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Malletts Creek Closure Begins April 8th

Mon, 03/25/2019 - 12:05pm by howarde

Malletts Creek Branch will be closed for 6-8 weeks for renovations beginning April 8th. Thank you for your patience. All other locations are open.

As part of the renovation, we'll be adding two new meeting rooms, replacing the flooring throughout the building, replacing all the internet stations and kids' computers, rearranging the shelving, and converting the collection to categories.

Additional information during the closure:

  • When Malletts Creek Branch closes on Monday (April 8), all items on the Malletts hold shelves will be moved to the Westgate Branch hold shelves.
  • When items become available, all requests listing Malletts as the pick-up destination will be sent to these hold shelves at Westgate for the duration of our closure. You can modify the pick-up destination for your items, or freeze your holds on any items.
  • Once work on Malletts is complete, all items on the temporary hold shelves at Westgate will be moved back to Malletts Creek Branch.
  • We're more than happy to accommodate you during this time if you need more time to pick up holds, or want items sent to another branch for pick-up. Just email, or text or call us at 734-327-4200.
  • Items can still be returned to the Malletts Creek Branch by using our drop box. As always, you can return AADL items to any location, regardless of where you checked them out.

More About Malletts Creek Branch
Opened in January 2004, the Malletts Creek Branch replaced the Loving Branch and is a unique model of sustainable design featuring solar heating, natural day lighting, a vegetated green roof, convection cooling, naturally captured and filtered storm water, native plants and grasses, and many uses of materials that are renewable resources. The Malletts Creek Branch was awarded the 2005 American Institute of Architects Michigan (AIA Michigan) Award for Sustainable Design. The Malletts Creek Branch is a one-story building of approximately 14,000 square feet that serves as a community-based learning center that delivers superior customer service, primarily to the residents of the southeast quadrant of Ann Arbor. The building and the surrounding landscape capitalize on environmental principles, thereby allowing the overall project to operate more in harmony with the ecosystem and the community in which it serves.

Malletts Closure



I like that in the Dewey Decimal System, books with similar, but not identical, topics are somewhat near each other. For example, the 910s are about geography and travel. Each number from 914-919 is for geography and travel in each continent. Something like that is not quite possible in the verbal categorization system.

So now we're reinventing cataloging?? Not everything old is bad. At least keep the dewey decimal system in Mallet's Creek and convert the other branches to category systems if you must. Dewey system is really easier in the long run, and much more precise. It is itself a category system!

Well this explains why I hate the Westgate Branch so much. Gave up going there because I could never find anything. Movie categories are easy because they have been used forever. We all know them. This makes no since for fiction. At least not to me. What makes sense is go to fiction or mystery or fantasy and search by alphabet. It is easy. It works. No reason to change it.

If I return something to Mallets on the day it's due, is someone working there checking in materials all day? I wouldn't want my materials to be late because you're only checking the drop boxes once a day...

Thanks for your question! Yes, we will be clearing the dropboxes throughout the closure, so you can return items to the outside dropbox as you normally would. Things won't be late no matter when they're returned on the due date.

Any plans to add a Sweetwaters to Malletts? That is what I like the best about West branch. (And the ipads for the kids.) It's way better than a coffee machine.
And another vote against the category system here. But I can deal with it. I love AADL! I can't wait to see the updates.

Another strong vote against the category system. I understand it may make browsing categories of books easier, but it makes it impossible to find a specific book on the shelves without looking it up on the computer, writing down a long address, and wandering around for awhile trying to sort out how the categories are organized on the shelves. It's a very frustrating experience.

Adding my name to the list of people strongly opposed to the category system. No point in reinventing the wheel. And I am in my 20s so I am not old. lol

I really hope that you go back to where we could request a locker pickup online without having to call or email like it used to be. That was soo convenient! :) :)

Thank you.

I haven’t noticed very many people in support of switching to the category system. I know I’m not excited! I know you want to make finding books simpler but it seems most people would find it more difficult. Perhaps you could provide an educational poster somewhere in the library, or maybe even a program explaining how to use the Dewey Decimal System for those who need help.

There are already categories marked on dull signs on the sides of shelves. I understand these may not be very noticeable, but they do exist! Why couldn’t you make large, eye catching signs to replace them and keep the Dewey Decimal System?

I use Westgate because of its location, not the category system. I request nearly all my books and get them from the hold shelf. I don’t have trouble finding books at other branches, but have had to ask for help more than once at Westgate. So I’m another patron who dislikes the category system.

I'm just here to say how much I like the category system at Westgate. browsing books at Westgate is much easier and I'm more likely to discover something I'll love, whereas at Malletts I usually just pick up my holds and leave.

So disappointed to hear that the Dewey System will no longer be used at Mallett’s Creek. All my friends avoid Westgate for that very reason. Terrible idea to convert all our libraries to categories.

Can you add a dropbox "drive through" for books so you don't have to park to return items? There's not always open parking when all you want to do is swing through to return books, nothing more.

Thanks for asking about this, Brownize. The Malletts Creek site does not have the room for a drive-through book drop. Our volume precludes freestanding book drops, and there is no way on the site to allow cars to pull up to a slot into the building on the driver's side.

I also feel the need to add my voice and vote to those commenting against the category (non)-system of arranging books at Westgate and now at another branch. I have had to ask for librarian help several times (adding to my waste of time and to the burden on the staff) when I couldn't find books that would have been easy to find according to Dewey catalog shelving.
But more importantly, I thought that one unstated mission of a public library pertains to educating and raising the general intelligence and knowledge of its public. The category (non)system is a terrible concession to the dumbing down of the American public, to making every place look like a commercial environment, and to turn the library experience into stupid browsing rather than intelligent searching. Please rethink this, although I imagine it is too late for much thinking, let alone rethinking.

Since no one else is saying it... I really like the category system. If I know what book I want, I put it on hold through the website. But if I don't, particularly for nonfiction books, I find being able to browse by category so much easier than the Dewey Decimal system.

I did learn the Dewey Decimal system in school, and yes, I do know how to use it. It works well enough, I guess, but like most humans, I prefer plain language to a series of numbers. I found I had to spend a bit of time familiarizing myself with the categories at Westgate before I could really browse effectively, but it didn't take long at all. At least, it was not nearly as painful for me to learn as the Dewey Decimal system was. I spent a couple visits to Westgate wandering the shelves and reading the category labels, and that was all I needed to do.

One thing that I feel would be helpful at Westgate and other locations is if the sub category labels were easier to read. Right now they sit underneath the books at the beginning of each section, and are often obscured by the books themselves. Maybe a vertical label to the left of the first book in the section would be easier to see?

Full disclosure: I have been working part time at AADL since last fall. However, I have been a patron at Westgate since it reopened, and have found myself spending more time in that location by far than any of the other branches ever since. The cafe helps, certainly, but mostly, I find it to be the most fun library to browse in and find new things to read. I never used to just browse the nonfiction section before Westgate starting using categories. Now I do, and you know what? I read a lot more nonfiction than I used to.

I'm excited to see how the books at Mallets are organized when it reopens. :)

With the change from the Dewey system, to the Category system, I fear that the decay of our educational system and what is actually being taught in the schools today has come home to the Library as well... because it seems (from talking to my daughter, who only graduated from high school about 3 years ago) there are many things that we had to learn when I was in school, that are either no longer required or taught. Does the Dewey system still get taught to the children in this state? I know that where my daughter went to school (Indiana) it's not taught universally anymore, like it was when I was in school there.

Things are changing, and the Dewey Decimal system is just not as accessible. The library's main purpose is to make information more accessible, and organizing books like this is an excellent way of doing so.

disclaimer: not a librarian, just enthusiastic about data and accessibility

The only reason why things would be changing would be because, as Techken said, "the decay of our educational system and what is actually being taught in the schools today has come home to the Library as well".

If the Dewey Decimal System is becoming "not as accessible", then it is only because AADL is getting rid of it.

In reply to by LatitudeB

The library staff has clearly put a huge amount of thought into the layout of Westgate. There are many aspects of the arrangement of materials that differ from other branches, such as shorter shelves, fewer books per shelf (less tightly packed), books pulled out as showcase items, visible labels on the shelf, and so forth. It is hard for me to see that, when so many things are different about Westgate’s book arrangements, that the cataloging system alone is responsible for people’s enthusiasm or any higher usage. There are simply too many variables here for me to identify just this one.

What I think is unfortunate is the suggestion that people who like Dewey or do not like the category system (and these are not the same things) are unconcerned with library usage, dismissive of accessibility, and so forth. This is falling into the trap of logical fallacies and personal attacks.

I think the lack of clarity about how things are categorized, including, by Eli’s description, continuous revamping of the categories (“We've made many changes to the shelving system based on our experience and patron feedback at Westgate. Over 100 categories have been eliminated”), makes for a system that SOME might find excitingly dynamic and responsive and SOME might find vague and ever-changing, and thus confusing, because the categories to which an item is assigned are subjective, can change, and are not defined anywhere.

It is also a fact that by using a consistent cataloging system that is in common use, such as Dewey, the library instructs patrons on how to find information for themselves in any library. It is presenting a universal system, the comprehension of which can be empowering when using another public library or a university library to find other material independently, and to thus feel at home in institutions of learning throughout the world. Raising standards and teaching people how to function in educational institutions, much like learning how to spell properly or learning the multiplication table, may not be even remotely interesting in and of themselves, and may be hard, but they also provide a structure on which future academic and intellectual growth can build. This is how people become free.

Obviously having a friendly, welcoming library is more important than the particular cataloging details, and, by even caring about this, we betray our own passion for the community good that a public library can provide, and the value that AADL has for our community.

But I think it is most troubling that such a major decision was made without community input, and that any input not in accord with the decision is going to be filed in the metaphorical “round file.” This is tremendously insulting for an institution funded by and created to serve the public, and this is at the root of my objection to this decision.

[It is also a fact that by using a consistent cataloging system that is in common use, such as Dewey, the library instructs patrons on how to find information for themselves in any library.]

Dewey is not a universal system. Several library categorization systems are in use throughout the United States, including, most notably, the Library of Congress Classification (LCC) system that is used by most university and research libraries. Dewey will do students no good at university.

Ah, I see. When I said universal, I meant two things: not unique to the organization, and, in cataloging lingo, applicable to all subjects/locations, whereas I think you interpreted it as used in every situation.

I am well aware that not every library uses Dewey. It is most common in public libraries. Most academic libraries use the Library of Congress system, which was influenced in its development by Dewey’s system. I disagree that it is of no use to learn Dewey if one plans to ever use LOC, as the skills do transfer, like previous knowledge of French grammar isn’t entirely irrelevant when learning Korean. It is worth noting that U of M uses LOC for most books in the stacks, but does use Dewey for literature.
It appears many other university libraries also use Dewey in some capacity.

Apparently 95% of public and school libraries use Dewey, and 25% of college libraries, down from nearly 90% in Dewey’s lifetime.

I won’t even tackle the idea that we can somehow avoid all inventions and creations of morally imperfect men, or that using a category based system such as Dewey’s or any that grew out of his idea for content-based groupings (like BISAC or LOC, but not size, date, or color based) reinforces whatever troubling views he had.

Hi, K.A., thanks for asking. None of the permanent art at Malletts Creek Branch is affected by the renovation work and did not need to be removed for the project. The previous exhibit ended before the closure and another will load in around the time of reopening. Feel free to email us if you have other questions or concerns about the Library's artworks.

I have low vision and could not use any of the internet stations in the old Mallett because I could not see well enough to read any of the monitors, either because the room lighting was too high or the monitor contrast was too low (or both). My question is: will there be at least one station in the renovated Mallett that would have accommodations for people like me with low vision? Would it be in a darken room using a special monitor with exceptional contrast?

Have you used the stations at Westgate or Downtown? Those are the stations that will be at Malletts Creek when it reopens. It is a much larger, brighter, higher contrast screen. Darkening the room is not really possible, but we think the new screens should be much better for you. Please let us know what you think once we reopen!

I may be an IDIOT millennial, but I happen to think categories are far superior to the antiquated John Dewey decimal system. After all, what is Netflix organized into? Amazon? Home Depot? Bob Evan's menu for gods sake! (for you senior citizens) CATEGORIES. It makes far more sense! I personally am all for this change in organizational structure and anyone who defends the Dewey decimal system is clearly stuck in the 1900s.

The Dewey Decimal system is named after Melvil Dewey, not John, who was an philosopher/psychologist as is known for pragmatism. The Dewey decimal system was invented in the 1800s as the first category-based system, because books were previously arranged by the date of their acquisition. Clearly there is a lot of misinformation and confusion.

And not everything from the 1800s is bad. Stethoscopes, microphones, Morse code, staplers, safety pins, and dishwashers were all invented then, too. ;)

Just to be clear, John was the philosopher and educational reformer, and Melvil was the librarian who was also rather pragmatic, hence the changed spelling of his name (he liked “Dui” for his last name too). Apparently he also was involved in popularizing vertical files.

And could the people in favor of using the bookstore model of classification / BISAC, *PLEASE* stop the personal attacks on senior citizens, or saying that anyone who likes any other model is out of date? This is an ad hominem attack.…
And it is worth noting that many of the library staff who made this decision are over the age of 40.

Dewey was also a sexual predator, anti-Semite, and racist. 90% of the 200s are devoted to Christianity with the remaining 10% set aside for every other religion on Earth. Dewey was a problematic person who left us a problematic system that has had difficulty keeping up with our quickly changing world.

The good news about a decimal system is that you can always add more digits. There can be 299, 299.9, 299.99, 299.999, 299.9999, 299.99990, 299.99991, 299.99999, and so on.

Printing all of those numbers on a little sticker is a little silly, and I don't know of any library that does so. You may as well just use words. Everyone can understand then.

Sorry, I never said Dewey was perfect, and the personal attacks are getting offensive. I think the AADL should step in and moderate this discussion, because obviously the fact that we are all people, Ann Arbor residents, and enthusiastic (or formerly enthusiastic) library users, counts for nothing. This has dissolved into preposterous attacks, including plenty of insulting statements about senior citizens, or anyone above the age of 25, including the assumption that everyone who sees any value at all in a different point of view is deranged or out of touch. The BISAC system is NOT perfect; as Eli posted, the library is constantly tweaking it.

Plenty of things were invented by people with personal flaws. I have never seen it written by actual AADL staff that they are moving towards the BISAC cataloging system because of anti-Semitism, racism, or anything of the sort of Melville Dewey. I think you will find, for example, at the Westgate Branch that there are many more Christian holiday books for children than Jewish, Islamic, Hindu, or other holidays. Having them in BISAC/retail designed categories does not eliminate societal ills.

It is too bad that the nasty tone of the current climate extends even to AADL website discussions.

I hear you, but what you are describing is different from what I am describing. It is not the number of books in question, but the devotion to these categories. Under BISAC, every category is given the same attention regardless of the number of individual books. The Dewey system is skewed toward white Christian culture; this is a well established fact. While some of this has been changed by dedicated librarians over the past century, it's a monumental task and far from complete. Dewey is also, by its era creation, out of date with technology and science (it's over 100 years old and Dewey was not a psychic). Rather than overhaul Dewey, we may as well use a system that works better for more people.

And I am not comfortable promoting a system created by a man who was found reprehensible even during his lifetime. The ALA distances itself from Dewey to this day.

While originally filled with trepidation concerning the categories system when I first started using it at Westgate - and to be fair, still have certain issues with it - I have found that, like all things in life, it just requires learning and getting used to it. While working at academic libraries in my youth, I often got questions from patrons about the DDS as well. They didn't understand why certain categories went where, why certain sections were dominated primarily by western texts or religions - leaving very little room for anyone else, and complaints about that system as well.

I think this change should be embraced with an open mind since transition is just a part of our world today. Simply going about this system in the same manner as all of us went about learning the Dewey Decimal System will probably have the same result - being able to know where to find our next favorite book.

Would the Mallet WiFi be on during the renovation? If it is, does the range extend to the parking lot? [I have a tablet with no cell connection, have no WiFi, and live a few blocks away.]

You can be sure the reason for changing the catalog system has more to do with decreasing cost than maintaining customer satisfaction. Cut employees is the mantra for everything nowadays. I , too, find this “catalog” system at Westgate abominable. Gee, did any of the powers that be ever think to ask the public before making these types of overarching changes? The “Public” in Public Library disappeared long ago. I’ll be surprised if Mallett’s reopens in 6-8 weeks. Why are renovations always completed late rather than ahead of schedule?

I'm a longtime professional website developer, with a specialty in making complicated technical things easy for ordinary people to navigate. And I live right near the Malletts Creek branch, so my family is there frequently. I seem to be outvoted, but my opinion is that switching to categories at Malletts Creek is an excellent idea. I can navigate the Dewey Decimal system just fine, but I think the average person looks at a Dewey Decimal catalog number, thinks "this is too hard," and gives up. Categories will make it much easier for everybody to be able to find books, not only the people who can speak Dewey Decimal.

Anyway, that's my two cents worth. :)

I am also extremely disappointed to learn that all the libraries will be arranged in loose categories like those found at the Westgate Branch Library. Why is the library is moving away from the far more orderly Dewey Decimal system, which makes it easy to find specific books quickly? The "system" at Westgate has pretty signs, but the book order is a mess of vague categories. The librarians don't always know where books should be, which is not an improvement.

Will the Mallet Creek Branch still feel like a Day Care or will it be modified to resemble a Library? Trying to have a peaceful hour of reading and study and not being interrupted by unruly children running around and squealing would be nice.

I hate Westgate because it's loud and there's not enough table space. The tiny number of study cubicles is a bad joke. There's really only one table and it's always full. The tables in the coffee shop are very loud and I feel like I shouldn't be sitting there if I'm not having coffee.

Since it has been about a month since Mallett creek closed for renovations, and I realize that it was going to be closed for 6-8 weeks, is there an opening date yet since it has been a month?

I went to Westgate Library twice. I dislike the browse system very much. Libraries are the seat of knowledge. They are meant to raise people up. Libraries are not meant to copy book stores. When I commented my reservations to the young women at the desk, she was very defensive and disrespectful. To me this response indicated she fielded these comments before. It would have been easy for the AADL to ask patrons and tax payers for our opinions on this unnecessary change.

The Ann Arbor Library system is a dream compared to so many public library systems in the state. Love the changes and the library! Thank you.

Hello! This might be a bit premature, but I'm wondering, will Traverwood have many changes happen to it besides converting the collections? The ash poles, the ash floors and the floor to ceiling windows in particular are really taking advantage of this eco-friendly library and its location, and I don't want that to change.

No worries about any of that, squirrelgirl! All the wood at Traverwood is there to stay. The 2019 Traverwood updates will include new carpet, a new meeting room next to the computer lab, some rearrangement of shelving, new computers, and conversion of the collection into categories. Thanks for asking!

We have our last construction work finishing up now and we hope to announce an opening date by the end of this week. Thanks for your patience, all; updates coming soon!

I'm happy to see the renovations that are coming to Mallett's Creek!
We've been using this library since 1987 - back in the days when we had 5 children and when it was called Loving Branch - at the old location.
Curious about how things are coming along, I clicked on "details here", and surprisingly came upon the plan to change the catalogue system.
Oh my. I agree with most of the comments (No! Can't find anything at Westgate! It's like a retail shop! Dewey Decimal System is the best! etc.)
Yes, I've been to Westgate - and gotten so confused that I gave up.
We are serious library users - visiting once or twice a week at least.
I'm sorry to say that (for us) the catalogue change will make the Mallett's Creek Branch a destination for dropping off books only (we avoid Westgate specifically because of the category system). We'll make the old stand-by at Main our primary library location.
We love our Ann Arbor libraries - and are incredibly proud of what we have!
It's just this one thing.
Hoping that you might reconsider -teri

Malletts Creek closed on April 8; this past Monday, 5/21, was 6 weeks since the closure began. We announced today (you can see it at the top of every page) that Malletts Creek with reopen on 6/3, which is exactly 8 weeks after it closed! Thanks for your patience through this closure, we'll see you at the library soon!

It's getting close to the 8 weeks expected for the renovation. Is there a ETA for reopening of Mallets Creek as it's a very convenient location.

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