New Ann Arbor Public Library set to open
■ The library at South Fifth Avenue and East William Street has nearly doubled from 54,000 to 97,000 square feet since the project began in July 1989.
By DAVE WILKINS
NEWS STAFF REPORTER
The new, improved Ann Arbor Public Library will be unveiled at an open house Sunday, 28 months and nearly $10 million after its massive expansion and renovation began.
“We planned and planned and planned and planned and planned, and it’s still coming down to the wire,” said library director Ramon Hemandez. “We’ll be ready to open. Not everything will be in place, but 95 percent of it will.”
The library at South Fifth Avenue and East William Street has nearly doubled from 54,000 to 97,000 square feet since the project began in July 1989.
The Ann Arbor Public Schools, which operates the public library system, borrowed most of the money for the project - $9.35 million - through bond sales approved by voters in 1988 and 1990. The board of education also is expected to accept a $100,000 gift from the Friends of the Library tonight.
The library has a circulating collection of 500,000 books and served 600,000 visitors last year.
Here’s a brief rundown of what you’ll see in the expanded facility:
■ In the basement, you’ll find the Friends of the Library used book shop and two public meeting rooms, one of which will feature various exhibits.
■ The first floor contains the “browsing library,” including popular fiction and periodicals; an expanded young adult section; the youth department; and materials for an adult literacy program.
■ The second floor contains an expanded reference department, study carrels, and a room for group study. Newspapers, books and periodicals are located here.
■ The third floor contains books on sports, music, entertainment and the arts; audio-visual materials, including records and compact discs; personal computers for public use; a circulating art display; and offices for library outreach programs.
■ The fourth floor contains two meeting rooms that, like the basement meeting rooms, can be reserved by residents and groups. It also houses library administrative offices and technical services.
An open house to mark the re-opening of the Ann Arbor Public Library is scheduled from 1 to 4:30 p.m. Sunday. Here are the highlights:
■ A ribbon-cutting at the entrance on Fifth Avenue at 1 p.m.
■ A dedication ceremony in the main reading room from 2:30-3 p.m.
■ The new bookmobile, donated by the Buhr Foundation, on display.
■ Refreshments served in the basement.
■ Performances by the Community High jazz band on the first floor and a chamber trio on the third floor.
■ Art work from Ann Arbor Public Schools art teachers and alumni on display.
NEWS PHOTO - JACK STUBBS
Evie Moorer, left, and Paula Schaffer restock shelves with youth books in the newly refurbished Ann Arbor Public Library. A Sunday open house marks the reopening of the expanded library.
Remodeling & Renovation
Friends of the Ann Arbor Public Library
Community High School Jazz Band
Art & Artists
Ann Arbor Public Schools
Ann Arbor Public Library
Ann Arbor News
343 S Fifth Ave