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What you have told us

Here you can search through numerous patron comments and the corresponding AADL replies. Search by the type of comment, in general by what the comment is regarding, or by a particular issue.

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Date Received: 2019-04-17
Type: other
Regarding: - NONE SELECTED -

Patron Comment: Re: the suggestion box located on the Downtown Library's returns "island": There's a longstanding gap across the bottom of one side of this suggestion box. This is a problem because the suggestion/feedback cards, when inserted, often immediately slip right out of the box through this gap (sometimes even being forcibly ejected, due to the stiffness of the cards and the box itself not being large enough to accommodate them without the cards being folded/bent). Would you please either close this gap, or replace this suggestion box with one that has no gap (and is large enough to accommodate these cards at their full, unaltered size)? Thank you for your assistance.

AADL Reply: Hello, thank you for asking about this! We're sorry this has been a problem for you. You are welcome to use this online form ( http://aadl.org/contactus ) for your title suggestions; if you choose "suggest a title" from the dropdown, then specify what kind of item you're suggesting, it will get directly to the person who orders those items, instead of requiring routing and handling as the paper cards do. We'll take a look at a better suggestion box. Thanks for your feedback, and thanks for using your library! -eli


Date Received: 2019-04-15
Type: complaint
Regarding: - NONE SELECTED -

Patron Comment: I am writing regarding the switch to category systems. There are many posts on the blog of library patrons who find the categories ill-defined and overly subdivided, so there is no need for me to repeat that here. I am concerned that so many patrons feel this way, and yet there does not seem to be real understanding that library patrons are unhappy to have this alternative, retail-based system imposed upon us, with seemingly no way to stop it. It is a gross oversimplification to believe that Westgate is popular simply, or even primarily, because of categories. The location (both within Ann Arbor and inside of a mini mall), parking, the size, the snacks, the stroller storage zone, ....who knows specifically what is drawing people in? Does AADL? I am concerned that people are being dismissed as old fuddy-duddies, and I believe surveys and other tools of gathering a fuller picture are not being employed in envisioning the future. Are heavy library users being taken for granted because we are assumed to keep using the library no matter what? Let us not forget the folly of this in recent political elections....Take no voter for granted. So, I would like to know if the library will take public opinion into consideration on this, or other decisions. I would like to know how citizens might express their opinions in ways that have impact. For example... Does posting comments on the blog matter? Is it entirely about foot traffic/circulation? (and then ascribing a single cause for high usage?) Do emails/comments to staff/written comments on cards matter? Should we mention to staff members each time we use the library how we feel about cataloging systems? Does speaking at the Board meeting matter? Does choosing to use a library that does not use categories count as a protest statement? What about boycotting the library entirely? In other words, how can our opinions be expressed in a way that will have impact? (Or, is this a matter for which public opinion has been deemed irrelevant or unneeded?)

AADL Reply: Hello, thanks for your email and blog comments. I can see your household feels very strongly about this decision, and we're sorry that the prospect of this change has been so upsetting to all of you. As you said in an earlier post, you can see why the library would choose to adopt this approach, but you "simply dislike it". Rest assured that the library staff understand that some users dislike the change to this shelving system. Many AADL staffers read every single comment, and hear opinions from patrons across the desk every day. Our decision to proceed with this transition is not based on the popularity of Westgate Library as a facility, but based on the experiences we've had, and the comments we've heard, from patrons every day since we opened. Some patrons will be unhappy about any change to Libraries, but when patrons take the time to tell us in person about how much they like the way items are arranged at Westgate Branch, that is as valuable to our decision-making as the public comments made here in opposition to the change. We are not dismissing any patrons, we hear you and understand how you feel about this. We would never take our heavy library users for granted, and design many systems and interfaces around their needs. We're very sorry that this decision is making you feel that way. However, it is worth remembering that there are two main groups of Library visitors seeking items in the collection: those who know what title they want, and want to know where in the building it is; and those who don't have a title they're looking for and may not know where to begin. Helping users find the item they know they want is ultimately a much easier and less complicated problem to solve than helping those who don't know what exact title they're looking for, and this shelving system makes the collection as a whole much more usable to patrons who don't know what they're looking for, no memorization of codes required. While we know that there are situations where the seeker of a specific book is inconvenienced by this system, we consider it a worthwhile tradeoff to help more readers discover more books by more authors, even if they don't know what they are looking for. If the shelving system is too cumbersome for you, you can always request titles from the comfort of your own home and staff will retrieve them and hold them for you. If you find anything on the shelves that you feel is miscategorized, please do bring it to the attention of staff, just as you would with any other error. We've made many changes to the shelving system based on our experience and patron feedback at Westgate. Over 100 categories have been eliminated, and we expect that we will revisit the system again based on the usage data we get from Malletts Creek. Like all library services, we will continue to refine the system based on feedback, online and off. All of the methods you list for expressing your opinions would be immediately heard and recorded. You are of course welcome to make any comments you like to Staff, Administration, and the Library Board of Trustees. All will be heard and considered. However, that does not mean that the library will be reversing this decision. We would be very sad if you decided not to use some or all AADL locations as a result of the shelving system, but our feelings shouldn't enter into your decisions about using your library. There are no matters for which patron opinions on public library service are irrelevant or unneeded. AADL strives to consider the feedback of all users in our decision making, and this is no different. Our decision to proceed with this conversion comes from the feedback we've gotten at Westgate, not in spite of it. We're very sorry that this is bothering you so much, but we still hope to see you at the renovated Malletts Creek Branch when it reopens, and that you will continue to use AADL enthusiastically. Thank you for your consideration and feedback, and please let me know if you have any other questions. -eli


Date Received: 2019-04-03
Type: complaint
Regarding: facility issue

Patron Comment: The bathrooms always smell bad and toilet is always dirty.

AADL Reply: This comment was submitted anonymously.


Date Received: 2019-04-02
Type: catalog problem
Regarding: - NONE SELECTED -

Patron Comment: There doesn't seem to be a way to know whether a book is in large type. Specifically, Amos Oz, "A Tale of Love and Darkness," but, more generally, ANY book. Thank you.

AADL Reply: Hello, Thanks for your question about finding large print titles in our catalog. When you search for a title such as "A Tale of Love and Darkness" in the catalog, on the page with the search results, you can filter your results with the options on the left-hand side. Under "format" and "books & print" there is an option for "large print" that you can select and refine your results. In this case, we do not own a copy of this Amos Oz book. I checked MelCat, the statewide interloan service, and did not find a large print copy of this title there either. I don't see this title available for purchase from our large print vendors either, unfortunately. When you are typing a title into our catalog search box, the auto-suggest option brings up title matches, which also show the material type. If a book is large print, it will show up as "Large Type." The catalog record will show the title, author, and large print, along with the date. The call number will also reflect the large print format, such as "Large Print Fiction" and the location will be Downtown Large Print or Traverwood Large Print, and so on. I hope this is helpful. Thanks for using your library! Sara AADL


Date Received: 2019-04-01
Type: general suggestion
Regarding: branch building

Patron Comment: Mallets Creek Library. Why add meeting rooms when the parking area is at capacity. Please review with your site planner.a

AADL Reply: The meeting rooms will accommodate the patrons using other spaces within the building to hold small group meetings. We are moving things around to provide spaces with some degree of privacy and technology to meet a present need. We realize the parking lot is well utilized, and encourage visitors to consider free street parking along Homestead Commons, too. Thank you for taking the time to comment. Sincerely, Josie Parker Director


Date Received: 2019-03-28
Type: complaint
Regarding: - NONE SELECTED -

Patron Comment: Hi, I was horrified to read your new book Nine parts of Desire the hidden world of Islamic women by Geraldine Brooks If any Muslim reads this they would STRONGLY object to the content. It has her opinions which are fine (free speech) but the history is untrue and is all gossip, libel and taken out of context. I wish you could meet with someone like the Iman of our Islamic center to get the truth. It is like reading the national enquirer for the 14 century. If possible please remove it from your shelf as it is a hate speech and highly discriminatory. thank you

AADL Reply: I appreciate your letting us know your opinion of this title. The decision to remove any title for reasons other than condition is one we take seriously, and with consideration. If you wish to see this title removed from AADL's collection, I would ask that you use the process that we have in place to assure that due diligence is taken in the review. It begins with your completing a Request for Reconsideration form that allows you to explain in detail your objections to the book being available in the public library collection. If you wish to formally request that the title be removed, let me know and I will send you the form. Also, I am available to meet and talk with the Iman of the Islamic center, and would be honored to do so. Sincerely, Josie Parker Director Ann Arbor District Library josie@aadl.org | 734.327.4263


Date Received: 2019-03-25
Type: general suggestion
Regarding: facility issue

Patron Comment: Please install coat hooks in the public sink areas (not just individual stalls) at all the women's bathrooms thoughout the library system (more important than art on the wall).

AADL Reply: This comment was submitted anonymously.


Date Received: 2019-03-25
Type: reference question
Regarding: - NONE SELECTED -

Patron Comment: Hi there! I work at a library in Alaska, and we are currently planning a building project. It looks like your library has an Everbright display board. I wanted to ask what your experiences are with the board and whether you'd recommend it to other public libraries in general? Also, what ages seem to use it the most? Thanks in advance for any information you can send me.

AADL Reply: Hi there, thanks for your interest! I would absolutely recommend an Everbright for public libraries. We had two small issues with it after installation, and the company was *outstanding* in resolving them. Since then, it's been completely reliable and a huge hit with young and old patrons alike. We have it situated near the entrance to the kids area at a busy mall branch, but it attracts all kinds of users. We mounted it low enough so that very little patrons can reach it. If your implementation allows, it was very helpful for us to have installed it so we could access the back through a closet, so that we could resolve the two early issues without unmounting the whole unit. I was responsible for the installation and initialization of the unit, and I'd be happy to schedule a call with you if you have further questions. In short, do it! It's an outstandingly solid and inviting product. Best wishes for your project! -eli


Date Received: 2019-03-23
Type: compliment
Regarding: - NONE SELECTED -

Patron Comment: the aadl system is the best! Thank you for always making me feel important and being helpful. The focus that is put on helping patrons has been so important. Thank You all! Anna H

AADL Reply: You are very welcome. Thanks very much for your note. Sincerely, Josie Parker Director


Date Received: 2019-03-23
Type: web site feedback
Regarding: - NONE SELECTED -

Patron Comment: It would be great if there was a link to add events from their pages to my personal calendar (gmail) so I don't miss anything I'm interested in and wouldn't have to manually add them. Thanks for considering!

AADL Reply: Hi there, thanks very much for this suggestion! We have it on our list and plan to add it in a future update. Let us know if you have any other ideas, and thanks for using your library! -eli