th Ave.

Personal security for patrons and staff: patrons need to feels secure using the location.

Protection from inappropriate behavior. Separate areas for viewing online pornography.

Providing a sense of security for all users of the AADL

Really emphasize security and prevent some people from disrupting library experience of others.

Rid the entrance area of loiterers

safe and inviting place is important.

safe places - maybe cameras? esp. for children's areas



safety and accessibility

Safety and accessibility for all ages.

Safety and security. As it currently stands, the downtown branch feels the least safe of all the AADL branches. Very unfortunate, as this is the largest collection space.

Safety around the building

Safety for our children and adults both in the library and on-line.

Safety if very important. There are many transient people downtown and they tend to congregate in "warm" libraries. If we do not feel safe and secure exiting our vehicles to go into the downtown library, we will simply go to smaller branch libraries instead. This is especially true for women bringing children.

Safety inside the building is my concern with the downtown branch; my kids are not allowed to use the library freely alone, due to the constant presence of 'street/homeless' people and the unwanted solicitations they have made toward my kids.

Safety is one of my primary concerns with the current Fifth Street branch library's proximity to the bus station. The library seems to have become a daycare facility for transients. I'm grateful for the recent addition of security guards but I hesitate to let my middle school student do research (alone) at the downtown facility. There has been a lot of loitering outside the building and the bathroom doors always seem to be kept wide open---not a great environment for UM students or permanent residents to study.

safety issues, lighting and convenience need to be addressed and are of the utmost importance

Safety within the library-video cameras in all secluded areas. Safety planning/devices to prevent potential assaults in bathrooms

Safety! I will not let my children use the library by themselves. Too many vagrants bathing in the bathrooms and surfuing for porn on the computers. My wife's purse was stolen, and my children were exposed to pornographic images from computer surfers. The staff would do nothing.

safety! the biggest deterrent for us using the library, esp with small children has been previous encounters with scary characters in and outside the library, also no smoking at library entrance, we have had to walk thru a cloud of smoke to get to story time. Perhaps the "main" library doesnt need to be downtown at all.

Safety, inside and out.

Safety, safety, safety.

Safety; accessibility

Saftey for the teens. My teen age daughter often gets unwanted attention from men. These men appear to have mental impairments. So, I have her use the other branch libraires. She has never had been verbally accosted or followed at those cites as she has downtown.

saifety and more security more quite areas I dont fill very comforlableat the downtown library very loud when the kids get out of school and get on the comuter.


Security in general

Security of patrons

Security regarding the public outside the of the library needs to be addressed in some way.


security system so all areas can be monitored for user safety

Security within the facility id important to me. Parents should feel that their 8-12 year old can use the youth area while the parents are looking at adult books. I currently do not feel there is adequate security / sight lines so that kids are safe.

Security. I hate to say it, but I have had some issues with people at the library in the recent past. Within the last year, I have been cornered by a Jesus freak on the second floor, witnessed a teenage boy punch a teenage girl in the face, saw an older man proposition a teenage girl in a derugatory manner, saw men watching pornography on library computers, and have been asked to buy drugs at the library.

Separate area of public-use computers for kids, with some filtering of "adult" content. (If legal, of course.) I want my 5-year-old to be able to access the computers, without worrying about what he might see on adjacent computers.

Several years ago on more than one occasion I walked by a patron on the computer viewing a site that was in the least inappropriate for children who may passby to view. It appeared if the patron didn't visit a site but pulled these images from their email and just left the screen up. As I think about it now, I should have alerted library personnel but i just thought idiot and continued on with my business at the library. I do not think there should be any privacy expecially with children and the dangers of the internet but I would like to see more monitoring of what people are viewing.

simply safety and accessibility to all that the library has to offer

Sometimes I feel unsafe or uncomfortable coming to the downtown library branch, because of the homeless who are in and around the building, especially now that I bring my young daughter with me.

The pre-Halloween storytime and the Chinese New Year performance spaces were very cramped. The latter int he basement felt a bit hazardous if there was a fire/emergency, you couldn't escape easily.

The presence of loiterers and street people does not make me feel very safe to let my children roam the A2 Library as I did as a kid. Have surveillance cameras and LOTS of clearly marked staff. It will decrease the chances of anyone doing something they shouldn't be doing. More staff will increase service etc.

The security employees are an intrusion on the spirit of the library. There should be a way to make it possible for them to do their jobs without being so visible. On the other hand the people who cause trouble are minimal and the staff has been very astute in dealing with them.

The single most important need for the downtown library is safety. I need to know that my family will be safe (from persons, internet predators and internet pornography) in each and every aspect of the facility. If we do not feel safe in all these regards, I will not go and I will not let my children go. How you balance alleged civil liberties with the health and safety of most Ann Arborites may be a challenge, but I know it is possible and it is essential if you want most of the people of this city to use the downtown facility. Don't expand it and don't spend our tax dollars if you cannot insure that it is completely and thoroughly fit and secure for most of us and especially our innocent children.

Yes. I believe with the problems I have had occasionally with noisey patrons, gang-related activities and my foot was run over with a chair by a disturbed patron who interferred with my visit to the libary computers on the second floor of the Main Library we need more security. In other words I think we need more visible and sort of stern-looking security guards to patrol the main and the branch libraries. I was assaulted three times at the Northeast branch.

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Concerns about Loitering and Library Use By Individuals Who are Homeless (67 responses)

I also have noticed that there are a lot of people simply 'hanging out' at the downtown branch-making noise, talking on cell phones, waiting around for something to happen and not actually using the library services. It would be good if the design of the new library would encourage people who want to simply hang out to go somewhere else.

It's very good that there are public computers, but they are another draw for bums, which isn't good....

My youngest child is sometimes affaid of the transients that use the facility as a locker room or gathering spot. I understand that the economic or social hardships of one becomes the problems for all;Maybe as a community we can solve this problem. The city does not want our new library to become a hang-out for the disenfranchised,neither do we what them that need help, to go without help;ie,shelter,food,ect..

" Design should not incentivize prescence of alcholics and other troubled souls "

A plan for dealing with homeless that congregate outside and inside the library.

A policy in place that addresses the homeless people who come and sleep there all day, not to mention their smell, and the safety issues. I do not feel safe at the downtown library.

A special room for street people

Adjacent day shelter with all library amenities (heat/ac, internet, clean bathrooms, couches for sleeping, outdoor smoking courtyard, free lockers for stuff) for use by homeless.

anything that would discourage homeless to congregate there... main reason I don't go there much anymore

Better security concerning the homeless people who "live" there.

Can anything be done about the loud homeless people that crowd the library- maybe a special place for them.

Consider the fact that the library attracts the homeless population.

Currently the restroom area is disgusting. It is often not very clean and there are sometimes homeless people who seem to loiter there and beg, making it feel uncomfortable and unsafe.

discourage lingering transients

Educate patrons and staff regarding rude behaviour and how to handle it, as well as the homeless population.

Feeling safe and keeping the vagrants out will be my top 2 concerns.

fewer loiterers

Figure out a way to keep the $R%^&*( vagrants and teens who use the place as a social center & cafeteria OUT. Otherwise nothing else you do will matter

Find a way to get the drunk or high homeless folks to be drunk or high someplace else

Finding an effective way to not make the library a refuge for homeless people who use the library for its qualities as a shelter, not an information resource.

Get rid of the drunks and people using the bathroom to shave.

Get rid of the street people.

hobo fights and profanity by certain patrons

Homeless people need a safe warm daytime place, and access to books and Web. Could it NOT be the library please?

How do you deal with homeless while providing feeling of safety for patrons?

How to handle homeless people.

I am still concerned about the number of "transients". They are uaually present only to sleep or use the restrooms. If they are not "residents they should not be using (or taking up space ) of the tax payers and library supporters

I hate to say it, but libraries seem to be places where homeless people come to, to live during the day/bad weather. If some kind of system for showers/clothes washing could be developed, we'd have fewer crazed folks. It would be the decent thing to do. Yes, this is not my father's library, but we don't live in my father's time...

I haven't been there in years because of all the homeless people who crowd around the entrance. It made it difficult to walk through all of those men and their smoke. One of them made a remark to one of my children-that I didn't learn about until we got home. I complained but was told there was nothing the library could do. I value the safety of my children more than using the library. If you can't guarantee a safe place for children-INSIDE as well as outside the front doors-what use are you?

I love the downtown library. More comfortable seating / reading space would be good. However, the presence of homeless people sleeping (or doing other things) in the existing seating areas needs to be somehow controlled.

I often do not feel safe due to all of the homeless people, I get asked for money, cussed at when I don't give. It would be nice if your security occasionally went outside. I would like enforcement of the no smoking on library property.

I think security is an important consideration in the renovation. There are often a lot of homeless people in the library and hanging around the entrance, and I have been approached several times. As a young woman, I would feel much more comfortable enterting the library alone if I knew upped security measures had been implemented.

I want to feel safe. Currently I avoid the downtown library because of the homeless patrons that can be disruptive and intimidating.

I would like to see less homeless people hanging out in and around the Libray. That is what the shelter was built for. It is not ok to dump mentaly ill and homeless people in the libray and say it is ok because it is a public place. It there for all to enjoy, however it is hard to enjoy when you are ask for money and have cruid things said to you before you get to the door. I am a social worker and I think it is time to enforce them to go to the day shelter or tell them they will be ticketed if they remain out side. They have to learn that this behavior is not ok and it will not be ok at the libray. Behavior modifacation is ok if done right. Do not think if you ignore it, it will go away? It will not. You need to take the library back and have the shelter and the city find a better place for the homeless.

If there is any way to cut down on the incidental traffic due to its location directly across from the AATA bus station (generally loud and disrespectful high school students and the homeless) that would be amazing- it really ruins the great atmosphere the library has for me.

Incorporate ways of discouraging panhandlers in the design of the building.

It is now hard to enter and relax at the library because of the number of people who use it as a hang-out space not associated with books, music, etc. Some of those folks are scary, some smell really bad. I don't ever sit in the comfortable chairs you did have - I'm pretty sure someone who doesn't have the opportunity to bathe has been sitting there. I

It would be really nice if you could address the needs of the homeless in a comfortable space for them that they would feel happy to go to - I am sorry, but I do not go to the downtown branch as often as I might if it was not disruptive and smelly - we need to meet the needs of everyone and there must be a good solution.

Keep homeless people out of the rooms used for studying

Keep the bums out and keep the children quiet.

keep the homeless away from loitering in and around the building. Any sleeping any where on the property will be asked to leave, escorted to leave or call the cops and charged with trespassing. Even I have had to fight off the bums coming in there. That, by the way was preferable to fighting off the cops lurking in the excessively low speed limits all over your place.

Keep the homeless people out of the library unless they are active patrons checking out books, etc. It's a huge problem. This is not to suggest that anyone is unsympathetic to their situation, but the library cannot be their "home" and should not be expected to provide warmth and shelter to them, which is not the purpose of the library. They are scary, unruly, emit terrible odors, and in some cases, dangerous. Their needs should be addressed elsewhere in the community, such as in the new shelter. Once again, it's not being harsh, just realistic. If the library wants to provide all the welcoming services and appropriate atmosphere (as indicated in your survey), then the homeless cannot be allowed to congregate and hang out at the library.

Keeping carriers of obscene signs away from any library property and reasonable distance from same.

keeping loiterers away from the entrances is a plus.

Keeping the homeless and others out of the library! Check the main libraries in Greenville, SC and Charleston, SC for ideas. They are much better than our main library.

limited time for a homeless/street person to camp out at the library, if you make great comfort areas-will they only be filled with street people who can act unstable and smell bad. It prohibits library use for the public and could make the place their daily residence.

Living room style seating sounds like a bad idea with the homeless population that hangs out at the library.

Make a homeless room, im sick of them everywhere

My NUMBER ONE concern as a very frequent library user is that the Downtown Libary is a de facto day shelter for the homeless. Because of the aggravation of this situation over the last few years, I'm much more likely to visit the branches, and much LESS likely to spend any time in the library when I do visit Downtown. The city MUST assist the AADL with this issue. I've noticed the recent removal of carrels in non-fiction, a very good idea (since they were used as beds) and the general opening up of sight lines in other areas - but it shouldn't have taken 10 years for these changes to be made, and they aren't sufficient.

No panhandling allowed at the library or the entrance.

Not encouraging too many homeless people to hang out in the library.

Once upon a time I would have been heavily in favor of comfortable seating, but now it would just be full of bums. Same with engaging public green space out front. Alas.

One problem with the library downtown is the smell. I appreciate that homeless people use the library but it is sometimes hard to find a odorless place.

one thing to consider seriously: being 1) in ann arbor, known as a homeless-friendly city, and 2) right by the bus station, the library is filled with area homeless people and transients. maybe if there were an easily-recognized and dedicated area for these patrons, things could run a little smoother. i and a lot of other "regular" patrons often get approached by unstable temporary library users, which is always unwanted, and that's always the worst part about visiting the downtown library. it's uncomfortable for a lot of us. hiring more detached and wandering security staff is probably not the answer. a different use of library space, from what it is right now, might be.

Residency guidelines should be better enforced regarding appropriate use of library materials and facilities (no single people squatting in rooms, sleeping, etc.).

Safer, less loitering in front.

Safety is hugely important. For years, the downtown branch has had to deal with not only being a library but also a day shelter for homeless people and a hangout and bathroom stop for people from the Blake Transit Center, some of whom, unfortunately, are pretty shady and often loud. (I personally saw a man walk in the door one day with a sawed-off baseball bat.) As architecturally sophisticated as the plan may be, in order to to succeed it will have to take these traffic and safety issues into account. I hope you can find a way to allow homeless people and folks from the bus station to use the library if they want (after all, it's a public facility), but also to ensure that parents won't need to worry about letting their children use the first-floor bathrooms unattended, or about allowing older children to sit and read by themselves without worrying that they'll be harassed.

Stop handouts to the homeless on library property, as it only encou

Street people and noise are sometimes disturbing on main floor.

The city of Ann Arbor does not provide enough resources and warm spaces for the homeless. The library is going to be a destination for those without shelter no matter what; rather than bulk up the resources to kick them out, it would be best to make sure that the homeless can find an acceptable place of shelter that is out of the way of library workings.

The homeless and aimless people that sit around the library day in and out, cause concern, for me as a mother. The adult section of the library has become an usafe place to be when walking around the stacks. The idea that the library provide tables and a place to sit for extended periods of time isn't wise. The library is place to get books, do research and learn, however, homeless and aimless people use the space as a warm, dry seating area. Is there some way the library could work with a public service organization to provide an alternative setting with access to newspapers and seating so that the downtown library isn't used as a daytime shelter?

The homeless. Now I know there is a lot of talk or awkwardness at the library when you have your family or you are an hard working local citizen that pays taxes to have a well established and efficient llibrary. It's hard to say it but they aren't really gonna change. They're dirty, drunk half the time and just plain rude. Some even having some control issues you know. Constant police calls for escorts off the premise and possible children and teens or even adults are in caution. I'm not saying we have to discredit them cuz they are human. I'm just saying that alot of people probably wonder how they are doing when they are around.

The library also must find a way to deal with the fact that having homeless people in many library spaces makes the library a less welcoming, safe, comfortable space for other patrons. I do not suggest kicking out people who are homeless, but some way of dealing with this issue is necessary. Perhaps more private nooks and spaces where people can separate themselves from others?

The library is not a homeless shelter: entrances, restrooms, and common/computer areas need to feel safe.

thugs outside should be curtailed so ppl feel comfortable coming in

Will it be a hangout for the homeless?

Yes, it is very intimidating to walk the gauntlet between the homeless persons smoking outside the library and generally hanging about. Consider requiring the same smoking policy as a hospital - 100 ft away from the building. I just don't know what the answer is to the homeless but it is not a good situation.

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Input on Services - General (269 responses)

Ample Space for the ongong Library Used Book Sale.

I found in the questionnaire and in fact in the newer libary braches too much emphasis on solo interaction tech stuff and too little on encouraging ways to get people interacting via the library, in my humble opinion. I've seen it done well in other communities. We need less real estate and more thoughtful program innovation.

I went to a Jodi Picult book discussion. I really enjoyed it. I would not mind a book club at the library with a place to meet.

I would like the library to be open on Sundays throughout the year.

I'm a huge fan of the Friends of the Library Booksale. Please please please please please make sure that it continues to exist! It serves lots of important functions -- it is a community hub, and a way to recycle books that would otherwise go into the landfill, a draw to bring people into the library, a way for people who aren't good at returning books in time to avoid fines to enjoy books from the library, and, most important, a way to get books to people who could not afford them. Please don't take away the Friends' space -- they serve a valuable purpose in our community.

Increasing renewal period for borrower's cards from one year to three years at least for borrowers who have held cards for five consecutive years if not for all AADL resident borrowers.

"I think the magazine collection needs to be updated so there are not so many back issues under the lift-up rack. If we do not have Cosmo Girl and Teen Vogue I think we need those two magazines. "

"I would enjoy book clubs that were regular, intellectual and moderated by an literary afficiando or professional. I would enjoy more literary programming that was similiar to a discussion group - a short lecture followed by a robust, moderated discussion."

"I would like easier access to events that you have there, as, for some reason, I just find out about them when in the library, although I think you do advertise them elsewhere."

"Keep people present at reference and checkout desks to maintain personal feeling."

"More reference personnel. More professional librarians not technicians!"

"Stick to the mission, avoid cluttering with Retail outlets- it's not a Mall!"

"To limit The Duration of lending books To avoid keeping books for too long a period. "

#1 priority: free access for all to information

(1)provide an area for exchange of free magazines & books, like the existing one or bigger. (1)provide a structure to encourage people to form book discussion groups (and writers groups) and dedicated space where they can meet in the library.

A high level of basic services.


a staffed reference desk is very important

A vastly expanded music collection - scores and recordings.

Accessible displays of new library materials, to increase public awareness.

Accessible self serve access to titles that I request on line. Many self serve check outs.

Adeqate staffing/staging areas.

Adequate and attractive storage and sales space for the Friends of the Library Bookshop--a unique and indispensable community asset.

adequate check-out facilities to prevent long lines

adequate reserve for purchasing and training on online resources

After-hours electronic cards to allow access to certain areas of the library for studying. Books would not be checked out and there would only be security working these extended hours.

Allow local residents to be able to show their artwork in a gallery area.

Alternative shelving for video/dvd/cd collections accompanied by better video cataloging for them. Books seem to be being driven out from the main floor, and this seems destined to discourage the decline of reading in the community.

An emphasis on services for members of our community that have the least. The library seems to be focused on the wealthier members of our community via downloads, media, etc. How about serving those that need public services the most? Can we dedicate resources to helping people become digitally literate?

Another cool thing would be to design some spaces where you could display local artist's works ... allow a featured artist of the month to hang a collection of their paintings and provide cases to accommodate sculpture/3-D work. The artwork would change up and be a nice refreshing backdrop at the same time.

Are there certain features that support older people's use of the library? (Consider population trends)

Areas/activities encouraging reuse of materials such as the Friends' Bookshop and the magazine exchange rack.

art displayed and offered

As an artist, I do believe that a certain proportion of public moneys should be dedicated to making spaces beautiful, with art. I really enjoy the art the library has now: it really does make the space more inviting and useable to me.

Better and easier access to quick interlibrary loan.

Better and faster check out.

better book organization, better online catalog needs to be more specific about book location

Better help with automated checkout machines. Long lines at the circulation desk, which are unnecessary for the large part. A volunteer who stands by the automated machines for 6 months or so should help the lines go down.

Better housing and display and easier aacess to audiobooks

Better newspaper organization and access. Back issues are now hopelessly chaotic.

book clubs for all ages organized through library

Book Exchange Area for people trying to downsize personal libraries as we age/move, etc.

Books discarded by library or individuals put out for "free" to needy persons.

Borders and Barnes & Noble have captivated book buyers. Now the public library needs to capture people attention in a simiplar way but for FREE books

"bring back more check-out stations! The past two times I've needed to check out (including buying Friends $1 books so I couldn't use self-check-out) the lines were very long--a step in the wrong direction."

Bring back the magazine racks where people can leave and exchange materials.

Build a structure that reflects and is commensurate with our strong community interest in reading and literature programs for our citizens.

Can more CD audio Books be added to the collection?

Centralization of distribution so that access via computer from neighborhood libraries can be facilitated: a good delivery system.

Change machines for street parking.

Checkout can take a long time some time

Combine fiction and mystery alphabetically, and eliminate the multiple locations such as "new" or speedy.

Continuation of the Friends' booksales on site with some expansion of that space.

Continue with excellent service/help from Library personnel located throughout the library.

Continued presence of knowlegeble librarians in each department including checkout.

Continued staffing with helpful persons; wider selection of scholarly journals in periodical room

Copy room, easy self-checkout (as already exists).

current art exhibit space is often unavailable due to meetings held in room. would be great not to have this restriction

dedicated space for the book shop

Definitely keep the used book store, but move it out of the basement to a fresher, more attractive environment

Delivery of reserved books through the mail to homes.

Don't do away with library staff in favor of computer "service stations"

Don't forget it is a PUBLIC library. People who cannot afford to go to bookstores, etc., need to be able to access information via books or the web. It is very difficult to job hunt today without access to computers. FAX machines are also important and a reasonable fee for this use could be charged.

Don't forget to include space for the used bookstore, it's one of my favorite parts of the library!

Don't try to put too much stuff in it. A gift shop? You could sell Library logo stuff at the check out desk. Maybe. A Cafe? Why can't people just bring their own food in? Don't be like movie theaters, banning food but selling expensive stuff.

Ease of access to books etc.

Ease of check out and enough staff so there aren't long waits.

Ease of self-checkout areas.

easier access to DVDs, i.e. dvds being located where the computer says they are

Easier to find resources are necessary.

easy ability to donate materials(if that is in your goals)and access to free materials(if that is in your goals)

Easy book donation dropoff. Better self-checkout stations (current ones are fine but are too sensitive). Library floor map as soon as walk in and by elevators.

Easy checkout-- more places to check out but also people that can help you with it.

Easy donation of books and materials to the library from public

easy place for book or magazine exchanges

Easy, simple and straight-forward everything.

Electronic catalog stations scattered throughout the library.

email notices of coming programs/events; more books on TAPE

Expand the DVD and CD collection. Ann Arbor's is the best I've ever seen (and I've lived in alot of cities). Have a station where we can listen to artists and decide which CD to borrow. Create small rooms for group work/talking, but most of library should remain quiet.

Expanded access to bookshop.

expanded hours

Expanded Hours on weekends.

expanded used magazine and/or book exchange

Extended Hours if that is possible.

Extended hours.

Fast checkout and easy search options are critical....Bells and whistles are unnecessary.

Fast CheckOut Kiosk - expedite checkout process

Fast checkout..friendly librarians..special daytime programs geared to elderly.

Fast service book check-out.

Features that will draw "non users" to the library as a means to introduce library resources and increase useage.

Foreign Language classes for adults.

Free computer classes for those that need that little bit of help!

Free useful programs which reflect many international neighbors in Ann Arbor. EX. Foreign language programs: Japanese, Korean, Chinese, French, etc.

Freen new library card if lost( not pay ten dollars)

Friendly, knowlegable staff.

FRIENDS BOOKSHOP for recycling books

Friends of the Library Book Shop provides a wonderful service to the community in making a wide range of books available. The income from the sale of recycled books funds many important programs and activities at the Library.

Function is priority No. 1.

go back to the smaller fines. we didn't steal the money from the library, but we have all been paying for one man's error in judgement!


Greater number of check-out personnel and/or self-check stations.

Guides with recommended books, or a "if you like this, you might like..." guide, either online or in paper or by the greeting desk, would be helpful and pleasant. Perhaps focus groups could be put together to create these lists or update them a couple of times a year so that someone isn't completely reliant on the library workers, who may not have any suggestions.

have a lot of books and easy access to stacks.

Have library open weekends and evenings as much as possible (though that's not really an architectural issues). Make sure to dedicate funds to the collection, not just the building and amenitieis.

have more dvd's available to check out

Having a headquarters for local historical groups or department.Detail more than the Um's contibutions to our city. Get right down to the local address of our library abd find out what or who occupied the space in the past, it would be a great project for a library intern and add some in depth local history to our community.

How about a bookshop or media shop

I am also sensitive to those who want quiet study areas and, while perhaps some people like to eat a meal and buy flowers, those things are not very important to me whatsoever from a library, although green space would be a nice idea.

I am disappointed you did not even ask about reference desk areas and actual help for library users, whichever of the areas they are using. Also copiers or scanners are or would be important when I have to go to use the library seeking specific information or material. I would be nice to be able to scan material and put it on a flash drive ( acquired there or brought in) or email it to myself or others.

I am finding it increasingly difficult to find books on specific topics. While it would seem to be easier with the on-line access to the catalog, there are always lots of books listed in my searches, but it seems the majority are not available. Is this because the catalog is giving more information than it used to? I liked it best when the library first had a computerized catalog.

I am willing to give up decoration and social amenities in order to have maximum functionality of the basic library services. If funding was no issue, then making the library a community gathering place would be a great idea.

I answered this survey previously but neglected to mention that space must be preserved for the Friends of the Library book sale. This is an important service both for the A2 community and the library. I don't want to see them shortchanged due to previous controversy and the seeming antagonism of the library's Board and Director.

I believe that the downtown Library should be a place where you can study, learn, or be able to socialize with friends.

I don't know everything about the library's many programs for kids and adults, however I'm aware of computer gaming being apparently somewhat popular. Is there any way to integrate music learning/composition/practice and multimedia creation into the library's offerings? Is this outside the purview of a library, or is the institution becoming a multimedia learning source, less dedicated to books and emphasizing all formats of learning/entertainment. Sorry for the inept sentences, but I think what I mean is clear enough...

I don't know why some of the changes on this questionaire are needed. We have a wonderful children's space in the existing library as well as a vibrant teen's space. In my mind, the library should be seen in relationship to downtown eating, meeting and gallery spaces, not necessarily trying to replicate these in this facility. I'm more concerned about the numbers of books and other resources available when I try to find them. I have much less of a problem with the size and other features as described in this survey. Let's be realistic about how the library complements what else is already downtown.

I enjoyed the weekly book sale in the lower level. It would be good to include it or expand it in the new facility.

I favor sponsorship of literacy assistance and writers' groups/classes for aspiring writers of various ages.

I have a lot of confidence in you all to make great decisions on this. The new branches are great. Ample bike parking is very important. wifi everywhere. lots of places to display art throughout building. large digital displays for art (maybe patrons could submit digital images via web and the faves could be displayed on the walls digitally). How about a music studio for jamming and instruments to check out? If I could schedule a room with a drumset in it, that would be sweet. Regarding public green space, it would be neat if the greenspace were a through-way. So, even if I'm not going to the library I might pass through because the shortest (and nicest) route is right through the library.

"I have loved libraries since I was a kid and discovered I could go there and study and read whatever I wanted. They had big, beat-up tables and hard straight backed chairs. The only art they had were pictures of the president, the governor and the mayor. Now you want to put in a cafe' and gift store? How about an exercise room and a spa;an arts and crafts center with easels and kilns? maybe an ATM or bank loan office? maybe we could have one of the hospitals open a little out-patient clinic and offer screening for STDs. Give me a break you guys. Be a really, really good library with lots of books and reference materials. Don't try to be Boarders or Starbucks; we already have those and they are within walking distance. I am willing to have my tax dollars used to expand and improve the library but it sounds like you guys are planning a supersized Boarders and are now trying to get the community to pay for it. "

I like the pickup lockers they have at Mallet's Creek. Even better would be a way to arrange to use them online instead of having to call someone.

I love the Friends' book sale. I consider it a wonderful feature of the downtown branch.

I love the multi-cultural offerings of all media from all over the world, and the multi-languages on some of the signage. To me this is the core of the library, and the greatest privilege. But I also do think it's OK to keep infrastructure-type appurtenances American; for instance, I don't think I necessarily need to "collect" my receipt (British?), rather than simply "take" it! When I see details like that on the basic services, I feel a sense of coercion or disdain, rather than opportunity.

I loved it when the artists demonstrated their working procedures out in the courtyard----could there be a space that is available for "messier" demonstrations like cooking, ceramics, and poi (indonesian spinning balls)? Children's area could use some hard floors for art projects, too.

I personally feel that the present library building is adequate, but there's always room for improvement. I do hope that the Friends of the Library will be able to maintain their bookshop in something resembling its present form. I have been a regular patron of the shop for over 15 years as a community member and I hope that it will continue to function as it has so well for so long.

I really like the self-check-out stations, as well as the ability to request books online and then pick them up myself from the carts out front. I can't think of any improvements, but I'd like to thank all the really helpful and pleasant librarians and library workers I've spoke with (especially the ones who helped me find my personal software that I accidentally put in the return slot!).

I think a dedicated audio/visual collection room should be considered. One area (enclosed) that housed all of this material for patron browsing.


I think I understand the impulse to add the store & cafe to raise revenue, but I do not think they are anywhere near as important as the public access to all materials and resources including computers. We already have plenty of performance space in A2--not sure how the mission of the library is consonant with that. I'm sure it is someone's pet project, but really, c'mon.

I think money should be reserved to allow access to people who live outside the district.

I think people have certain expectations that a library will be relatively quiet, have an eclectic variety of books, and so on, so I'm not certain that making the library look more like a bookstore would make it more attractive. People who want to spend time in a Borders-type environment can do that a few blocks over at Borders. An attractive library for me would not look like a bookstore but be a public space for reading and studying (rather than perusing and buying), so good lighting and especially natural lighting would be very appealing. What makes a library different from a bookstore is that the library is not trying to sell something to the patron at every turn: there's no attempt at a library to part the patron from his money. It makes for a different atmosphere, and a more comfortable one. I think people also would expect to do a bit of their own research to find a book (such as looking on the computer or asking at the reference desk), so larger signage like at a bookstore may not be necessary.

i think public art is a great idea to integrate into the downtown library. a small focused gallery would be a fine addition to any place of learning and involvement.

i think that a download station in the library would be nice, if you could check out audiobooks right there and be able to directly put it to your ipod all in the same place.

"I think the library is fine as of right now, but the Cafe and download stations would be nice."

I think you need a "whump" machine similar to what is in the Pittsfield Branch right now. For that matter, why don't you remove the machine from the Pittsfield Branch and put it in the main branch. It wouldn't be bad if people would use it occasionally, but it certainly is irritating when parents allow their children to play it for 10 minutes straight while they are looking for other library materials or using a computer. And this happens almost every time I'm in the Pittsfield Branch (whether looking for library materials or using a computer) - - and it is irritating either way.

I very much appreciate the option of online renewal and reserve.

I want fast and easy access to check out library materials. I do not use the library for browsing.

I would emulate a Borders or Barnes and Noble layout in terms of where to find books and how they are organized, per topic, not necessarily per number... Popular sections, such as mystery, romance, chick-lit, need to be broken away from "literature". Right now, many new and interesting books are hidden away in aisles on the top two floors. All books on the first floor would be preferred.

I would like to see the Bookstore services incorporated into a gift shop and staffed daily. There may not be enough space to move the entire collection into a daily shop nor staffing enough but at least a larger number of books and music available.

I would like to see the library as more of an integral public presence at book events, fairs and social events.

I would love to see low-cost art classes offered.

I'd like to see self-serve check out for reduced staffing costs.

I'd rather the library have longer hours than some of the other structural improvements mentioned here.

Identify professional librarians as resource help by badges. Clerks and librarians should be designated appropriately. Customer service should be stresses for all employees.

If there was some kind of way to expand hours just to pick up holds in the morning (say, on the way to work), that would be excellent.

important to incorporate the Library Bookshop

Improved Friends of Library Shop

Include numerous self-check out areas. Include self-serve area for reserved pick-ups. Also, would be great to have a drive-by drop off area similar to Pittsfield. Lastly, if underground parking is done, consider law library model which lets natural light in - if a parking structure is involved, lighting is critical for my comfort.

Individual private study rooms

integrate paperbacks with regular collections (one-stop shelf check for a particular author or title);

Integrate the "gallery" concept. Rather than providing a separate room (hiding the art or having users go to a separate room), provide eye-catching displays in the entry or other spaces. Also, adequate staffing. If the materials cannot be re-shelved (eg. dvd area now), library functionality is lost. This is less welcoming and deters use.

Integrating ann arbor culture into library spaces!

It is very inconvenient to have to renew my library card all the time. I have lived in Ann Arbor 30 years and don't plan to leave.

It may be most attractive to the public to have the express computers on the 1st floor, including more library research stations.

It would be nice if the CD's and DVD's weren't so noisy to look at (plastic cases banging) or were housed someplace that kept the noise down.

Keep self-check out stations.

Keep the book sales on Sat and Sun.

keep the computer classes. very important. current instructor is very good.

KEEP THE FAADL BOOK SHOP!!!!! It's where I stock up on summer reading, catch up with older books of authors I've just found and recycle books I've finished so they can be sold again. It's a wonderful resource.

Keep the Friends book store.

Keep the library book sale on site and convenient. I beleive the library may need renovation and/or expansion, but I don't believe we need a new library, unless that is a less espensive alternative.

Keep up and even expand the used book sales - this brings lots of people to the library and is excellent PR!

Keeping it a library, not a corporate hellhole. If I see any Starbucks logos, Coke machines, Pfizer logos, etc. in a community/public space, I will be very displeased.

Later hours

Less music CDs would be fine with me, but perhaps other patrons like them. I'd enjoy more video/DVD to check out instead. Also, I do enjoy *books* on CD for travel times.

Libraries should serve an important part of any community. Not everyone has access to a computer or to quiet study space. People who would otherwise be "shut ins" because of age or disability have a place that is free, friendly, safe and accessible for them to go to. The librarians provide assistance that is invaluable in helping anyone figure out how to go about researching a project or finding a book they might enjoy. Branch libraries provide each neighborhood a with a hub where people can gather as a community, something which is becoming rarer these days. The "Main" library provides a focal point for all those hubs. It can and should be a community center. We need publicly funded venues in which to meet, show art, performances and provide knowledge that might not get disseminated in a commercial venue.People who would otherwise be "shut ins" because of age or disability have a place that is free, friendly, safe and accessable for them to go to. The librarians provide assistance that is invaluable in helping anyone figure out how to go about researching a project or finding a book they might enjoy. Branch libraries provide each neighborhood a with a hub where people can gather as a community, something which is becoming rarer these days. The "Main" library provides a focal point for all those hubs. It can and should be a community center. We need publicly funded venues in which to meet, show art, performances and provide knowledge that might not get diseminated in a commercial venue.

Library open later (longer hours) especially on weekends

Library tours/explanations of collections;

listening stations for perusing CDs;

Local Art and History all vey important, which were covered here.

longer hours especially on weekends, it should open at least 8 o'clock not after 9

Lower fines,

Maintain a used bookstore. It seems to fit the mission better than a coffe shop.

Maintain space for the Bookshop.

Maintaining access and services for low income patrons. Finding and enhancing ways to integrate library in daily / weekly activities of Ann Arbor residents (like meeting space, concerts, etc.)

Make AADL into a place where the community will like to come and feel comfortable. A place where we can spend hours and not get bored!

Make this a welcoming atmosphere for all users. Illiteracy and functional illiteracy should be one of the main focal areas for a library. Although Ann Arbor isn't as low as Detroit, we probably have more ESL learners than other communities. Please have an area that makes these learners feel welcome.

making sure librarians are friendly and welcoming, and that there are enough librarians around to answer questions.

More books set aside for pay rental

more chaperones for public computer/internet area

More check-out personnel and/or the electronic self-check-out stations the branch libraries have

More check-out stations open at busy hours.

more classes

more classes taught by people of the community hosted by the library

More displays of the AADL's community work--do you do local reading programs at area school and is the bookmobile still going? More of a presence of those items and event photos. Then you could also have volunteer aplications next to it...Just show how the library is dynamic and IN the community rather than just a place people go to.

More self check out stations.

more self check-out stations

more self-service check out stations (with user friendly technology)

More signage in reference section for types of information. Is the space devoted for a large sampling of magazines and newspapers most effective use of space? I don't happen to use so many of these. Could other library resources which are well ;used by the public be expanded in some of this area? The librarians are wonderful with the public, the assistance they give. Give them all a raise.

More staff

More stations for self check-out

More TV's with DVD/VHS to watch the library's media on

More visible and accessible used book shop. Fewer restrictions on how many books can be contributed. Allow children and less affluent citizens to buy books for themselves.

more/different and additional computer classes and teacher

My library use is almost completely an on-line experience. I search the catalog from home and reserve items to be picked up at the library. Enhancing this experience (ten minute parking spaces, easy access to reserved items and checkout (Mallets does this well) and a good web site) are all important to me.

Need for a real book exchange/magazine area

New microfilm machines with working printers! Public computers in a separate space from big library.

No, but the media downloads are not important at all.

Offering a Reading program for all ages.

One of the best features/services of our public library are the community lectures; they are some of the only non-university community venues in this city. Parking and auditorium space to serve these should be important considerations.

Opportunity for patrons to request the libary buy films ( especially) and books Patrons could put in requests and then periodically patrons could vote for the films/books they wanted

Other misc., (i.e. computers) I have high-speed access at home, and unless you're going to move to linux and open source, you're just supporting the Evil Empire---but if you switched to teaching the open source stuff, I think that'd be great. Personally, those mac mouse buttons on the catalog computers drive me *NUTS*---where's my middle mouse button?

Over the years, it seems that libraries have become architectural contests rather than places to read, study, and find resources. I think we should return to its original purpose. It's also a less expensive way to go.

Participation in a writer's group was one of the highlights of my year.

Patron Reserved Items NOT accessible to the public, but behind a counter.

Planning for the future of media delivery.

Please be sure that there are still lots of friendly librarians around to help in the new library as there are in the "old"

Please do not include one of those vacuum "tubes" like the one in the middle of the new Pittsfield branch. It is very annoying for those trying to read or look for books nearby.

Please keep the Friends Bookshop. It is a needed part of library.

Please keep the friends of the library book sale active.

Please keep the personal aspects of the library alive. I still like a live person checking out my books - this is a community resource so lets keep the relational aspect of library alive!

Please keep the used bookstore....much more important than selling flowers!

Please make it possible to check out my own items like I am able to do at the Pittsfield branch.

Please make sure you keep the Library Book Shop run by the Friends of the AADL. It is an absolutely marvelous resource, both for buyers and for book donors.

Please retain the Friends Bookstore/used book program. It is a vital resource for the community in many ways.

put a book suggestion box somewhere in the library

Quick access to reserved materials.

Quicker MeL delivery. More technical books

Recommendations on especially valuable books and DVD's.

Reference desk

Replace old microfilm readers with top-of-the-line readers.

Retain space for Friends of the Library Book Sale: an important resource for the public AND the library.

Retaining the Friends Bookshop which is a great community service and raises a significant amount of money for the library.

Room for information on Community Events as well as for magazine and other community exchanges.

Self check outs or adequately staffed check outs

Self Checkout Areas

several self-checkout areas

Several years ago I attended a Murder at the Library. I enjoyed this activity but I haven't seen or heard of it since. Can we bring that back?

Small group study rooms that could be reserved in advance would be great. I work from home and sometimes during school breaks the sitter stays with the kids and I need a quiet place I can work with my computer - study rooms are great. Even better if they could lock if I needed to use the restroom or get books off the shelf, so I wouldn't have to pack my computer up each time I left the room for a few minutes.

Some of the questions depend on decisions to be made, e.g., after hrs access depends on what the hours are/will be. Or gift shop -- flowers? newspapers? don't seem relevant. But used books or library tote bags as a fund raiser do.... Re color and textures, or "face out" shelving -- depend on the accessibility of someone to ask questions of, or signage. If color/texture help people find what they need, then not so necessary, but if the signage isn't so clear, then other elements can help.


sounds like a really interesting and exciting expansion opportunity! My suggestions: making it easy to check out books (not that it isn't, but it's important); easy interlibrary loan process; please don't get rid of any of the branches - I love having one in the Westland mall Jackson/Maple area; replace the Philmore's Atlas of Parishes (England) - extremely important genealogical research tool that appears to have gone missine - I expect an enthusiastic researcher decided to appropriate it...; if the new parking is going to be for pay, the ability to have the parking ticket validated for money off or free if parking for library access;

Space for continuing the excellent book shop, a popular public service

Space, preferably on the first floor, for the Friends bookshop. This is a high priority for me and the many devoted bookshop fans.

storytellers, guest authors, students sharing their writing

Support the Friends of the Library book sale. Not only is it a valued A2 tradition, but studies have shown that adult literacy levels are intimately linked to possessing, not simply borrowing, books. By providing affordable access to books for both adults and children, this sale helps people of all socio-economic situations connect with literature in an extremely personal way.

Support the Friends of the Library bookshop!

The consideration for more efficient checking out,

The Friends of the Library Book Shop should be integrated into the downtown library space.

The Friends of the Library Books Sale is the reason I generally choose to go to the Downtown Library rather than a branch. Please continue this practice. I also donate books for this sale. Please make drop off access for this process convenient

The Friends of the Library Bookshop must be included.

the information about new books and authors and stand with some opinions of librarian's stuff about this novelties

The library needs to remain accessible and useful even to Ann Arbor's non-yuppie citizens, ranging from UM students, to high schoolers, to homeless and unemployed people who are legitimately looking to use it services. I would recommend against anything that makes the library more car-centric at the cost of easy, safe pedestrian access, or that adds art and performance space at the cost of basic reference services and internet access.

The only change I would like to see involves undoing one of your recent changes - more circulation clerks are needed. Self-check machines can't issue or renew cards, and many items don't scan on them.

The survey address library access and appropriateness for persons of all ages;equally important is accessibility for persons of all abilities. This access must encompass all library programs, products, services and technologies in addition to the physical premises. Wireless internet access would make the libary and attractive to and usable by a broad cross-section of users.

The used book shop is a great community service...I very much hope that it will continue in the downtown branch

The used book store could use a little more space and better signage. I also feel that the CD and DVD sections need better storage systems and clearer organization.

There should not be television shown in areas which can't be avoided by anyone not wishing to see it. I like the local weather and community events calendar currently displayed on the television screens near the main checkout desk. It's information relevent to all, without commercials or sensationalism.

There's a demand for book club reading kits provided by the library. A kit with 10 copies of books with questions to follow would be greatly appreciated.

To reiterate: downtown has enough cafes, gift shops, and meeting room space.

Topic/author related browser boxes to intro to new authors, topics

try not to remove all personal contact, such as a check out desk with real people, familiar faces - one used to get to know the folks at the check out desk and enjoy the contact with them - replacing them with machines just doesn't cut it.

TV zone where people can watch dvds.

used book sale is very important

Used book store

Very, very important - The AADL is mightily in need of enhanced microfilm/microfiche readers and printers. The system the AADL has currently is cumbersome and inefficient. Please consider going back to the system whereby the user could print off a copy of the page he/she was reading at his/her station. Sending all copying to one machine or to the librarians station is highly inefficient. I spent ten hours one day at the AADL printing off genealogical materials, sending them to the librarian's desk where they were allegedly "being saved" only to find out midway thorough the project that they had disappeared and could not be recovered. IF YOU DO NOTHING ELSE, PLEASE ADDRESS THIS HORRIFIC PROBLEM!!! Thank you.

Video Room for History / cultural/Parenting with weekly agenda. Baby space for the public. Some Garden area behind the library with the cafe located so that they read in nature quality

What I would like would be a better flow of items coming and going from the library (check-ins).

When one is searching for an item, and you enter the title, subject or author in the rectangular box, I think the technicians should get together with the google people and create a program that corrects someone's wrong spelling. For ex. if one type's something into the little google box and the spelling is incorrect, the google program will come up and read,"Do you mean.......?" I think people are turned off in using the library when the library expects all patrons to have the correct spelling and wording.

Where do the Friends fit into this gift shop? Used books sales are an important asset to the the library and the community.

While I do appreciate the extensive DVD and CD collections, it is sad to experience so many of them scratched or damaged. Perhaps add drop-off locations for damaged discs or make it clearer that they can be repaired in many cases, so people will not hesitate to report them.

While I understand the need to compete with places like Borders, brighter colors, cafe, better seating etc. Also remember your core strengths: excellent customer service and free check out of materials. Make that process easier and the people that want to check out books rather than buy them will come to you. Also I love your online catalog, databases, and patron records!

Widen the convenience of interlibrary loans of hard to get DVDs, music CDs, or books on CD or by download.

With the self-check out stations, there seems to be less opportunity to talk to staff and get book recommmendations--please make sure there is staff available in obvious locations, not only automation.

Would appreciate a better organized DVD/CD collection

Would enjoy seeing more of the "if you enjoy (author's name), then try reading this format in library, plus sections of popular/interesting nonfiction & fiction designated as a separate area from the usual alphabetical areas.

Would like references to art displays so people can learn more about it. Have rotating local displays of art & literature likr from schools and other community groups.

Yes, I think it's important to consider that a lot of patrons during the work day may be lower income or unemployed, and it would be great to offer services considering their needs. For example, a printer, scanner, and fax machine for

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Miscellaneous (286 responses)

I haven't used the Downtown Library in many years. I use my computer and pick up books from branch locations. I looked at the pics on the linked webpage: this is not Beverly Hills, CA, nor Chicago, not even Grand's too much for a city the size of AA, given there are so many branch locations.

" public transportation to the library"

A cell phone policy - too much yaking going on that infringes on users - maybe provide a cell phone room?

A completely new design would be way better than a renovation if the costs can be met.

A continued community voice and participation in ongoing plans for renovation and redesign. Also asking businesses to make donations and suggestions and participate.

A vibrant downtown library is essential for a community like Ann Arbor.

ABOVE ALL Libraries should always have Public Transportation support and access.

Actually, the library already works well for me, cuz I'm a cyclist---my biggest problem is not getting hit by impatient drivers going in or coming out of the lot! So I'm not exactly thrilled about the idea of *more* drivers. (I do have a car, brand new in fact, but I have a personal goal not to drive it to library.)

All employees must learn to deal with the public politely and with respect.

Almost everything has been covered

alot of inter connectivity

Another problem I see is that the branch libraries are small and don't offer adequate services and resources. Westgate, which has a lot of users, is a good example. The state-of-the-art focus here seems to be on the downtown library, which is unfortunate. I would suggest that you think about building a state-of-the-art library in the Westgate area. It would be great for parking and would relieve some congestion downtown.

As always friendly,welcoming employees make the difference in having a good library experience.

As long as they don't wreck anything else in downtown or reduce the number of books, I'm O.K. with it.

Assuring continued available access for all patrons to the Downtown Library and its materials during renovation.

At this time, I just use Pittsfield Twp library - it is close to my home, and I can order whatever I want and have it brought to that library. I don't see an updated library changing that.

Attitude adjustment would be really nice

Automobile traffic should not pass in front of library entrances. Automobile access should be limited to parking lot entrances.

Back up generators.

ban cell phone use to dedicated areas!!!!

Before any plans begin, I think that the community needs to accept the fact that the purpose of a library has changed a great deal since the last major renovation (~1990?). I think that there needs to be broad community agreement as to what the mission of the Library should be and that should guide what (if any) renovations are performed. Also, funds raised to support any proposed renovation should come from voluntary sources (contributions, fundraising activities) as opposed to a millage charged across the board to all residents. It would not be fair for each resident to pay equally for the new Library since there is a wide disparity in usage amongst the residents.

bus routes to and from the library having own brochures with schedule and maps

Can't think of anything.

cell phone usage. it happens too much, too often, too loud. any way to have separate cell phone zone? or have it only happen in the lobby?

Community Input/involvement.

Consider the model of the Seattle Public Library

Construction in a library setting is extremely frustrating and often ruins the library experience because of the noise and environment.

Convenience would make me visit that branch more often, with my kids.

disallow cell phone use

Discourage, somehow, vehicles that stop on Fifth Ave to drop off/pick up people.

Don't move the library from the space it's in now!

Don't need a larger library as the new satellite libraries and internet connection are used by many former patrons of the downtown library

"Dont over emphaise the importance of the down town library in comparison with the local branches. Their upgrading is one of the most significant steps you have taken in recent years. Almost all of the things that I borrow are requested on your web site and picked up locally where more parking is needed. We use the current lot quite often but generally not to go to the library"

Don't take too long. We like the Downtown library! :)

Don't tear down any of the old building - it works great - build around and over it!

Don't try to be just like Border's--you're better than they are.

Durability in design; think about the long-term use; don't give up on books:)

existing building could be preserved, expanded

existing structure is nice and could be modified if budget not available for totally new construction

Fire the director of the library - she is a liar.

For something as extensive that is being planned, why has a design firm already been selected? Shouldn't this be a design competition so see who can provide the best solution? What is being described in this survey is a civic center as much as it is a library, and picking an architect ahead of time is not the way to see this vision through.

Forgo the visions of grandeur. This is the Ann Arbor Public Library, not a Temple at Mecca. Recent branches seem to be entries in an architectural competition.

Form follows function. Look at how things will be used, if they will be used, not just if it would be cool to have. E.g., adequate program space is crucial, but not necessarily if the youth program space is "immediately adjacent." A concierge to greet people? How about adequate staff on EACH FLOOR to answer questions? Face out "like Borders"? How about thinking whether patrons can browse better through interesting theme-based, changing displays? Face-out works, but you don't need it all the time or everywhere. Living room furniture? Not for ambience per se, but so that those who want to sit together can do so (kids/guardians, kids/kids, bunch of teens). And try it out before purchasing - some of the seating choices at Pittsfield were really uncomfortable! Color & texture: be careful not to fall for the mismatched busy-ness that seems to pervade many library designs. A consistent scheme throughout the library would be much more cohesive.

From the questions it seems that you are doing a good job imagining the multiple functions that libraries serve these days. It isn't all about books, but I doesn't need to be a cafe/ museum, either.

Good, solid living wages for all AADL employees. The people in the space make the space work.

Great survey--you covered most everything!! Thank you!

Have teachers been consulted? Librarians from other libraries? These folks may see something that us lay folks would never think of.

Honor the library staff. Communicate the expertise of library staff through building design and layout. (I don't work for the library, I swear!)

How about improving the West Library Branch? we've seen many other new buildings open but yet the West branch is crammed into a small space in Westgate;

How visitors will be inconvenienced during renovations and how to keep the library accessible and comfortable during the changes.

I almost never use the Downtown Library. I use the northeast branch exclusively and find it convenient and the personnel pleasant and knowledgeable. Also parking is never a problem and is free. Also using the libraries web site is a great plus.

I am anxious to see the changes that are forthcoming. As a former English teacher, I love libraries and books, so this is exciting!

I am pleased with the desire for public input and the aspect that a new or remodeled library be a 'leader' in a number of categories and not be a museum.

I avoid the downtown library as much as possible because I'm not normally downtown (so it requires a special trip) and parking is sometimes difficult. I much prefer my local branch. That being said, a good main library is still important for those living/working downtown.

I believe that the Detroit Public Library is the best library in the area. Some aspects I enjoy about their library is that they have plenty of space for their computer rooms, which enables more privacy for computer users. They also have a tremdous career service center which I believe would greatly benefit Ann Arbor residence.

I believe the new Downtown Library should be a place that people want to come to, consider it first when thinking of a venue to meet and ENJOY being there. Everyone in no one out, all welcome should be the banner the library waves!!

I can't think of anything, but I guess this is a chance to say I feel lucky to have this (already) great library in my town :)

I can't think of anything. You already offer more things to the public than I would expect a library to do so I worry about adding to the burden of the employees to take on more responsibilities.

I do not like this skewed survey where three of four options are labeled to varying degrees of "important". Asking about "features" and "enhancements" leads to skewed results. What if I think I think the public performance spaces are important but adequate as they are? I feel as if I say "important" then the implication is that I think this needs to be a future enhancement. My sense is that my answers on this survey can be used to bolster existing hopes, plans, or goals even if it's not my intention for my answers to be interpreted in such a way.

I don't necessarily thi nk the library has to be freestanding, especially if a convention center requires the property.

I don't support the plan. We should keep costs low and spend the limited amount of funds we have on materials. The contents of a library are more important than the building itself.

I dont think money should be spent on unnecessary additions and changes that would only "doll up" the library. I've lived in Ann Arbor for 13 years and I've always loved the way the libraries were simple and clean. Maybe it's just me but I would rather not the library be turned into another Starbucks Cafe type setting. Maybe that would be a way for the library to increase revenue so to provide better service but still a part of me likes things the way they are.

I feel daunted by libraries bigger than downtown. If bigger, I would use branches exclusively.

i find the downtown library to be hard to park and difficult to manage due to a lack of signage. anything opposite of that would be an improvement. A Dunkin Donuts would be nice....

I generally visit the Mallet Creek Branch and I think it is very nice, and easy to use. I occasionally visit the downtown branch for book discussions (would like to see more).

I have been a patron of the AADL since the early 70s and have always appreciated the location and site resources as they have developed. I hope that modernizing won't make it too trendy.

I have completed this survey but I use the outlying libraries more often (oak Valley and Malletts) due to easy access and near my home.

I have strong feelings about the welcoming (or not so welcoming) aspects of the library. I have rarely found the AA lib welcoming, find Pittsfield even MORE hostile and cold an environment. Only the West Side branch - including the desk people's attitude -- seems (to me) welcoming, helpful, glad to have patrons. And that is about to be torn down???

I like the idea of an updated library- both in technology but most-of-all in appearance and function. The library really lacks aesthetic appeal and it keeps me from wanting to spend a lot of time there, relaxing, and reading for an afternoon. I said "I Agree" to the comment "A renovated or new Downtown Library is needed" and NOT "I strongly agree" because I think there are other things the city needs more... (but I understand money allocation in the city means the library may have money set aside to use for themselves. And if that is the case, I think the most important step for the LIBRARY to take IS to update.)

I like the location. Unfortunately, because of the location, there can sometimes be too much traffic and noise in the library. I don't know if a noise ordinance would be applicable here, but it's worth considering.

i love the seattle library streaming display of checkouts

I moved to Ann Arbor from Ypsi Township, whose new library is beautiful... I used to spend lots of time there. I was disappointed with the A2 library... lots of DVDs of TV shows prominently displayed on the main level, not books! I also had to listen to a very loud cell phone conversation in the periodical stacks, which eventually drove me out. I'm glad to hear it's being renovated. I'm planning on going back to Ypsi when I want to go to the library!

I own a business in downtown and feel that the main branch of the library is one of the most important service's in the downtown and look forward to seeing the new design become a reality someday soon.

I primarily use Mallett's Creek branch, so primary Downtown users' opinions should weigh more.

I started using the Scio Branch since it opened and love it--it takes the downtown parking challenge out of the equation and the design is lovely.

I support adding to the existing library over demolishing and rebuilding. It seems like a wasteful and un-green way to carry out the project, especially since it seems like the current library was just renovated!

I think a large amount of the funding should be diverted to pay for an enlargement and improvement of the West Ann Arbor Branch Library. Its collection is inadequate. It is cramped and often stinks because of lack of adequate ventilation in the public rest rooms. Before you do any work to the Downtown Library, the least you could do is put in some exhaust fans in the West Branch.I'd much rather see an improvement in the West Branch, at least exhaust fans.

I think everything I had been thinking about was covered quite adequately

I think it is important to preserve the Alden Dow building and that retrofitting it should be the greenest way to do this. If a new library is constructed, the old one should have another use and not be demolished. Demolition sends the wrong message about how we take care of our environment for the future. The Dow Building should be restored and continue to be used by the City for some public purpose.

I think it would be valuable to incorporate all of the library's most important and appealing features into a cohesive unit or theme to facilitate a strong marketing campaign. In other words, what's our spin and how are we going to spin it?

I think it's vital that the downtown branch stay at its present location! It is invaluable to me that I pass by the library almost daily as a pedestrian, particularly in relation to using the AATA bus service.

I think our library should reflect Ann Arbor's standing as a city with one of the highest per capita spending on books in the country. Clearly, we read! I am also a huge fan of the DVD circulation. The downtown site is an important bridge between Main and State and it would be nice if it were more interesting than a 50s building next to a parking lot.

I think that as much of the existing building should be used as possible. I would not support the construction of a new building.

I think that it is confusing having questions related to change, such as something should be 'more' or 'increased' when asking for ranking of importance. It seems to me that this unnecessarily confuses the issue and may lead to unstable or erroneous survey results. For example, a person may feel that something is very important but the current library does it very well. When asked if the library should do more of that activity, the answer then should be 'not important' because the real question is about CHANGE, not the current situation. See what I mean?

I think the existing Downtown library is very functional. Renovation and redesign will be good if we can afford, but not urgent. I don't like the recent change in the circulation area. I like the way it was with more open area and interaction with library staff. Right now it looks messy with self-pick hold items in the middle.

I think the library could of expanded to the old Ymca, instead of it being demolished

I think the survey is well-constructed and addresses my concerns. Many thanks!

I think there should be no talking at the computers between patrons at the computers and no visitors to the computers by friends and relatives to chat about whatever. For instance at the main I heard a person walk up to a computer user and start a discussion about grocery shopping and what they were going to be doing later in the day, restaurant plans and the like.

I think you have to be a resident to fill out this survey! we pay the taxes. How about a new location for West Branch instead of being shoved in the corner and hard to park. I feel our library system is a great asset to our community.

I use AADL.Org for most of my library use.

I use the AADL regularly and have only once not been able to enter and that was during construction where several spaces were blocked off.

I use the Pittsfield branch 2-3 times per week. Rarely come to the Main Library.

I use the Westside Branch most often and order materials on line, but if the kinds of changes being suggested were to come into being I'd use the downtown library more often.

I used the Ypsilanti library for a while and my grandchildren go regularly. It is set up very well.

I would have preferred that the following question regarding renovation /new be split. I prefer renovation.

I would like it to be easier to get to so we can it enjoy it.

If the area is all messed up from reconstruction - and if these improvements could been done sooner than later as to not disturb the natural flow of library use for too long. However, I personally use the SE Ann Arbor location.

if the structural of outdoor or indoor features look same as the one at Oak library (southwest area near Target) or better not like Mallet library

If you have to hire new employees, please hire ones that are polite to citizens. I usually get mediocre or good service at the West Branch but consistantly get horribly rude service at the Downtown Library.

If you're taught to LOVE your library as a child/teen you'll learn to LOVE education which leads to a better society and economy overall.

I'm in favor of renovation not building a new space

I'm not sure we need a totally new Library. The library suits my needs now. I think surface parking, especially for those of us who use the library mainly to pick up reserved items is crucial. I will not park in a structure to do that. There has always been plenty of parking for library users that I can see. If you do renovate, please leave room for the friend's book sale and the magazine exchange rack. Also, I think the most wonderful part of our library has been the librarians. They are the most responsive, helpful, knowledable people in Ann Arbor! Thanks to their wonderful attitudes. Please consider their needs in any design considerations.

I'm thrilled the library will stay downtown. I bus into town. I use it 3-5 days a week. Please keep surface places to park to quickly drop off/pick up books (10 min. spots). Maximize the number of books rather than having space for food or furniture. Encourage foot traffic to keep library safe.

In 2 places in the survey that follows you have misspeled the word accommodation--very disturbing; one would have hoped that librarians would know better!

In question 2, what is a "face out?"

In these days when reading is declining due to invasion by interactive mass media, the above said renovations are important to build interest especially in the younger age groups. Convenience and attraction both go hand in hand towards that goal

Inclusion of diverse group of people at some point in planning, i.e. the real users like economically disadvantaged, teens, children, elders, mentally ill.

interruption of library service this need s to be continuous look what happened to the Y

Is downtown the best place? How many college students use it? If a small percentage use it then there may be a better location.

It just doesn't seem like a serious library with all the noise...the kids are o.k....I meant adults.

It seems that all elements have been considered.

it should stay where it is now

It sounds like you are going into this very open minded and have some terrific ideas!

I've really enjoyed Salt Lake City's library. Perhaps there are things to be learned from what they achieved.

Just keep it downtown I walk there and use the web to order books..... those are my priorities

Keep downtown location for benefit of downtown itself & to encourage pedestrian traffic.

Keep in mind that everyone in ann arbor is different and therefore the design should try not to be overly accomodating to any group. I would say to keep it simple and don't be too moved by complaints!:)

Keep it downtown and close to AATA terminal.

Keep it downtown and pedestrian oriented

Keep it downtown. It is a destination that we turn into an afternoon event (i.e. lunch, bead shopping, etc.). Branches, we I use frequently, are for errands. Convention Ctrs, hotels, and courthouses should rim the downtown area. They do not serve the residents. They serve visitors (and their dollars), which by the way they won't spend at Jerusalem Gardens or Herbs Davids. They want recognizable franchises or upscale eateries. So goes our library--so goes our town's Mom & Pops. I could easily make my 1x every 3wk visit to downtown weekly, if our homeschooling group could have book group at the libary or an art class (our own instructor). AATA should have a direct to Downtown Library line from schools. It would really be terrific of music teachers could use library space lessons (parking would be gratis for the teachers). Think of all the carbon/petro saved!

Keep it on the existing foorprint. Let enhancements be in branch libraries.

Keep it simple yet functional!!

Keep it simple, not opulent!

Keep it simple.

Keep it up to date, but simple. No Need to compete with coffee shops, etc.

keep personal agendas of the Library Board at bay to let the best intrest of the taxpayer prevail

Keep present location.

Keep the library at 5th and William.

Keep the library downtown.

Keep the library open while renovations are happening.

Keep up with the latest innovations that other libraries are doing such as in Ohio and other States.

keep up your communication

Keeping it downtown

Keeping the library centrally located in AA which you say you plan to do.. That is number one.

Keeping the library open and usable as much as possible during this process.

Keeping the location close to downtown and bus is very important (I am a teacher and bring students; consider nondrivers as well).

leaders are readers

Least amount of disruption to current users as possible during the renovation/building re-design.

LEAVE THE DOWNTOWN AREA! I try to avoid the Downtown library because of the vagrants! A few vocal people like the library downtown, but I DO NOT THING THEY SPEAK FOR THE MAJORITY. There are references books I would like to access but don't, because I do not like playing "parking poker" and being accosted by vagrants. I support funding for more digital downloads, not a new building!!!!!!!

Maintaining a downtown presence is very important as transportation to outlying areas is expensive and not convenient for those living without personal transportation.

make 5th ave on the library block - one lane

Make sure the librarians' concerns are addressed in the planning, as well.

Make sure there will be plenty of people to help. Also a seperate place where adults can sit without children bothering them.

Might any new library facility be incorporated into a multiuse project involving the propery across the street or new construction of a court or other publicly needed facility in the central area ?

More publicity for the libraries regular and irregular events.

My main concern is that we have a good Downtown Library. When I saw all the new libraries being built outside of Downtown, I was afraid that they would be considered replacements for the library in the central city. The central city library should be the "jewel in the crown" of the library system.

My use of the downtown library is limited. Many of the issues being asked about here don't resonate. Without knowing why you'd do some of these things, or who would benefit, it's hard to give feedback.

My use of the library is strictly limited to picking up reserved books (a service I truly appreciate) and children's story time. Almost exclusively use Pittsfield branch. In my answers I tried to think more globally.

Need to survey other world class libraries for incorporation the best elements for now and the 21st century.

needs to be a corner/if re-built over parking lot,needs to also border on either William or Liberty. I live in the near downtown & appreciate being able to walk to things. The main library is very important to me, and I believe to the health/vibrancy of Ann Arbor.

Needs to be easy to get to with public transportion (bikes and buses) as well as cars.

new lane between Division/Fifth is nice

no music background please!!!

no smoking in parking garage and surrounding areas

No specific ideas, but whatever will encourage previous non-users of the Library to begin to love books!!

Non structural: Labeling on audio CDs blocks titles or authors.

none. i think these is great .

Not really, but I think this is a wonderful idea. Thanks!

Not too loud - I live across the street and like to sleep.

Obtaining access to UM libraries for all A2 residents.

Only that AA MUST retain a downtown library - as opposed to moving it out of downtown.

Our librarians are a valuable asset. Access to them is important. Giving them the space and time to interact with patrons.

"People who use the library are patrons and not customers. Or at least citizens. Unless you have decided that this is a private business enterprise and not a PUBLIC library. I hope this important distinction will help guide you in making decisions about services and use. "

Pittsfield is great for families, because it is easy to oversee children of different ages. Can't stress enough how important it is to be able to be together as a family in the library! Thanks.

Please also work to keep library employees involved and informed...they are a great resource in our community!

Please communicate to the Library users how the new or renovated library will enhance current functionality and convenience. I am, by the way, a frequent (2-4 times/wk) library user.

Please note that I do not have children so my comments in that section are not based on what may truly be the needs of families. I go to a branch library because I can get all of my needs met there. Any materials I want from the Downtown Library can be sent to me in a day or two and are easily accessible re: free parking.

Please renovate rather than knocking down and starting new.

Please weigh the opinions of library staff and not just clientele. I noticed some strange decisions made already in regard to the layout of the main branch that staff had concerns about.

practicality please -- going too over the top isn't necessary

Question #8 should be split. I think with today's economy and the extra burden on taxpayers with Skyline revovation is the only option.

Screw the art.

Security, parking and cleanliness are of utmost importance! I've been to libraries in other states and they can make a huge impression on those from out of town. We should have state-of-the-art facilities and be inviting to visitors.

some kind of temporary space during the construction would be nice. Maybe just for picking up items on hold and dropping off materials that are due

Some of the questions seemed odd -- the bike one about lockers (more than most of us need) and changing rooms??? How about addressing just alternate access – foot, bike, public transportation, etc.

something to discourage cell phone use while patrons are in the library, especially when using computers

Sounds like it will be great!

start the teaching informal/forMAL What ever ofhow things were down in the early days of a2 - cause peak oil and global heating are going to mean we will need to know this stuff

Strongly punish personnel for holding back new arrivals.

Survey questions are skewed toward re-build library (i.e., nowhere to indicate 'existing is good vs. needs improvement').

Take a look at the Ypsilanti library Ypsilanti Township

Take Risk, Be Bold in the Design.

Thank you for soliciting input.

Thanks for doing this survey -- it's good to know that you want feedback!

The *best* feature of the AADL is the ability to access the catalog and to place books on reserve for pick-up on specific shelving. The *easy* free parking to run in and pick up these items - ie. 10 min spaces at no cost is *very important* for the downtown library location.

The AADL is contributing the the suburban sprawl of the Ann Arbor area by decentralizing the library system, and building much more attractive facilities outside the city limits (Oak Valley Drive) than the flagship library downtown. This is nuts. The downtown library must be the diamond in the system. It is being neglected, and the suburbanites who live in McMansions will continue to abandon it for the satellite branches, which have ample free parking and no street people to contend with.

The adjectives in this survey are inappropriate. E.g., "Better . . .", "Safe, welcoming . . .", "Well-lit . . ." Lighting is fine now so "better" is not needed etc.

The city is consumed with high density development for selfish reasons: taxes. There is little free downtown, the library is a haven for people wanting to go to town and have an experieince that is not consumerism.

the community means everyone

The DDA would benefit greatly by having a larger piece of land to work with than the Y site especially if the idea of a convention center moves forward. Here's a simple solution: build a new, state-of-the-art library on the Y site, knock down the old library and the DDA then has a contiguous large lot with enviable corner location! You can put all the underground parking you want in and build a beautiful civic-oriented building that complements the new library. Out-of-towners love to visit libraries. Libraries are welcoming, safe and informative places to be and across from a convention center the library will be a welcome addition for convention goers who want to quickly pop over and check their email. Let's do something smart for a change with city property and give A2 the Library it deserves and the DDA the space it needs to plan big and bold.

The Downtown branch meets my needs as is, including attending events downstairs.

the Downtown Development Assoc has done very little to enhance the ambiance of Ann Arbor as the wonderful town we love...they seem to be bent on turning it into "Anywhere,USA"...anything they do is ultra-expensive,too cute and lacks good sense and when we see their name attached to any plans we are immediately suspicious of the overall value to the community...lets move their office underground and continue to park above ground or increase reasonable size "jitneys or small buses for quick access to down town and forget all their half-baked ideas...such as 8 ugly 8 or more story condo's which have nothing to do with Ann Arbor's charm or desirability

The downtown library should be the crown jewel of the other libraries, and a prime downtown destination. Sadly, its improvements have been cast aside in favor of activities taken on the numerous satellite branches. Notably, while Pittsfield is a beautiful building, one has to wonder why the denizens of sprawling Pittsfield township were rewarded over those who choose to live and patron within the city limits.

The existing building should be preserved and renovated and NOT TORN DOWN as it would not be environmentally nor socially responsible to destroy the exterior structure. The new Library should also be LEED certified to demonstrate the community's commitment to this important goal. There needs to careful thought given to the fact that "driving" requirements for the downtown library are different than the other branches.

The fact that you ARE deciding to renovate/redesign is very heartening and I thank you for the obvious concern you have with the satisfaction of the people who utilize your library.

The last question (#8) is poorly worded. "Renovated" and "new" are vastly different proposals. I'd support a renovated library. I'm far less interested in supporting a new downtown library.

The library is my favorite place. I like to see areas that draw in young people so that they can learn to appreciate all the library has to offer. Otherwise lots of materials, accessibility, good staff, and long hours are more important to me than the physical space.

The Mac mice are pathetic and discourage use of the catalog system by some patrons.

The most important thing is convenience: how easy it is to quickly park, run in and check out a on-hold or other known book.

The most important thing to me is to have an EXCELLENT MAIN LIBRARY downtown!

The mystique of a library is being able to burrow into shelves and shelves of books (and hide while finding an interesting read). None of the ideas presented about are about this, there is more geared to some sort of professional sporting event.

The people who work at the Library should always be considered in any planning. The interaction I have with them is as important if not more important than aesthetic features such as art on the wall or the color of the carpet. Along with the collection, the staff are what make the Library an inviting and vibrant public space. P.S. I think staff work areas should also be looked at as part of any new design, with imput from the people who work behind the scenes.

The planning commission should be involved from the start to avoid any miscommunication about the building design.

The questions above make it appear that the architects are thinking much more in terms of a monument than a library. Libraries are going to change immeasureably over the next ten to fifteen years. They are going to become much more electronic sources rather than physical places one goes to check out a book. Look at what has happened to newspapers; I think that the same thing is going to happen to libraries. I am over 80 year old; I don't like this trend to the virtual world but it is happening.

The Ypsi Library is the best I've ever seen nestled in the woods, but the design and interiors are so great. Might be nice to take a visit there. We can do as nice or better in Ann Arbor.

There should still be book sale space, and areas for meetings/socializing should be better separated from reading/browsing areas. I'd like to add that this is a fairly bad survey--there's not NA/I don't care option, which would have been useful since I couldn't figure out what some of the questions actually meant, and despite asking about pedestrian issues the parking survey has no answers for people who don't drive/own cars. (I care about the parking situation, but it's not directly relevant to me as a driver right now.) And the fact that I'm having to say this *here* is a problem; there's no "other concerns which we haven't addressed" box.

These all sound like great ideas for downtown. However, the facility is sounding like a broader community center. That would be great, but the goals seem a little confusing. Perhaps define the expansion as a library/community house?

this survey was hard to complete because there was no option for not applicable or no opinion. I don't have children so I don't know how important the children or teens rooms location is. I do think the library cannot be all things to all people. I like the nice reading spaces that are comfortable and I would like to see more places to hook up your laptop and have individual spaces to use it. I would like to see more selection for magazines at my local branch. not sure how to have input in which periodicals are available.

Thoughtfully consider the plan so that there is minimal disruptions to the day-to-day operations.

To answer question 4, it really depends on how often the space is needed. If it only gets used around ten hours a week and does not generate revenue, why spend money and space on it. Ultimately we are talking about library not conference center.

To ensure that the AADL Staff, who are very dedicated, have input into the building so that they have a facility to continue providing outstanding service.

Transition must be well-planned. I am curious how new construction is funded. Assume DDA is handling all parking structure costs, and such will be passed on to users? How will such affect library? I am interested in reviewing future plans (am a registered engineer).

Try to make the most of the existing structure with brilliant renovations. I think a totally new building would be an extravagance.

Typically we visit our 'local' branch several times a week - and we take great advantage of the online ordering of books. Give me a reason to visit the Downtown branch. Convince me that this branch offers something special I cannot have elsewhere. And make it easy for me to bring children ages 2, 4 and 6 with me.

We are unhappy with the recent changes.

We have increasingly made going to the library in Ann Arbor (downtown and at the branches) into a stand-alone "event" by making it more difficult to integrate a trip to the library with other errands, especially for people with small children. We need to make it easy to run in and out of the library downtown and at the branches--that means surface-level parking, short-term parking, and easy book drop-off. I hope we don't get a gift-shop or a full-service cafe. It is important to have some space downtown that is not for commerce- for buying, and selling- but for reading, gathering, and thinking. The lack of a cafe and gift shop would insure that the library feels like it belongs to everyone- those with money and those without. I hope you will consider this strongly. Ann Arbor is already too divided between the haves and the have nots. (ps- I love our downtown library- I hope that you can maintain the spirit of the existing one!)

We live near the new Pittsfield branch and love going there, so would probably not travel too often to the Downtown branch after renovation or building.

We love the layout/convenience of the new Pittsfield branch, but wish the collection was larger.

We moved here from Salt Lake City where the downtown public library was renovated in 2003. It is AMAZING...look at website please. Light, airy, rooftop garden, etc. Downtown Ann Arbor's library is outdated and depressing.

What about westside branch? It needs to be relocated first!

What audience are you trying to reach? Are you trying to convince people who come to the library to pick up and drop off boks/dvds to stay and hang out? Are you trying to make a safe environment for teens? Are you trying to compete with Borders? Are you trying to offer small businesses meeting rooms?

What happens during the renovation--where do current users go?

When I first heard that the library was being considered for a renovation I wondered why - it seems like it was just renovated! It is already so much bigger than it used to be! But then I realized that that renovation really was a number of years ago and after answering this survey and seeing some of the things under consideration I can see what a difference some of these improvements could make.

Where will the inventory for the downtown library be stored while it's being renovated? Will a small portion of the library still be available to patrons?

while the renovation is going on, it's important to keep access to the library as functional as possible . . .

Who designed this survey? This question has inherent bias: "Better natural and artificial lighting throughout the library" Who would say that this is not desirable?

Why has the front station been rennovated so many times. It was fine. I go to the library at least once a week.

With the other area libraries, some of the immediate needs are met. The downtown library becomes the resource hub for local residents, thus the need for more "ambience".

With the wonderful new branch libraries we are blessed to have in Ann Arbor, I come to the main library for special programs and when I am in the area. It is not the destination it once was for me. The heavy use of online book orders must also affect the use of the main library. I remember having to drive to all of the libraries in order to find the book I wanted. Being able to order a book online and pick it up at Mallett's Creek is a fabulous service.

Yes, a clear program statement is essential. Also, realistic goals and budgets and an effective method of cost control.

yes, design a better questionnaire. That is, get some professional help in selecting response categories

you already have wonderful staff

You could hire previous employees to help out during crunch times and try to come up to speed. I also do NOT like the new (relatively) policy that you will only hire people on a full-time basis. You should let people work for the summer if they were already employees if you have the need. Or, is people seem reasonably intelligent, hire them even if they aren't previous employees.

Your late fines are too high (why are patrons still paying for your crooked accountant?)

Your wonderful staff will, I assume, continue to be employed...

You've clearly put a lot of thought into it already. Nothing comes to mind!

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