Statements of Support

Alan Caldwell President/Owner, Senior Helpers

This is really about keeping Ann Arbor the Ann Arbor we all know and appreciate – with great quality of life and terrific community services, and that includes a state-of-the-art library! "

Albert M. Berriz McKinley Real Estate

The AADL team has shown to be fiscally conservative and a great fiduciary of our tax payer dollars in our Ann Arbor community.  I am a huge supporter and have lots of confidence in their leadership! "

Ali Ramlawi Owner of Jerusalem Garden

With thoughtful consideration to its neighbors, users & staff during construction, I believe a new downtown library would only help to invigorate & enrich our city for decades to come. "

Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Regional Chamber of Commerce

  The A2Y Chamber endorses the Ann Arbor District Library’s millage proposal appearing on the November 2012 ballot. While we recognize there may be concerns regarding the timing and magnitude of the proposal, we believe that the Library has made a reasonable and valid case for its proposal. For instance, while building on the current site creates a number of issues, due to the unique legal restrictions on that property vis-à-vis the school district, relocating the main library is not feasible. Further, the building is antiquated and not conducive to providing the types of services and resources demanded of a library in the 21st Century and particularly in our community which has proven a need and desire for a main branch providing modern services. Refitting the current building would entail considerable costs and not provide long-term solutions. In addition, and at least as significantly as the other reasons, the Library Board has proven itself to be a responsible steward of the public’s money. They have built first class branches without incurring debt, and for many years have voluntarily chosen to levy less than the full amount of taxes which it could otherwise levy. And finally, having a modern downtown main library reinforces our community’s image and commitment to this resource, and the plans for the new facility will be a destination for many and an asset to the overall business and community climate. "

Barbara Niess-May Executive Director, SafeHouse Center

The Ann Arbor District Library is a lifeline for many in the community, including survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault.  There are thousands in our community who experience these horrific crimes in silence.   Because of the shame and isolation they feel, often times they seek to resolve the situation on their own. Thus, seeking the safety of the library to learn more about their situation, research options for support, and privately email to seek support from family and friends.   And for those who are homeless and leaving a situation, the library offers ways to research employment, housing and other resources to care for herself and her children. SafeHouse Center has a wonderful and lasting relationship with the Ann Arbor Library.  We are grateful for the literacy outreach that is conducted in the shelter.  Books are brought in on a rotating basis to encourage parents reading to their children, as well, children having ready access to a variety of books when it may not be safe to go to the library. "

Betsy Jackson President, The Urban Agenda, Inc.

If we are serious about creating a community that not only attracts creative and entrepreneurial people but helps develop creativity and entrepreneurism from within, we must invest in a central library. We cannot be satisfied with a library that meets current expectations; we should demand one that anticipates new directions in information, learning and sharing. After all, we never say to our children, "hey, you're good enough right now, so let's not worry about investing in college, or work, or your future." Supporting the bond proposal for a new downtown library tells each and every person in the community that we are investing in our collective future. With a "yes" vote on November 6, everyone wins. "

Bill Kinley President, Phoenix Contractors

The case to build a new downtown Ann Arbor library is compelling. I’ve assessed the current facility and concluded that the need to rebuild now has reached a critical point. Its three outdated sections were cobbled together over a 50 year period. They simply can’t be effectively and efficiently remodeled and will not serve our community well for the future. We won’t find a better time to invest in a new building, with current record low interest rates and competitive construction costs. I have great confidence that the AADL will deliver an exceptional main library for our community and continue to provide tremendous value for our tax dollars. "

Carolyn Grawi Ann Arbor Center for Independent Living

The Ann Arbor CIL supports the modernizing and rebuilding, the downtown library branch, as a fully accessible, universally designed, multi-functional building that invites and includes the breadth of diversity and unique needs and desires of all community members. "

Doug Kelbaugh FAIA Prof of Architecture and Urban Planning and former dean of UM's Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning

A new downtown library is not only a timely opportunity to replace an aging and outdated facility, but a chance to provide a needed downtown living room, both indoors and outdoors in an adjoining plaza. "

Ellie Serras Former Director, Main Street Area Association

When I think of the library I think of opening a door to the world. The library is a doorway to exploration, imagination, and information. It's an open doorway for everyone in the community – regardless of income or age or point of view. The downtown Ann Arbor library has served us well for over 50 years but its no longer keeping up with the demands and needs of our community. We need to rebuild our downtown library to ensure the doors remain open, welcoming and wide enough now and for many generations to come. "

Grace Shackman Ann Arbor Historian and Author

A new building would allow the  skilled staff to be even more creative in offering programming and services to make the library a true center of community learning.  I’m especially excited by the idea of having room for a local history archive. "

Ingrid Sheldon Former Mayor of Ann Arbor

The Ann Arbor community is privileged to have elected a Library Board that takes its responsibilities seriously.  In responding to the wishes of Library constituents, three accessible and functional branches were built without borrowing.  The board feels it is now time to replace the main Downtown Library.  Carefully researched plans based on identified needs were developed in 2008 but set aside due to the economic down turn.  They also wisely feel that expensive architectural drawings should not be rendered until financing is assured.  It is now 2012.  The plans have been re-evaluated and affirmed by local experts.  Retrofitting and enlarging the existing building does not make construction or dollar sense.  Our local economy has improved and stabilized.  Low interest rates and available skilled labor make construction of this new community asset a sound strategic and economic decision for the benefit of greater Ann Arbor. We have waited long enough.  Join me in investing in an accessible, fully functioning Downtown Library by voting yes on November 6. "

J. Berman Retired Huron High School Teacher

An enlightened community depends on the free flow and complete access to ideas, information, and discourse. Without the freedom to learn and to think, Ann Arbor could not claim its reputation as a world-class city. If we intend to maintain and protect these freedoms, we must have civic facilities that can deliver ideas, information, and discourse in the ways that people seek it - through books, and internet access, and programs, and discussions. A new downtown library will be the keystone to access, now and into the future. Please join me in voting yes for the bond proposal. "

J.D. Lindeberg President, Resource Recycling Systems, Management Consultant in Sustainability/Material Reuse

Rebuilding the downtown library is an ecologically sound decision for our community. The alternative would lead to continue investing in structurally inefficient and inherently wasteful systems. The AADL has demonstrated a strong commitment to sustainable building practices and cost conscious management in the construction of its other branches. I believe an investment in a new downtown library will return huge benefits for families, children, adults, and the disabled community. "

Janis Bobrin Washtenaw County Water Resources Commissioner

A new downtown library will be one of the most important investments we can make in our downtown, and in the future of our community. A library is a space for reading, for learning, for gathering, for connecting, for creating, and more.  While our current downtown library building has served us well for over a half century, it cannot be effectively upgraded to provide us with the technology, accessibility, or spaces that library users are asking for. It does not have the ability to adequately support a variety of library experiences. Community requests for gathering and presentation spaces are constantly denied because demand exceeds availability.  There is limited space for dynamic children’s activities, computer research, and group discussions.  A new, 21st-century-attuned library will be a focal point for downtown, an exciting community asset, and a wise legacy for Ann Arbor’s future. "

Jim Balmer President, Dawn Farm

The Ann Arbor Public Library is a lifesaver for people struggling to recover from addictions - including many men and women who find their recovery through Dawn Farm's programs. Computer access to work on educational goals and look for jobs, a culture of learning and curiosity that inspires and supports them. In addition, Martha and I raised four children in this wonderful town of Ann Arbor - and all of them still have their library cards. They've grown up borrowing hundreds of books, going to special programs, and enjoying this great institution. This important meeting and learning center needs the opportunity to grow and become even more important - for our children, our young people and the community as a whole. I'm a fan of the Ann Arbor Public Library - and I'll be voting for the library millage. "

Joetta Mial Mom, grandmom, retired teacher and principal in the Ann Arbor Public Schools

For me, education in its broadest sense is the foundation for success. As an educator, mom, grandmom and community activist, I know that the schools can't do it alone. Our public library is essential to taking education from the classroom into the very fabric of community life. And making learning exciting takes a downtown library that reflects the vitality, the creativity of all of its citizens. A vibrant library helps nurture creative citizens and build a better community. That's why I support the bond proposal for a new downtown library. "

John Weiss Executive Director, Neutral Zone

The Neutral Zone greatly values its partnership with the Ann Arbor District Library, especially providing youth opportunities to engage with authors and poets. A new downtown library building would significantly enhance the cultural and educational resources available to our community. "

Joseph G Rosa Professor of Architecture, A Alfred Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning and Director, Museum of Art

Libraries are the incubators of knowledge. When library buildings are progressive and inspirational, they allow our minds to expand beyond the printed word and to think about the world around us. A warm, positive library environment beckons us to explore our past and contemplate the future. "

Mike Garfield Community Environmental Leader

The Ann Arbor District Library has been one of this community's environmental leaders through its green building projects at the branch libraries. The downtown library is a vital, but worn-down, public space for this community, and Our New Library offers a terrific vision for the future. The current building has been renovated twice, and the mechanical systems are outmoded and inefficient, so in this case, the greenest way to expand the library is through a new building. "

Naomi Gottlieb Harrison

I am urging everyone I know to vote YES for the Ann Arbor District Library Building Proposal.  The importance of the Library to families and people of all ages and income brackets is obvious.  Something many people do not realize is that the downtown library also serves everyone in Washtenaw County who is Legally Blind or Physically Disabled. I have been legally blind for eight years and am so pleased with this service which was moved from offices in a County building to the Library a few years ago.  They are doing a terrific job, but of course the equipment and personnel that are needed for this service all take space. Please join me in voting YES. Thank you! "

Norman Herbert Retired University of Michigan Treasurer

A downtown library is critical to a community that welcomes all - it is a community center offering a quiet room, a place to meet, a place to learn and a place to connect with others - in person and electronically!  It's time for an update - Support Our New Downtown Library on Nov. 6th! "

Paul N. Courant Dean of Libraries & Professor of Economics and Information, University of Michigan

Great cities, like great universities, are homes to great libraries.  The Ann Arbor District Library serves the community in myriad ways, keeping us abreast of current literature and art, politics, culture, and more. Our children learn about learning there.  The history of our wonderful city is housed there. Both the University Library and the District Library are reinventing themselves in light of a digital revolution that makes the expertise of librarians ever more valuable to students and residents of all ages.  As the demands on the library increase the demands on the physical and technical infrastructure are becoming insupportable.  The building proposal will keep our library – and our city – strong. "

Paul Saginaw Zingerman's Community of Businesses

It is my belief that the public library, a democratic institution accessible to our entire community, is a bottomless and invaluable well. It fosters love of books, love of knowledge, love of discovery, regard for what is common interest, respect for the imagination, and lastly, a belief in our social capacity for infinite possibility. We want to foster and safeguard this resource for our potential innovators and leaders and throughout our citizenry. Any and every motivated individual needs access to such a well. To insure this, it makes sense that our primary, downtown library must be updated and rebuilt to meet the demands of today and tomorrow. "

Peter Allen Peter Allen & Associates

A new downtown library, well designed, should be the city's living room, a comfortable, inviting place that you go to be yourself, educate yourself throughout life, expand your horizons. It should be a "3rd place," where you bring your friends and families to be inspired, a place that makes you proud of Ann Arbor. Simply put, the best damn college town library in the world. "

Ray Detter Chair, Downtown Area Citizens Advisory Council & Coordinator, Downtown Historical Street Exhibit Program

The Ann Arbor District Library is a great steward of our local history. The current downtown building is not an adequate facility for their important archives nor does it merit an expensive preservation effort. I support the AADL's proposal to rebuild the downtown library and improve this great resource of the Ann Arbor community. "

Rich Sheridan Menlo Innovations

It would be easy to assume in the world of constant connectivity, instant communication and ever smaller, cheaper and ubiquitous electronic devices that a library is now a useless anachronism of modern society.  That couldn't be further from the truth.  We desperately need places to connect with history, with art, with knowledge and with each other.  The vision that the Ann Arbor District Library has for a reinvention of our public library as a resource for our entire community, and one that takes into consideration how the world has changed in seeking knowledge, makes their proposal compelling and essential.  We take great pride in our community: our downtown, our parks, our schools, our children and how we take care of all of them together.  A library is one of those key resources that we as leaders can only bring about as a whole community working together. "

Richard M. Dougherty Former Director of University Libraries, President of the American Library Association, and AADL Library board member

A first-rate library system is a hallmark of progressive communities. San Diego, Boca Raton, FL, and Madison, WI are all constructing new downtown libraries, which I view as a strong endorsement that libraries will remain essential community assets. In Ann Arbor the current building has served the community well over the years, but unfortunately the facility is functionally obsolete. Its layout and structure reflect the way libraries functioned in the late 20th century.  One can’t renovate functionality into the building because it is architecturally obsolete as a library. If Ann Arbor wishes to remain a community that serves as a magnet for new business and talented people, it needs a strong library system anchored by a new, robust downtown library. "

Robb Woulfe Executive Director, Ann Arbor Summer Festival: Top of the Park

The Ann Arbor District Library provides us with great value through partnerships with many of our area's arts and cultural organizations. I believe a new downtown library would offer exciting opportunities as an innovative space for collaboration, exchange and dialogue, and it would serve one of the most active, curious and engaged communities anywhere in the country. "

Russell B. Collins CEO, Michigan Theater

The Ann Arbor District Library is a great community resource; it has my enthusiastic support. "

Ryan Burns Founder of Ignite Ann Arbor & President of A2Geeks

A lot of great events start out small.  It took me a year to find a place to hold the first Ignite in Ann Arbor, and having additional modern and accessible spaces for events will help lower the barrier to entry for new community events and culture.  I am an enthusiastic supporter of rebuilding the downtown Ann Arbor library. "

State Street Area Association

Downtown Ann Arbor is more than its vibrant commercial districts. It's our city's "third place" - a place that is not just work, or home, or school - a place for socializing and sharing. In that spirit, the State Street Area Association whole heartedly supports the bond proposal to build a new downtown library. A new, state-of-the-art library will surely improve what is one of America's great downtowns! "

Steve Dobson Dobson-McOmber Insurance Agency

Good things have been happening in the downtown library for well over a half-century, but the time has come to bring if forward to the standards and resources of the 21st century -- we deserve and need no less.  If that's going to happen on our watch, we need everyone who gets it and who cares about the future of our fair city to step forward in meaningful support of this bold initiative. "

Stewart Nelson Retired U.S. Air Force Lieutenant Colonel and Former City Council Candidate

Every Great City needs a Great Library. A new library will be a terrific way to engage our community and our youth. It is a perfect way to increase the vitality of the downtown area! "

Susan M. Kornfield Intellectual Property Attorney, Bodman PLC

I love libraries.  Public libraries are the only cultural institutions completely committed to public knowledge.  As an eight year old, I learned about dolphins, the atomic bomb explosions in Japan, and great women such as Abigail Adams, Florence Nightingale, and Nancy Drew (don’t try to convince me she did not really exist) because of books in my local library.  Growing up without money for summer vacations, my Mom took the kids to the library each week where we left with as many books as we could carry in our little arms, only to return the next week for more amazing stories and imaginary travels.  In high school, libraries were places where news accounts in microfiche and a broad range of other original sources challenged my ideas of what was authentic American history.  Now, as an attorney, I admire the fierce commitment of librarians to the right of the public to access materials without government tracking and the critical importance of digital literacy.  Each time I read the web site of the Ann Arbor District Library I am grateful for the creative and inspiring guest speakers in addition to the treasure trove of books, movies, music, artwork, storytelling, digital courses, and exhibits.  The Ann Arbor District Library has sacrificed infrastructure upgrades for a long time, has been limited in the services it could provide us, and has held things together with duct tape and prayers.  It is time for us to help the Library meet the challenges of the 21st century so it can help us meet those challenges, too. "

Special Thanks to Our Diverse and Generous Contributors!

Aura Ahuvia, Grace Shackman, Lucia & Doug Freeth, Richard Wilson, Rebecca Horvath, Ray Detter, Eunice Burns, Mary E. Rea, Bill & Susan Chandler, Nelson K. Meade, Linda Spector/Peter Jacobson, Leslie Morris, Myra Larson, Bob & Mary Elton, Steve & Judy Dobson, H. Jane Ferguson, Kimberli Cumming, Rachel Bendit & Mark Bernstein, Barbara Murphy, Marie Deem, Sara & Bruce Gibb, Burt & Sally Lamkin, John M Rogers, Jim Dries, Susan Darrow, Claire Turcotte, Karen & David Stutz, Pat McDonald, Cindy Straub, Joyce Watson, Thomas Blessing, Christine Green, Laura Rubin & John Lofy, Trudy & Jonathan Bulkley, Barbara Kessler & Dick Soble, Robert & Marina Whitman, Jenifer Hall, Arthur Nusbaum

My New Library Will Be...

My new library will be cleaner, more welcoming, better bathrooms with more community meeting space.  It will be even friendlier to young children and teenagers and very accessible for us older folks.  It already has a superb staff with a wonderful leader, Josie Parker, and a great Friends organization.  Our new library will set the standard for the city with a great university, where Borders was born and flourished, and where the residents love to read and learn and study and discuss books!" - Mary Mostaghim
My new library will be: a place for people to come together to learn, create, and share new experiences. A place to celebrate the community of Ann Arbor." - Emily Puckett Rodgers
My new library will be a 21st century library that will show Ann Arbor's intellectual leadership." - Drew Burton
My new library will be a beacon that showcases downtown Ann Arbor as Michigan's center for knowledge and information." - Joan Lowenstein
My new library will be a flexible event space for the community, a place where ideas can be born through face-to-face interactions and experiences.   It will also bring people to Ann Arbor to see what a modern library can be." - Ryan Burns
A nice, quiet and very eco-friendly building to relax and read in." - Rose
My new library will be a place that will be welcome and and easy access for EVERYONE in our community...." - Prue Rosenthal
My new library will be an anchor to high quality downtown development!" - Betsy Jackson
My new library will be a continuing part of one of our most important family traditions.  I got a library card as soon as I moved to Ann Arbor in 1969.  I took my children to the Downtown library after swim lessons at the old "Y."  Now we take our granddaughters to a nearby restaurant for breakfast and then to the library on Saturday mornings.  The girls pick books to read for pleasure and for school projects.  It is central to our history as a family and we want to see it grow and be a place which serves all the needs of future generations." - Robin Wax
My new library will collect & share the stories of our passionate communities." - Shana Kimball
My new library will be a place where more space is allocated to used books and videos and recordings in the bookstore." - Richard Weise
For me, Ann Arbor has three special treasures: the downtown library, the Michigan Theater, and the Nichols Arboretum. The library has given me more joy over the decades than any other public institution." - Donald J. Munro
My new library will be a versatile central space that will adapt to the changing world of media and serve a vibrant Ann Arbor. Our community and our library have always looked forward and been leaders. I want my library's infrastructure to make continuing leadership possible." - Benita Kaimowitz
My new library will be the go-to place for everyone in our community to find information, entertainment, meeting space, new interests and other happy people; all the building blocks for a dynamic democracy. If it is like the new branch libraries, it will also have an innovative, inspiring and enjoyable design." - Joan Martin
My new library will be the place for everyone in our community to have access to technology, educational resources, meeting space, political and historical resources, and DIY information for any project." - Trevor Staples
My new library will be a destination point for me and my kids" - Jacob Corvidae
Our new library will be a facility for access to information, technology and programs we haven't yet envisioned and will ensure that the wonderful features we currently love about the library will be enhanced." - Sam & Ellen Offen
My new library will be a place that inspires people to move to Ann Arbor!" - Peter Baker
My new library will be a centerpiece for my community." - Naomi Burton
My new library will be: a time machine for me to explore the theory of relativity through books, movies, music and more." - Donald Harrison
My new library will be helping make culture hip and make locals want to spend time around knowledge." - Papillon
My new library will have a physical space that matches the level of excellence AADL staff, services, and collections are known for in our community." - Meredith Kahn

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