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Traverwood Branch closes December 16th for 10 weeks of Renovations

Mon, 11/25/2019 - 9:09am by eli

Now that Pittsfield Branch has reopened, we're getting ready for our last branch closure of this round of renovations. Traverwood Branch Library will be closed starting December 16th for up to 10 weeks of renovation.

Any requests that would have been ready for pickup at Traverwood Branch will be held at Westgate Branch instead. If you'd like to have your Traverwood requests held at another location, you can change that yourself on your my account page, or just contact us and let us know your preference. Don't forget that there's lots of parking behind Westgate Branch's rear entrance! Just go around the Rite Aid end to find it.

During this closure, we'll be replacing the carpet, refinishing the wood floors, constructing a new bookable meeting room, and rearranging some shelving. We'll also be reworking the rotating program room doors for better safety and utility, replacing all the public internet and kids game computers, and relabeling the collection into categories.

Thanks for your patience through this year of renovations. As always, contact us if you have any questions or concerns, and thank you for using your library! 


Many parents & children rely on the library for books, activities, etc., during school break. Shutting down the library during break absolutely disregards the needs of its users.

Hi there, there's no good time to close a library. We're very sorry for any inconvenience this will cause you and your family. We hope you're able to use one of the other 4 AADL locations during school break.

While I will be inconvenienced by the closure, I would like to thank the Ann Arbor District library system for all it's wonderful locations and wealth of materials. It is great system. For those who are unhappy, consider what happens when a home remodel is needed. The best way to shorten the duration is to move things out of the way - both for promptness and safety. See you in the spring Traverwood!

Will we be able to return books at the Traverwood location during the renovation? Thank you.

I've got several holds at the library. Is it possible for me to call you and arrange for them to be sent to a branch that is *not* Westgate? I'd rather pick them up at the main branch instead.

It’s great to hear about a new meeting room and new computers, but I am not happy to hear that yet another branch will be lost to the verbal organization system.

Since you have said in the past that you plan to keep the Dewey Decimal system at Downtown, why couldn’t you just add a second (verbal category) label to books in addition to the Dewey Decimal label instead of removing the old label so that books could be kept at any branch?

Thanks for asking, GCFB SHOP666. As we discussed at length with you in the Pittsfield Closure Post ( ) and the Mallets Creek Closure Post ( ), we have found that this system is very effective and leads to more readers discovering more books and feeling more welcomed by the library. I'm so sorry you feel that the branch will be lost through this process.

Materials at AADL are assigned to a particular branch and return there after they're returned; this allows collections to be set in a balance across locations that will stay balanced no matter where items are returned.

Thanks again for participating in these discussions, and we wish a happy Thanksgiving to you and your family. If you're looking for some family-friendly reading material for the holiday, you can find it under Kids Book / Holidays / Thanksgiving, instead of J 394.266. =)

Obviously, people's opinions against this change have had and will have no effect on your decision making. However, I still wanted to point out that while the category system generally makes sense for nonfiction (it makes the categorization more transparent), it is rather ridiculous for fiction. Browsing through the kids' section at Malletts Creek after it switched over, I found categories with only a handful of books in them, and even those books seemed to be a stretch for that "category". It felt completely arbitrary. Fiction books are probably going to have more than one theme/subject/category, and choosing only one official category for such books is both arbitrary and limiting. Would you put a picture book called "The Dinosaurs and the Princess" about a human princess living with dinosaurs in the dinosaur category or the royalty category? If people start relying on your category system to browse instead of using the catalog to browse, how many amazing books are they going to miss out on because they think all dinosaur picture books are actually in the dinosaur category? How many gems by the same author will people not realize exist because these books are in slightly different categories? It seems like making the online catalog user friendly and easy to search (it's a terrible pain right now) would have been a better use of time and resources and also would have offered better results than this categories "solution". And just for the record, I haven't been against this change from the beginning. When Westgate first switched over, I went in and at first was intrigued by the categories in the kids' section. (I have kids and so spend a lot of time in the kids' areas). But after I found a few categories that seemed particularly interesting and looked through the books in them, I was disappointed, as most of the books sorted there only kind of fit the advertised categories. Since that experience, I haven't bothered looking at kids' books at Westgate. We now go there just for the toys and the coffee. It's a shame our home branch is following suit but this time without the toys and coffee to keep us coming.

I'd be interested in seeing your data proving that the "category" system is "very effective". Effective for whom and under what conditions? It may work well enough in small, subject-focused library collections, and/or for patrons with lots of time to hunt, or for people just looking for what they can discover. But when a user is seeking a particular title, the Dewey number is a much more efficacious access tool. Case in point: I had about 20 minutes to stop by Mallets Creek en route to an appointment and pick up a Game of Thrones cookbook. I had the Dewey number, figured I could just walk to the 650s and pull it off the shelf. But surprise, surprise--no more Deweys! Now, I am a librarian, a cataloger no less, and I was stumped: just what culinary category does "Game of Thrones" fit into?? (It didn't help that the sectional signage was unclear about where the cookbooks actually started.) Eventually I found the book, but it took much longer than it needed to.

I can understand relabeling signage to reflect contemporary language (i.e. "translating" Dewey categories into 21st century sensibilities) and I have spent many hours re-tagging Dewey shelves. But I really don't think it's necessary to scrap Dewey to accomplish linguistic modernization. Subject categorization of fiction seems particularly unnecessary: why not include [more] subject tags in the catalog record instead? I am all for increased access (signage! signage! signage!), but have yet to be convinced that we need to ditch Dewey to accomplish it.

Thanks for the update. I love the Traverwood branch and am looking forward to the improvements.

If I could ask for anything, it would be for the addition of some sort of felt padding to the ends of the chair legs in the front work area. It's a wonderful, (usually) quiet place to work, but moving around the metal chairs at all produces a piercingly noisy disruption against the hardwood floors. Could something like that be done?

Please keep the Dewey Decimal system, it is the US library standard. Please stop dummying down to the lowest common denominator, people should have learned it in school and it is the perfect organization system. The change is why I refuse to use the Westgate branch for anything except returns and I will probably stop using Traverwood despite its convenience. Du have librarians in charge?ont yo

Dewey has been in decline for decades. Heck, I'm in my 40s and about half the libraries in my life have been organized by Library of Congress or other standards other than Dewey. This article from almost a decade ago is about the death of Dewey, for example.…

If it ain't broke don't fix it, but when it is broke, you gotta.

Librarians have been debating (and challenging) the merits of the Dewey Decimal System for as long as it has been in use, and it (like every other organizational system) can never be perfect; one example is Dewey's deliberate bias toward Christianity, relegating all non-Christian religions to a mere sliver of the 200s and making it difficult to adequately categorize these materials. If the public library's goal is to make its holdings as widely available and as easily discoverable as possible, then it makes sense that the AADL's librarians would explore alternate organizational schemes. If Dewey isn't serving that purpose, for whatever reasons, then it makes sense that the library should explore alternatives.

If you've got a kindle or a kindle app, try getting ebooks from MLC overdrive as an alternative when Traverwood is closed and if it's your main branch. It's very useful, especially when the roads are terrible and you need something to read/listen. They have audiobooks also. Or try something from MeL, Michigan eLibrary! You can get books and other stuff from participating libraries all over the state, and you may find something that you really like that AADL doesn't have that you really want or if there's lots of holds on that item.

Hi Eli, Thanks so much for posting the renovation detail here to share with us. I know my family will miss the library a lot during these 10 weeks.

I was talking about this renovation with some of my friends, who all live around in the neighborhood and many have small kids, and we have one suggestion and hoping you could help passing it to the team.

It is great that the game computers are getting updated, but not all kids come to library to play games on computers, especially for smaller kids, so maybe in addition, could we upgrade the table playing area? where currently there is only one small table, four chairs and a few puzzles. It would be really great if we could expand that area and add some toys there that kids can play together even during a non-event time. For example, a toy cash register, an ice cream stand, or a big connect game set like the downtown library has, etc, something that is inviting for kids to naturally play together would be the best. it won't cost a ton, but we think many kids would love that. Thanks again for all the great work you guys are doing! We appreciate it!

How do we effect meaning change in the library system? I agree with those people that think the category system at Westgate is absolute garbage. Finding a book usually requires consulting a librarian. While I don't necessarily think returning to Dewey is the answer, I am very sad to see this garbage migrated to Traverwood. But as usual, you people don't listen to us. So I want to know how we effect the removal of the person or persons in charge of this decision process. Is this an elected position? A political appointment? Or what? And if political, who do we lobby for your removal?

Hi there, we're so sorry you find the categorization to be garbage. As we've said, we continue to move forward with this project because of the feedback we receive over the desk from library patrons, not in spite of it. These public comment threads can seem very contentious but they're not representative of the feedback we get every day from users. We're very sorry that you feel that we're not listening to you. To answer your question, your library is governed by an elected board of trustees, and they are responsible for the hiring or firing of the Library Director. So, if you wish to have Josie removed as Library Director, the AADL Board of Trustees is who you would lobby. You can find out more about the Library Board under the About Us ( ) section of our website, or just contact us ( ) if you have more questions we can answer. Thank you for your feedback, and thank you for using your library.

Really excited to see the categories system continuing and to see the changes coming to Traverwood. Dewey was a terrible human being, and his system is far from sacred.

Can you fix the door to the parking garage while you are at it? It closes so heavily, someone is going to lose a finger in that door. The door has been adjusted a few times to slow down its closing speed, unfortunately it only slows it down when it is wide open but still shuts way too fast at the end. It’s hard to describe but open it for yourself a few times and you will see what I mean.

What possible reason would anyone in the NE corner of Ann Arbor want their materials sent to Westgate? It is probably the most difficult branch to reach from this area. I agree with several other comments that this means I will not be able to effectively access the library for the entire duration.

We often hear complaints when we move items downtown because of parking concerns, so this time we decided to try moving the Traverwood Hold Shelves to Westgate where there is plenty of parking, particularly behind the building. But this is just the default. You can change your pickup point for your holds to whichever location works for you, or if something comes in and is ready for pickup, you can call and we'll send it to another location for you. Thanks for your patience through this project, and we're sorry for the inconvenience!

I agree with the above comments about the need to keep the old cataloguing system. I am completely lost when I look for a book at the Westgate branch. You probably feel you can't change your decision to go to categories, but please consider keeping the tried and true shelving system. Dumbing down is dumb.

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