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Eli Neiburger Named Director of the Ann Arbor District Library

by richretyi

After an extensive national search for a new Library Director, the Ann Arbor District Library Board of Trustees announced Tuesday (March 22) that Eli Neiburger has been named AADL Director, effective April 1.

Neiburger has been with the Ann Arbor District Library for nearly 25 years, holding positions ranging from Helpdesk Technician, Desktop Engineer, Systems Planner, Network Administrator, IT Manager, Associate Director, and most recently, AADL Deputy Director since 2014.

"We're privileged to have such talent internally, and I'm thrilled that Eli has formally accepted the Board's offer to become AADL's next Director," says AADL Board of Trustees President Jim Leija. "In the midst of a very competitive search process, Eli's vision, talents, expertise, and passion for AADL were unparalleled and made him our top choice candidate. The search showed Eli to be among the best library leaders in the country, and a perfect match for our community. He has been a dedicated member of AADL's staff since 1997, and has been absolutely essential to the transformation of AADL into the thriving, innovative organization that it is today. We look forward to working closely with him as he reintroduces himself to our community in this new role."

"I am overjoyed, thankful, and humbled to be given the opportunity to lead this amazing organization," says AADL Director Neiburger. "There is nothing quite like AADL here on Earth, and I look forward to giving the communities we serve an even more astounding return on their investment in public library service. Thank you to the Board, our dedicated staff, and to our former director Josie Parker for making this possible. I can't wait to get started."

Neiburger has been integral to AADL's Library Journal five-star rating over the last 14 years, helping lead many of AADL's public-facing and behind-the-scenes projects and services. He's been a key contributor to efforts like AADL's video game tournaments, AADL's Tools collection, the Library's Secret Lab, AADL's publishing imprint Fifth Avenue Press and community audio incubator Fifth Avenue Studios, as well as a number of AADL's ongoing festivals and programs, along with helping create AADL's annual Summer Game.

Neiburger is a recognized leader and speaker in the library field with a long track record of talks around the world. He's held positions on a number of boards and committees during his library career, as well as contributed to a number of publications, and consulted with library, education, and IT groups and organizations throughout the country.

Neiburger graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Architecture from the University of Michigan in 1996 and played tuba in the Michigan Marching Band.  You may have seen him and his family appearing as The Nintendoland Family Band at a local music festival. He can usually be found at Noon Skate at Yost Ice Arena.


Congratulations! A well deserved promotion and an impressive recognition of the role of technology in libraries. I don't know how common it is yet for IT people to rise up to director, but this seems forward thinking.


I had a sneaking suspicion that after an extensive that the Board would discover that they didn’t need to look beyond their own library, but I’m sure that they felt even more confident having made such a search. Congratulations! I know that the AADL is in capable hands.

Richard Dougherty
Former Board Member

Congratulations, Eli! I have enjoyed getting to know you a little through the Summer Game, and if your dedication and skill are anything like what I've seen in the Summer Game, AADL is very lucky.

Awaiting official confirmation: Congratulations on your well-earned appointment! There's no question but that You'll be a transformative leader in our community through the heart of the 21st century. So we've very fortunate to have you at the helm of Ann Arbor's jewel. But even more so, it's going to be fun to see what you choose to do!

Congratulations - look forward to seeing what new plans you may have for the library.

Wonderful choice! I suspect more than one of us named you as the best example of the hiring criteria we suggested. Looking forward to the next stage.

What a shame! Another mealy mouthed, double talking, evasive wiseguy, in the mold of Ms Parker. The Board had an opportunity to pick a strong leader, someone with character, but they took the easy way out, covering their keisters.

Thank you, Julie! I intend to continue to listen to whatever patrons want to say to me, and not taking it personally is a big part of this job. I appreciate your feedback and advice!

I just saw this. You are in rare form, completely disregarding everything I say, not responding to the issues I raise, just brushing them aside and regurgitate the standard bureaucratic boilerplate. Even the lowest simpleton could understand, based especially on my latest comment, that I would in no way shape or form, waste any of my time " communicating" with you. To persist along these lines of your callous non responses that you exhibit, would be insulting, and that is how I will take them. Have a nice day staring out your window @$75/hr ! Very sincerely yours Wm. C. Higgins.

Reported for personal abuse.

I believe that everyone who engages with this site should be safe from harmful behavior. Becoming a public figure (library director) does not legitimize you as a target for abuse.

Congratulations! It couldn't have happened to a better person! You've always done great things for the events at the library, especially for kids. And who doesn't love the Summer Game?! Can't wait to see what you do in the future! :)

As a relative newcomer to Ann Arbor, having moved from Chicago (yes, within the city limits), my Chicago Public Library cohorts spoke glowingly of the Ann Arbor system. I have found their accolades to be true. Congratulations to you, Eli, as you carry on the fine tradition.

Congratulations Eli! A promotion well deserved! Best of luck to you and your management team. Take care.

I’ve been a Parton of the AADL for multiple decades, and I’ve known Eli for almost just as many years. This is wonderful news to hear for all parties involved, Eli, the AADL, and every patron who uses the library’s services.
Hard working, knowledgeable leadership, dedication, and Inspiring, these are only a few of the many great qualities Eli possesses and brings to the table on a daily basis. As I said before many people in all of Ann Arbor will benefit from this great news.
Congratulations my friend!
-John “inabox” D.

The perfect choice! Thanks to the Board for making this great selection. Heartening to see one of Ann Arbor’s gems in such good hands.

Congratulations, Eli .. you're stepping into a big job and you'll do great!

(.. and I've no doubt Barbara would have heartily endorsed that).

Congratulations, Eli, and welcome to your new role! And all best wishes as you take the helm at the bonny ship of AADL!
Laz & Daniel Slomovits and Jennifer Burd

Eli, I just would like to add my congratulations to the many others. Well deserved.
Alice Fishman

Congratulations, Eli, on your appointment as Library Director. I appreciate that you know the library and community well, as you have contributed to exciting, new projects, like the Tools collection, the Summer Games, and Fifth Avenue Press.

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