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AADL Reopening Plans

by aadl-news


Everyone at AADL extends our gratitude to you for your patience with the library closure during this sad and difficult time. We also extend our condolences to anyone who has lost a loved one to COVID-19, and it is our fervent hope that you continue to be well and safe as we move through the next months.

Now that the stay-at-home order has been lifted, we are moving into Stage 4 of the Governor's Michigan Safe Start plan. We outlined our plan on May 18, at the monthly meeting of the Library Board. After June 8th, AADL staff can return to the buildings and begin preparing to resume checkout service. Our priority will be to clear the backlog of returned materials, and to provide access to items still on the Hold Shelves from before the closure. Then we will begin filling requests and offer daily time slots for Locker or Lobby pickup.  This allows us the ability to bring staff back into the buildings with appropriate distancing and PPE, and to ready the buildings to allow for contactless pickup. We will not be providing curbside services.

Nothing currently checked out of the AADL is due before mid-July, and no fines will accrue on materials for several months. Check your my account page to see when your items are due.

While in Phase 4 of the Michigan Safe Start plan, we will be adjusting our practices and changing our interior spaces to allow for safe use of the library buildings and equipment. When our region moves into Phase 5 of the plan, we will be able to provide additional, but still limited access to the building interiors and equipment. We will not resume in-person programming for many months, but the Summer Game will happen online and in outside venues.

We look forward to continuing to bring the AADL to you and your family on AADL.TV and you can look forward to more events online at the Library.

Please continue to look here for more information as we get nearer to resuming library services.

AADL Phased Reopening Plan

MI Safe Start Phase 4: Improving

Once Southeast Michigan moves to Phase 4, Contactless Pickup will begin.
First: Open for returns starting June 15th
Then: All Locations open daily, Noon - 8 PM for Lobby Pickup, starting June 22nd
Later: Public Computing by Appointment at the Downtown Library starting in July

During this phase, you'll get a notification when your requests are almost ready for pickup, including for items that were ready for pickup when we closed in March. You can then schedule a pickup in the Lobby, or using the Pickup Lockers if the location where your items are ready has lockers. You can also ask to have your items sent to another location, or tell us you don't want them anymore.

To make sure we can keep up with demand, all outstanding requests will be frozen. We'll send every patron who has outstanding requests a note about this when it happens, and you can unfreeze your requests if you still want them fulfilled. Remember that you still move up the queue while your requests are frozen. Due dates will be adjusted so that everyone has plenty of time to return the items they've had since before the closure.

Finally, during Phase 4, we'll only be filling requests for media: books, movies, music, magazines. We don't plan to begin filling requests for Tools nor Art Prints until Phase 5.

MI Safe Start Phase 5: Containing

Once Southeast Michigan moves to Phase 5, Browsing Hours will resume.
First: Open Hours for Browsing & Self Checkout
Then: Walk-in Public Computing
Later: Exhibits Resume

During this phase, we'll transition out of contactless pickup and resume using the Hold Shelves. You'll be able to browse the shelves and select your own items for checkout too. We won't be able to offer open seating, workspace, room bookings, or events, but walk-in access to Public Computers and Kids iPads will resume, and the Library's exhibit spaces will begin being used again.

MI Safe Start Phase 6: Post-Pandemic

Once Southeast Michigan moves to Phase 6, Full Service will resume.
First: Regular Library Hours & Open Seating
Then: Meeting Room Bookings & Rentals Resume
Later: AADL In-person Events Resume

During this phase, we'll restore public seating and use of meeting rooms and rental for events, with AADL in-person Events to resume thereafter.

More details to come as services are rebuilt. Thanks for your patience, and if you have any questions, feel free to post a comment below, or email , or call or text 734-327-4200.


When will the WiFi be turned back on? I understand if we can't go inside the building, but one can use WiFi from outside, in one's car.

Sorry for the trouble, Willow! At Traverwood you'd have to get right up to the glass to get a signal, but we've had many users of the Malletts wifi. The parking spots closest to the entrance are your best bet. You can also get strong signal in the staff parking lot of the Downtown Library. Thanks for using your library!

Thanks for asking, MeLCat requesting is up to the team at MeL; they have said that requesting will be turned back on once 75%-80% of participating libraries have reopened. So expect that to be weeks to months. WorldCAT ILL will resume later this Summer, once we have some sense that other libraries have begun filling WorldCAT requests. So, we don't know dates for these, and we're unfortunately not in control of when these services resume. For now, we're focused on getting AADL materials into the hands of AADL patrons. Thanks for your patience, and thanks for using your Library!

You are welcome to return them with other AADL items, just allow up to 2 weeks for them to disappear from your account after you return them. A lot of the MeL data is in an odd state and there is manual work required to process the items. Thanks for your patience!

Worldcat is just an library word for traditional ILL. MeLCat is automated ILL; when you place a traditional ILL request, library staff use Worldcat to search for other libraries that might loan the item manually through the mail. Thanks for asking!

I see tools will not be checked out until Phase 5. Do I still need to return the tool I have checked out by July 1?

It says that the initial priority will be on processing returns and holds from before the closure. But looking at the timeline, it’s not clear to me when the holds from before the closure will be available for pickup. June 22? Or is it during the first week of opening June 15?

Pickup appointments will be available starting June 22nd for everyone, but we'll be doing testing and soft launch the week of the 15th with some of the material currently on Hold shelves. We appreciate everyone being so patient. We are almost there!

All returned items will be quarantined for 72 hours before being checked in and re-shelved. Fines will not be applied to returned items for many weeks. We appreciate that so many of you kept library materials through the closure as we requested.

I am thankful to hear of the 72-hour quarantine on returned materials to keep staff safe before they are even checked in, and of the overall thoughtfulness and care in planning this re-entry. I am not surprised, though-- we know how good we have it at AADL! :)

YEA!!!! Besides being able to pet all the neighbours dogs, I miss the library most!!!!!!!!!!! SO looking forward to darkening your doors again!!!!!

Is there a timeline for when the friends bookstore at the downtown branch will reopen? Will that be about the same time as when browsing is allowed or at a later time?

The FAADL shop won't reopen before browsing is allowed in the buildings, but the FAADL will decide their reopening plans and will announce them at

We have small children and thus lots of check-outs. Do you want them as soon as you open back up or would you rather we wait so you’re not overwhelmed?

After June 15th, feel free to return any library materials at your convenience. We've now made the final adjustment to due dates so check your my account page to see when we'd like the items back. We are expecting quite a rush of returns the first few weeks, but we are gearing up to get everything processed. Thanks for asking, and thanks for your patience!

At this point, our Call Center is open to help you via phone Monday-Friday from Noon - 6 PM. Expanded call center hours are coming soon. Thanks for your patience!

Your re-opening PLANS are brilliant: it seems you haven't missed a thing! It's as if you were experienced at this ;-). Smart, thoughtful, great work, all.

Good question, you can unfreeze right now! We just wanted to make sure we were working on requests that people still actively wanted. We hope to begin filling new requests later this month, after the hold shelves have been cleared of things that have been waiting since before the closure. Thanks for your patience!

Hello, the Friends bookshop re-opening won't occur before the AADL opens for browsing in Stage 5 of the Safe Start plan. You can find details about the Friends bookshop at

I miss the library more than anything else, and it has more impact on my life than any of the other changes. Stay safe, folks!

Hi there, when your items are almost ready you'll get an email inviting you to schedule a pickup appointment. This service will be testing the week of June 15th and will begin for all patrons the week of June 22nd. Just stay tuned to your email, and thanks for your patience!

When will we get an announcement about the outside part of the Summer Game?

Does AADL participate in either Hoopla or Kanopy, which are streaming video services accessible through Library memberships? Thanks you. Rosalie

Hi there, thanks for asking. AADL does not subscribe to any pay-per-view products such as these. We do have a small collection of streaming documentaries you can watch right from the catalog, just refine your search to streaming video using the checkboxes on the left. Thanks for asking, and let us know if you have any other questions.

Good question. We'll have a post just about this as the service starts up, but when your item is almost ready you'll get an email or phone call inviting you to schedule a pickup. You'll have 7 days to respond to this message. Through that message you can choose a pickup appointment. Locker pickup appointments will be 4-6 hours, and lobby pickup appointments will be 12 PM - 8PM. You can choose on what day you want to come pick it up. You'll get a reminder on the day you chose that your item is ready for pickup that day. Does that help? More to come, and once you've been through it once it will be more clear. Thanks for your patience!

I missed AADL Westgate more than almost anything else during covid closings. So happy that the door is opening a bit. Despite feeling the loss of access to AADLs, I am very grateful for your thoughtful, slow reopening process that respects the governor's guidelines!

Good question. While we have new lockers on order for Westgate and Traverwood, when this service begins we will have lockers at Malletts Creek and Pittsfield Branch, as we did before. There are a lot more lockers at Pittsfield Branch, so if that is convenient to you, it's likely to be much easier to schedule a locker pickup there once your items are almost ready. Thanks for your patience!

What is the procedure for reserving time at the computers and how soon can one make a reservation for early July?

Hi there, thanks for asking. We don't have any details about this yet. We are still working on hardware and software. Stay tuned for more information as we get to the end of June, and in the meantime, don't hesitate to contactus or email if there's something we can help you do while this service is in redevelopment. Thanks for your patience!

No wonder Ann Arbor’s library is among the top libraries in the nation. You all have your act together so well that you can’t be beat. Thank you for everything you do and provide for us Ann Arborites.

Are you going to unfreeze all frozen books? I have too many. I went in last week and unfroze a few that I wanted first, but I see they are now all frozen again. I want to leave a lot of the books frozen. Can I select which ones as I tried to do last week???

Items I returned June 15 are still showing on my account page. How long will it take for account information to be updated> Rosemary

We're still working our way through the piles of material from the past 3 months, and that was just yesterday. Please allow at least a week for items to be processed as we're catching up. Nothing is due, so no overdue fees will accrue. Let us know if they're still on your account in July and we can take care of it then. Thanks for your patience!

I'm very impressed with how carefully thought out and thorough your plan is! I'm not surprised, since you are consistently one of the top library systems in the US. A very special thank you for your BLM image on the homepage.

Hi there, yes! You can request items now, and we will be starting to fill new requests next week. When your item is almost ready you'll get a notice inviting you to schedule a pickup. You won't be able to come in and checkout your own items, though; just schedule a pickup and your items will be waiting for you, already checked out to you. Thanks for your patience, and thanks for using your library!

The two renew boxes at the bottom of the Checkouts list are in grey boxes and don't seem to function. Am I missing something? If not, when will they begin to function again?

Hi there, you're not missing anything; because we extended all due dates into July and August to give people plenty of time to return their materials, right now renewing is disabled. If you renewed now it would actually make your due dates sooner, as renewals are as if you checked out your materials again on the day you renew, not adding additional time onto the end of your loan period. Once we get to the point where renewals won't make your due dates sooner, we'll turn it back on. Thanks for asking about this!

Our books are checked out until 7.13. I think this means that renewing now would yield a later return date, if four weeks is the period for these items.

Good question! Not at first, but depending on how long we are limited to pickup appointments, after that's going smoothly we'll look at ways to get pickup appointments for available items. Stay tuned, and thanks for your patience!


Are the books put on order during quarantine being processed? If not, then when will they start being processed?

Are we allowed to go in and look/check out the books when the librarys open? I miss books SOOOO much!!!

So sorry, not quite yet! For now we're only open for pickup appointments. You can request anything in the catalog, and when it's almost ready, you'll get an invite to schedule a pickup appointment. Thanks for your patience, and we'll get there!

I have a book group kit checked out, which is ten copies of a book and a movie in a large totebag and it's too big for the drop box. Can I return it when I come to pick up my items on hold?

Hi there, definitely. When you come for a pickup appointment, there is a large bin in each lobby for returns, and a book clubs to go kit will fit in there no problem. Thanks for asking!

Thanks for asking. We're sorry, but MeLCat has not yet resumed service. They plan to resume once 80% of their partner libraries are open, that could still be weeks to months. Stay tuned, and thanks for your patience!

My request list has been frozen three times in the past week. Each time I have been able to unfreeze it. How do I stop this from happening so I might eventually be able to get at least some of these books? So glad you are opening again.

Nope, no worries! That button is there for everyone. It does not mean your requests are frozen again. You only need to unfreeze your requests once. We put the button there temporarily to help people who didn't know how to unfreeze their items. It will disappear this week. Thanks for checking!

I returned 24 books last Wednesday, June 17, at around 12:30, to Mallets Creek. But my account shows all those books are still checked out to me. I'm concerned about this. Please advise.

The fact that they're all still checked out means that day's returns haven't been processed yet. All returns are quarantined for at least 3 days before processing, please allow a week before getting concerned about your returns. They will likely be processed today or tomorrow. Thanks for your patience!

Thank you for the thorough update. I'm sad to not browse the library for a while, but happy that everyone is going to be able to access books for checkout in a safe way. Also-go bummer/summer game!

I am excited about my first pick-up of books today (from holds in March). Is it OK to return other books at this time? I know at one point you wanted us to wait so you weren't overwhelmed with returns.

Hi, approximately when do you think holds from June will be issued (scheduled for pick up)? Thanks

Hi, from the time we reserve books until the time they are ready for pick up is taking how long, currently (Main branch pickup)? I am getting ready for a vacation and would like to know if I need I will have library books to take.

Sorry, we are just starting up this service and we don't have estimates. We are starting to fill new requests but how long it will take to get your items will depend on the item. We're sorry not to have better information about this at the moment!

I picked up my first items from a scheduled pickup Downtown today. From my end it was seamless. Thanks for working this out. My question is: Two of my items are due July 2. Since you are quarantining returns for three days before you check them in, does this mean I should return them June 30, so the check-in day is the 2nd?

Thanks for using pickup appointments, we're so glad you had a good experience! No worries on the due date. The date it's due is the date to get it into the dropbox; we backdate the checkins when it actually happens so they're being processed as of the day they were returned. If you wind up with any fees, they're in error, and we will happily waive them from your account for you. Thanks for asking!

What is the actual procedure for contactless pick-up? Is there an i.d. check? I assume masks are required? Are the books shelved closely together on the entry shelving as in the past? Books will have been handled by staff and possibly other pick-up patrons maybe hours or minutes before I pick them up? Would just like to understand what to expect. Thank you. I am looking forward to being one of the lucky ones!!

Hi there, thanks for asking! There is no ID check. Masks are required though we are not able to enforce the requirement. There is a staffer on a screen in the vestibule to help you remotely if needed. There are now shelves surrounding the entrance. While AADL staff processing checkouts are gloved and masked, it is definitely possible that someone else has touched your items hours or minutes before your pickup. But you just walk in and take your items off the shelf, that's all there is to it. If your pickup point is Malletts Creek or Pittsfield, you can also request a locker pickup outside, but the timeslots are shorter. Let us know if you have any other questions about this, and thanks for using your library!

Hi there, we're currently only open for pickup appointments. You can request an item from your online account, and you'll get an email when it's almost ready inviting you to schedule a pickup appointment. We don't know when we will be opening for browsing, that's dependent on Public Health decisions on the State level. We know we won't open for browsing until after our region reaches Phase 5 of the MI Safe Start plan. Thanks for your patience, and just let us know if you need any help!

I was expecting two books when I went in today but only one had my name. I thought maybe I was confused because I also have an app't for tomorrow so I left with just the one book. But now I see in my account that there should have been two.

1. Should it be there tomorrow since I didn't get it today? (This is a more general question - what happens if we don't show up on the day scheduled?)

2. If someone else took it by accident (or intent), how do I get it off my account?

Thanks for asking! 1. If it was there at 8 pm today, it will still be there tomorrow. Lobby pickups have a second day as a grace period before they go on to the next person in case you forget. So you also could have gone to get all 3 items tomorrow. 2. Let us know if it's not there tomorrow. If it disappeared from the vestibule, contactus or tell the staffer on the screen and we'll remove it from your account and replace your hold. It does happen but it's been pretty rare so far. Thanks for your patience, and we're sorry for the trouble!

Thank you for keeping everyone safe! As a homeschooling (all the time, not just during Covid) family we have really missed the library. We're looking forward to placing requests and get some new books/movies/cds to enjoy. (and hoping we reach that level 5 this summer so tools can be reserved again.)

What happens when you arrange to pickup a book at your local branch but then forget to pick it up?

Hi there, if you scheduled a locker pickup and forgot to pick it up, it goes on to the next person at the end of your pickup window. But if you scheduled a lobby pickup, you can still pick it up in the lobby the next day as a grace period. But after the second day, it will be sent along to the next person. Let us know if you have any other questions, and thanks for using your library!

Hello, we are starting to fill requests from available items this week! There are over 10,000 items to pull at the Downtown Library alone, so it will be several weeks before we're getting caught up. Thanks for your patience!

Hi, I thought I would ask: what is the turnaround time for suggested titles right now in the pandemic?

Hi there, thanks for asking. It depends on the type of media, supplier, and many other factors, so we can't really estimate a turnaround time for a particular title suggestion. We are still working through a backlog of new items from when we were completely closed, but we're ordering new stuff every week too. But it's a safe assumption that it will take at least a month for us to add something to the collection we didn't already have in response to a suggestion. Thanks for your patience!

Thank you so much for everything! The AADL staff has been awesome during this time. I sometimes feel bad - I'm keeping you extra busy, as I've been reading soooo many books these days, but honestly you all are a lifesaver. Thank you for all the safety precautions you've put into place. I especially love the contactless lobby pickup and the lockers. And my gosh, the summer game, too! It was fabulous. AADL is the best!

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