Ann Arbor District Library

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The Ann Arbor District Library (AADL) is a public library system that serves the residents of Ann Arbor, Michigan. The Downtown Library, located at 343 South Fifth Avenue, was dedicated in 1957 and had building additions in 1974 and 1991. AADL also includes four branch libraries: Malletts Creek, Traverwood, Pittsfield and Westgate. The library system holds over 490,000 materials – books, DVDs, compact discs, magazines, audio books and other formats – most of which are equipped with RFID tags. More than 1.5 million people came through the doors of the AADL system in 2011-12, and circulation of library materials topped 8.5 million.[1] In 1997, the Library was named “National Library of the Year” by Library Journal, the first library in Michigan to receive the honor.[2]

Ann Arbor District Library

Board of Trustees[edit]

All trustees are elected at large from the District. The Library District is the same as the Ann Arbor School District. Terms are four years long beginning July 1 of the year they are elected.

Officers are elected by the Board at the Annual Board Meeting in July. Officers serve for a one-year term and for no more than two consecutive years in the same office. Board members as of June 2014 are:

  • Prue Rosenthal, President
  • Barbara Murphy, Vice President
  • Jan Barney Newman, Treasurer
  • Rebecca Head, Secretary
  • Nancy Kaplan, Trustee
  • Margaret Leary, Trustee
  • Edward Surovell, Trustee


Malletts Creek Branch
  • Malletts Creek Branch: 3090 East Eisenhower Parkway
  • Traverwood Branch: 3333 Traverwood Drive
  • Westgate Branch: 2503 Jackson Avenue
  • Pittsfield Branch: 2359 Oak Valley Drive

Branch expansion program[edit]

The vision of branch libraries for the Ann Arbor District Library system began with former Library Director Homer Chance. Recognizing the need for access to materials and facilities beyond the Downtown Library, Chance opened the first branch library in Ann Arbor, the Loving Branch, in 1965. In 1977, the West Branch (now called "Westgate") opened its doors. The Northeast Branch began serving the community in 1981.

Expansion continued in 2004 with the opening of the Malletts Creek Branch as a replacement for the Loving Branch. This branch is a unique model of sustainable design featuring solar heating, natural day lighting, a vegetated green roof, convection cooling, naturally captured and filtered storm water, native plants and grasses, and many uses of materials that are renewable resources. The Malletts Creek Branch was awarded the 2005 American Institute of Architects Michigan (AIA Michigan) Award for Sustainable Design.[3]

In 2006, AADL opened the Pittsfield Branch, a community-based learning center serving the residents of the southwest quadrant of Ann Arbor and Pittsfield Township. This branch, along with its surrounding landscape, capitalizes on environmental principles, allowing the overall project to operate more in harmony with the ecosystem and the community in which it serves.

On June 30, 2008 the Traverwood Branch opened replacing the Northeast Branch. The Traverwood Branch is designed to have as little impact on natural landscape features as possible. Sustainable design features include an innovative stormwater management system and the reuse of harvested ash trees from the building site. A rain garden is located on the south side of the building. The design of the Branch takes advantage of natural day lighting.

Since 2004, the Library’s branch expansion program has emphasized sustainability. By using sustainable design in the construction of each branch, the Library will teach, by example, responsible coexistence with the natural environment.[edit]

The AADL website provides access to the Library’s catalog, events, services, research databases and users’ Library accounts management. Website users can post blogs, comment on blogs, subscribe to RSS feeds, tag, create a personal card catalog, and write reviews. Video on Demand of past Library events is available, and users can subscribe to a video or audio podcast through iTunes that will automatically download new video of library productions as they are added to the collection.

The AADL website also includes a section for Old News.[4] They have made arrangements with permission to scan and provide an archive of the following publications: Signal of Liberty, The Ann Arbor Argus, The Ann Arbor Courier, and most recently, The Ann Arbor News. The site is full text searchable and each article includes links for the article author, keywords, people and photographer.

Washtenaw Library for the Blind and Physically Disabled[edit]

The Ann Arbor District Library has housed and administrated the Washtenaw County branch of the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped since February 2009. The Washtenaw Library for the Blind and Physically Disabled (WLBPD@AADL) is a free service which loans books, magazines, and videos in alternative formats such as digital audiobooks, Braille, large print, or descriptive video to eligible individuals who live in Washtenaw County.

Video games in the library[edit]

The Ann Arbor District Library was one of the first public libraries to experiment with using video games to attract teens and youth to the library.[5] AADL now hosts tournaments in Mario Kart: Double Dash!!, Super Smash Bros., and Dance Dance Revolution.

Bond proposal[edit]

On November 6, 2012, Ann Arbor citizens voted "no" on a $65 million bond proposal for the construction of a new downtown library. The final vote was 55.17% to 44.83%.[6]


  1. ^ "2011-2012 AADL Statistics". Archived from the original on 6 April 2013. Retrieved 3 February 2013.
  2. ^ Past Winners of Library Journal Awards Archived June 7, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
  3. ^ 2005 AIA Michigan Design Award Winners Archived July 5, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
  4. ^
  5. ^ "Gaming at Your Library", School Library Journal
  6. ^ Stanton, Ryan J. (17 November 2012). "Ann Arbor downtown library bond proposal defeated: What now?". Retrieved 5 February 2013.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 42°16′44″N 83°44′46″W / 42.278801°N 83.746157°W / 42.278801; -83.746157