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June Service Update

Tue, 06/14/2022 - 9:00am by richretyi

Bookable Meeting Rooms Are Back
Patrons can once again book any of AADL's meeting rooms with their Library card by visiting AADL's Book a Room page. Book any of our 10 available rooms for up to two hours per day, up to 12 times per calendar year, from tomorrow onward. Same-day bookings of one hour are available by calling or texting 734-327-4200 or claiming an empty meeting room on a first-come-first-served basis.

Tools Bookings Now Available
Patrons can now book tools for events big and small using AADL's Book Tool button, or by visiting our Book A Tool page. With your Library card, you can book a selection of AADL tools ranging from the Mega Tumble Tower and Giant Connect-4 to telescopes, projectors, PA systems, and more. Bookable tools have a pickup date of your choice, subject to availability, and can be made for up to one week. Tools Bookings can be placed one week to six months in advance. Booked tools can only be picked up and returned to the Downtown Library; you can use the free express parking spots on Fifth Avenue right outside the front door. Learn more here.

Tools Loan Periods Adjusted
With the launch of Tools Bookings, we're adjusting the loan periods on the rest of the tools so that more people can use them each year. Loan periods vary depending on the tool, but most are one or two weeks, with some items going out for four weeks. You can always see how long items go out for on the catalog, or check your due dates on your my account page.

Regular Preschool Storytimes at Branches and Baby Playgroups Have Resumed
Washtenaw County COVID trends have continued to show a decrease in the number of cases over the past several weeks and preschool storytimes at branches and baby playgroups have resumed. See the schedule of preschool storyimes and baby playgroups here.

AADL Adds to Its Genealogy Offerings
Coming soon to all AADL locations—access to more than six billion searchable names and two billion images of historical genealogy records from more than 130 countries through FamilySearch. Stay tuned for updates in June! 

New Titles Added to AADL's Streaming Video Collection
In addition to the current selection of HBO films, Ken Burns documentaries, and videos from National Geographic and PBS, AADL is adding a host of BBC Literary Adaptations and BBC Landmark titles, including Pride and Prejudice, Mrs. Marple, Planet Earth, The Blue Planet, and more. Browse AADL's streaming video selection today!

Puzzles Now Available on Express Shelves
You can now find puzzles on AADL's express shelves! Check out puzzles ranging from 80 to 1,000 pieces at any of AADL's five locations. Express Shelf Puzzles can be kept for one week but cannot be renewed or requested.

"Add to Calendar" Feature for AADL Events
We've rolled out a new feature for event listings on aadl.org so that AADL events can easily be added to calendar systems. Clicking "Add to Calendar" next to event dates on that event's web page will download a calendar file that can be opened in the user's native calendar software or be uploaded to any web-based calendar service.

Read AADL's Latest Fifth Avenue Press Releases Instantly
AADL's publishing imprint Fifth Avenue Press recently added 10 new titles to the collection, including picture books, a YA novel, adult fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and anthology works. AADL patrons can read or download Fifth Avenue Press books instantly online, or checkout or request hard copies of our latest crop of releases or any of the books released by Fifth Avenue Press. See the full catalog of Fifth Avenue Press titles here.

AADL Ends Overdue Fees on AADL Material
After pausing overdue fees since March 13, 2020, the AADL Board of Trustees approved a policy change to permanently end overdue fees at their May meeting. We'll continue to send bills for the replacement of items that are more than 45 days overdue. Bills disappear automatically when the overdue item is returned. Tools Bookings will have a daily $25 fee if not returned on the date the borrower chose when booking the item.  

Comments

I'm upset that there was no notice about this impending change on the length of check-out for tools. No notice on my reservation page, and no notice on the reservation page for each tool.

Hi there, we're sorry to have upset you. The loan periods for all items are visible on every item's page; just look at the listing of copies and you'll see the loan period for this one. However, as we said in email, we are happy to adjust your checkout length for you as this caught you off guard. Just let us know if you need anything else on this. Again, we're sorry for the trouble, and we thank you for your patience!

How does the ending of overdue fees work? A bit confused since it sounds like there are fees for materials over 45 days overdue

Thanks for asking, we're sorry for the confusion! We used to charge $.25 or more each day that an item was overdue, beginning on the day after its due date. We no longer charge this overdue fee daily on AADL items. (Overdue fees still accrue daily on MeLCat or ILL checkouts, as those items don't belong to AADL.)

However, once an item is 45 days overdue, the borrower will receive a bill for the replacement cost of the item. They can pay this bill if the item is lost, or they can return the item and the bill disappears completely. This billing process is not new, it's how we've handled items long past their due date for 20+ years. Just let us know if you have any other questions about this, and thanks for using your library!

Hi there, thanks for your question! We're now open 10 AM - 8 PM 7 days a week. We're finding we're busier on the weekend evenings when we used to be closed than we were on the days when we used to open at 9 AM. At this point, we don't have a plan to expand open hours beyond 10 AM - 8 PM daily. Thanks again for asking!

I am upset that the library, without any warning, sent my account to collection. No warning at all! I don't appreciate credit reports being threatened. When I called, the person I spoke to apologized and assured me that my account was not sent to collection. Yet there is still a $10 collection fee on my account. I have used AADL for almost 20 years. I am surprised by this behavior. Especially after I just paid the full fee for a book that I could not find.

Hi there, we're sorry that you had a bad experience here. You would have received notices when your items first went overdue. Then, when they became 45 days overdue, you would have received bills for the replacement cost of the overdue items. If those bills are over $25, you would have received more notices around every 2 weeks that your balance was going to be sent to collections if the items were not returned or the balance paid. After having a balance of $25 or more for 45 days or more, that's when accounts are sent to collections. Please note that nowhere in this process are credit reports threatened. Also, while we no longer charge overdue fees for AADL items, MeLCat checkouts still accrue overdue fees daily, as those items do not belong to AADL.

When accounts are sent to collections, a $10 fee is added, as the referrals cost the library money. Bills disappear completely when overdue items are returned in usable condition, but the $10 fee remains for accounts that were sent to collections for nonpayment. We're sorry for the trouble and alarm here. Please don't hesitate to contact me at eli@aadl.org if you have any other questions, or would like to discuss this further. Thanks for your patience, and thanks for using your library!

Thank you, especially for the 'add to calendar' links! That seemed like a relatively easy big value add and I'm glad you were able to tackle it!

On my recent trip to the downtown branch, I found that all of the music tools are no longer available to browse. This is unfortunate, because it means that people who might have stumbled upon them and tried them out can no longer have that experience. I was told by staff that the only place you can find them now is in the online catalog. However, many of the descriptions of the items are insufficient or nonexistent.

I already miss being able to go into the library, pop open various gig cases, and see what's inside. It seems now I have to figure out what I want based on a tiny picture, book a week in advance, and (this is worst of all) only get the items for one week. Some of these synthesizers are really complicated. Having 2-4 weeks to tinker with them was really nice.

It appears that you have the problem of your music tools program being too successful, and instead of building on that success and growing it, you're cutting it off at the knees. If the reason for the change to bookings is so more people can enjoy the tools, then why not buy more tools instead of limiting access? If funding is the issue, let's talk about grants AADL can go after to support this. You've created such a valuable resource for your patrons with the music tools program, but putting in behind closed doors and making it more cumbersome to use reduces the public value here.

I will say that I fully support the $25/day late return fee for music tools, though. It is quite frustrating when you're waiting on a hold that is overdue. What will happen when someone doesn't return an item timely that you've booked for a week? Do you just lose your booking? I could see this being incredibly frustrating for super high demand tools like the thermal imaging camera.

Hi there, thanks for your comment. We have made some changes to the way music tools circulate to address theft of library materials from open shelves. We can definitely accommodate longer checkout periods than the standard week through the bookings process, we'll follow up with you directly on that.

To be clear, the problem we are working to solve is not that checking out items from the collection has become too successful, but that too many items were going missing off the floor. So yes, we do hope to keep more items successfully circulating by housing them in a secure area when they're not in use. Funding is not the issue here.

We have designed the booking system to have padding between bookings to have time to chase down items that haven't come back as promised, and we generally hope to have a spare on hand of most items so we can always fill bookings, even if it didn't come back on time. But, the Thermal Camera is not currently bookable; it circulates by request.

We'll be improving signage and information to make it easier to know what's available, and we'll continue to adjust this balance as we make this change, with the goal of consistent, convenient access to these collections. Unfortunately, that's no longer possible on the public floor. Thanks for your feedback, and thanks for using your library!

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