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Downtown Elevator Repair Update: Downtown Library Is Closed

by aadl-news

Repair work for the public elevator requires the Downtown Library to be closed for an indefinite period. The repair requires casings that are concreted into the elevator shaft to be removed. A drilling rig was brought in on Thursday, and the work area is exposed. This makes it impossible for the Downtown library to be open to the public.

All other library branches are open, and it is possible to send Holds to those locations for pickup if you prefer to avoid the uncertainty of the open hours Downtown. We will extend Hold periods for those items on the Hold Shelf Downtown and those items have been relocated to Traverwood Branch. All programs scheduled for Downtown will be relocated or cancelled. Please check the Events listing for updates on programs.

Downtown codes will be found by looking into the windows. Look for Josie's Chickens. They are worth 2, 000 points!

For more information see my previous post and please accept our apologies for the disruption.



I'm sorry to hear that. My son was looking forward to the puppet show :( I am glad that the elevator will soon be fixed for those who need it.

Do you have any idea how long this process will take? It sounds like this repair will affect the library's open hours on several days.

The repair work on the elevator is going to take a number of days, and the work will require the Downtown Library to be closed for some of that time. The Library is closed today, but it will be open tomorrow, Tuesday, August 12. Closures are announced on our website and through social media. I really do apologize for the inconvenience.


Thanks for keeping us informed about this. Much appreciated. Looking forward to getting over to the new Friends bookshop before too long.

Perhaps you want to look into using text messaging blasts for this kind of announcement. The YMCA uses them for pool closures and other notifications. It's very helpful.

Thank you for all you do - I love the library. A couple questions related to closure - how will this affect those of us who have books on hold waiting for pickup downtown? Is the closure expected to last for several days, and if so, will our on-hold book pick-up dates be extended? Will the daily hours of operation & closure be posted on the web site each morning? I walked there on my lunch hour today to pick up my long-awaited books, only to find the library was closed by the time I arrived. It was a several-month wait for one of the books so I don't want to lose it and have to start all over again at the bottom of the wait list. I had no idea the closure was going to happen, or of course I would have planned differently. Thanks!


We are sorry that you were inconvenienced today. We did post the closure at on Friday, and sent messages out to our Facebook and Twitter users. In addition, signs announcing the closure were posted on Friday inside of the Downtown building. It is very hard to reach everyone with this type of news, but we do try. We have and will continue to post notices about Downtown hours at while the elevator is being repaired.

Your Hold period will be extended because of the closure.


Will the Downtown Branch be open this Saturday (8/16)? I was planning to come get the last of the SG codes that I need this Saturday.


We are having to take this project day to day, so I cannot say for certain that the Downtown Library will be open this Saturday. As soon as I know, I will post a message on this blog, and we are letting people know on Facebook and Twitter.


My daughter and I forgot the library would be closed yesterday, so we went to get the branch codes. We weren't the only ones who forgot. While we were standing there reading the notice, at least 6 other people came and tried to open the door.


Well, it isn't a new elevator, but it is a new jack for the elevator. You won't see anything new once it is repaired. Just making sure we are all clear on that!


When you say that downtown codes will be in the window, does that mean all 28+ codes from the building will be listed? I am missing just one from the branch and was hoping to come in and get it soon.

I've been going to the downtown library for fifty years now. There's an elevator?

Would you consider offering the old elevator jack as one of the grand prizes for the summer game? There seem to be fewer big prizes than other years and I don't think I have a used elevator jack.

(It would certainly make a better prize than the new "improved" messenger bag--which is just the same as the one two years ago which was improved on last year. I know I'm an ingrate, but disappointing... Is the new elevator jack also just held together with a tiny piece of velcro?)

This elevator repair sure is causing a lot of problems, but it will be good to get it fixed. I am relieved that we'll be able to get the codes.

What will happen to events scheduled for downtown next week such as the hula hooping?

Edit - I see it's been relocated

It's confusing that this post is dated 8/8, and has comments from several days since then, but refers to Aug. 14 as "tomorrow". Did you edit it on Wednesday the 13th rather than start a new post?

Thank you Josie.

I'm torn between resenting how easy it will now be for people to just copy down all the summer game codes from downtown, and feeling bad for them because they won't enjoy the hunt and discover new things in the library like I did.

If you do offer the used elevator jack as a prize I want to see a picture of the recipient with it. Now that would be some serious library bling!

It's disappointing for me that the thrill of the hunt won't be there, but I can't delay my outing to Downtown any more.

My kids have observed that the codes in the branch are much easier than in years past, but this will obviously take the elevator. Er, I mean, cake.

While it was difficult (impossible?) to get to downtown during regular business hours, my kids were actually really excited to meet Josie Parker and see her chickens. I hope in the future, there will be more ways for library users to meet her and other staff. My kids have really enjoyed tallking to the librarians. :)

I was about to post a comment saying pretty much the same as Zekicmom - while I'm sure there will be plenty of people excited and happy about the codes in the windows (and I must admit, I'm considering going to get the one code I don't have (hint is "You have to visit the Downtown Library Youth Department to find this one!" I DID visit the Youth Department - I just couldn't find the code), I also feel as if it somewhat ruins the point of the game - rather the same as I felt about all those "teams" last year that had lists of gamecodes in the "description". Oh well. ;)

Well, here's what I think, yaldah....Speaking as someone who is going to have to make a second trip downtown to get the codes that weren't there when I went earlier this summer (I already have the branch code, for example), I am not entirely sure it's fair to say that this is ruining the point of the game. The point of the codes at branches is, frankly, to encourage people to visit branches. My kids learned two years ago, as a result of the Summer Game, that they adore the West branch, which they hadn't ever been to previously. On the other hand, I have been taking my kids to the downtown library for years and by going and staring at the codes in the windows, we actually will be <strong>going</strong> to the downtown library. Besides, what's the option? Just shut the library and forgo the game for a week? This whole incident of the elevator repairs and library closure was not voluntary. This seems utterly different than cheating by giving codes to people who did nothing, which also seems different than players giving other players hints about how to find the codes. Or even hints in the badge description.

At any rate, in my house, we think the codes are much easier to find than in years past. In a previous year, there was a code at Malletts Creek underneath the flip-up magazine rack that holds back issues, and another that was on a bottom shelf. We have encountered few such hidden clues this year. Personally, I think having visible clues serves a different purpose: intriguing passersby and others who may know nothing about the summer game. At Literati Bookstore, the terrarium sits next to brochures about the Summer Game. A great piece of community outreach, if you ask me.

My understanding of the Summer Game is that it is, ultimately, a way to promote the library, and is not "about" the game but about availing oneself of library and community resources. I don't think making players able to see codes from a window that they have physically traveled to, while the structure that houses the codes is inaccessible, diminishes the enthusiasm we have for the game.

Those who want to cheat, have already cheated. Those who want to have half-baked reviews, have already submitted them. Those who can't be bothered to go to downtown and poke around for clues, aren't going to swarm the corner of Fifth and William this week.

(At least, I don't think so!)

Well said Willow. I was going to go downtown on Saturday and get all the codes that are around downtown that I didn't have. But then early Tuesday evening, I saw that the downtown branch was closing Tuesday night and wouldn't be open over the weekend. I didn't want to make two trips downtown to get the remaining codes that I need, so I quickly regrouped and reorganized (we were going to do a different library excursion Tuesday night) and was able to get downtown Tuesday night and get (almost) all the codes I needed from downtown (I missed getting the Audubon Room code by 30 minutes, so now I have to go downtown again). I could have still gone downtown Saturday and just got the codes from the library window, but I didn't want to do that, I wanted to go inside the library, with my son and let me son enjoy the kids section (Downtown has a GREAT kids section) while I got the last three codes I needed. (side note: My son is not yet 3 and while temper tantrums are no fun, the fact that he had one because it was time to leave tells me he was enjoying the library, which is a great thing.) If I couldn't have gone Tuesday night, then getting the codes from the window Saturday would have had to have sufficed. While I would have preferred to locate the codes inside, I appreciate AADL making the codes accessible when they would otherwise be inaccessible. Anyone at this stage of the game who had no intention of going downtown to get the codes, probably still won't just because they're now in the window instead of inside. And even if they do go get them to "cheat" who really cares and what does it really matter? If you're resentful that you had to "work" to get the codes while someone else didn't have to work as hard, then maybe you shouldn't be playing the game. Are you also resentful that some people quickly and easily locate and earn the online badges when you've had to struggle for the answers?

Don't get me wrong, I definitely think the library is doing pretty much the best they can in this situation, and I do see the difference between that and the codes that are just "given away". I'm not blaming AADL for this - they're doing the best they can. And I see your point now, about making the trip to the library being a big part of the idea of codes at the library locations. My strongest feeling is that I wish the elevator wasn't broken at all, but of course that is futile wishing and it's not anyone's fault.
You have a good point about attracting the attention of people who don't play Summer Game - that actually didn't occur to me before, but now that you've said it, it seems quite obvious to me.
That said, I still feel that actually entering the library and walking through the rooms, actually seeing the various sections of the library is the main point of the branch codes. Of course, that's not an option right now, so what AADL is doing is probably the best solution.
(And no, AprilCDB, I'm not jealous or resentful - I'm sorry if my comment before came across like that. :D)

I love finding codes.

...But there is a summer game player in my household who insisted we visit our closest branch several times a week to hunt codes, including waiting in line at the reference desk to confer with the librarians about a code count, and he ended up with an identical list of codes as someone who visited the branches once! So, what can you say. It's a game and we're enjoying it, and it's been a terrific way for my kids to interact with library staff. I cannot thank the staff at the reference desks enough for their dealings with my Summer Game-crazed children. My kids think the library is wonderful.

Thanks for making great points, @willow!

Are there people working in the library while it is closed? Returning books downtown is easiest for me, but if nobody is there to retrieve them when will they be cleared as returned? And is it more convenient for the library overall if I return then downtown or at a branch?

And while nobody on staff will say it, just think - this whole thing could have been avoided had that library millage passed! (Of course downtown would have been closed during construction, but at least that would have been planned and known in advance.)

My kids and I wandered past the front door of the library this weekend, while making sure there weren't any codes hiding at any other windows, and a security guard came rushing over to tell us the library was closed. I did spot another family who did not seem to know of the closure and seemed quite disappointed.

Totally agree with you about the millage, camelsamba.


Staff are in the building during the closure and the Dropbox is being emptied. You shouldn't see any delays on your account because you turned in material Downtown.


I second @Zekicmom's comment -- a picture of the summer gamer with the old elevator jack would be pretty rad.

Hi Josie,
Will it be possible to return books at the Downtown library branch during that time?
Thanks for your reply in advance,

I was worried about getting the branch codes. This won't be as much fun as hunting for them, but at least we can get them.

My husband has a reserved book at the downtown branch that he has waited several months to get. The e-mail notice says that he has until closing on Tues Aug 19 to pick it up. How long will the holds be extended? Will all the holds be sent to the Traverwood branch? It is difficult for us to get to the Traverwood branch because we do not have a car.


All Holds that were Downtown are at Traverwood. If a different branch is more convenient for you, please call 327-4200, ask for the Renewal Line, and request that your items be sent to a different branch.
I am so sorry for the inconvenience.


I'm first on a hold waiting list, with one copy being due to be returned tomorrow (8/15). I originally requested it be held at downtown. I know that books currently (already) on hold at downtown will go to Traverwood, but what about soon-incoming holds like mine? Will they be automatically sent to Traverwood instead as well? I don't want my soon-to-be held copy to languish at downtown. Also, I don't see a way online to change the hold destination.

Finally, I know I have to renew my card. I assume I can do this at locations other than downtown?


I'm a little sad that the downtown branch will be closed. I've been planning a trip to get game codes for a week. But, I am glad the codes will be accessible through the windows. Now I'll have a reason to check out the traverwood branch since I've never been there. This is my first year playing the summer game. Thank you for keeping the elevator safe for those that need it.

My husband has a reserved book at the downtown branch that he has waited several months to get. The e-mail notice says that he has until closing on Tues Aug 19 to pick it up. How long will the holds be extended? Will all the holds be sent to the Traverwood branch? It is difficult for us to get to the Traverwood branch because we do not have a car.

Thank you for posting the codes in the window. That is a wonderful compromise and keeps a sense of the lightness and fun of the game.

SurfGrape, AprilCDB, Willow and others,

We are glad so many people enjoy and play the summer game, and it is a game.
The purpose of the game is to make using the Library interesting and fun, and to promote reading and literacy.

If putting codes in a window generates this much commentary, then all I can say is, "wow"!


OK, wait... I'm slow. :-) Commenting gets points and badges? Count me in! But separately, yes, the info posted all over the site has been very helpful for knowing what's going on at the main branch. Thanks!

What is the holds meaning? only reserved book or including summer shop orders?


Summer game prizes were not moved from Downtown. Please call 3274200, ask for the a Renewal Line, and ask to pick up your prizes at a different location. Be sure to say that they are Downtown.

Everything else on the Hold Shelf after we closed on Wednesday has been taken to Traverwood.

Downtown is not a pickup location option for the time being.


Just wanted to chime in that I appreciate how AADL is keeping us updated on the elevator's progress.

And @willow -- your assessment of the summer game being one of promoting the library and community outreach is spot on. My family and I love the summer game for those reasons. We love discovering new local parks, new trivia about Ann Arbor and Michigan, and new books and tools via the summer game.

I finally went to the downtown branch to finish my branch explorer badges. It felt a little weird typing in the codes without hunting for them, but I appreciated that AADL made them available for those summer gamers (me) who are obsessed with finishing out a badge set.

Is there any chance some of the musical instruments would make their way to the other branches? I've only seen the steel drum at the downtown branch. I'd really love to snag it before the summer's over.

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