Arbor Update

Ann Arbor Area Community News

New Traverwood Branch library opens Monday

28. June 2008 • Matt Hampel
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The Ann Arbor District Library’s new 16,000 square foot Traverwood Branch opens on June 30th at 10AM. Kids can help carry books from the old Northeast Branch to the new site in an organized caravan. Nature walks and performances are scheduled, and souvenirs will be given away (for the Pittsfield Branch opening, there were little erasers).

The library sits at the corner of Traverwood and Huron Parkway (map) Route 1 of the AATA (Wiki pageAATA page) stops nearby.

Aerial-view drawing via AADL:

Replying to comments on an AADL blog post, Library Director Josie Parker set out some stats on the new location:

We have an opening day budget of 300K that will purchase approximately 15,000 items. We are moving 41,000 items from the current NE collection over yielding a collection of 56,000. That is slightly larger than our opening collection at Pittsfield. The current collection is made up of 32,596 books, 3,664 CD’s, 9,550 DVD’s, magazines subscriptions, etc. I don’t have hard numbers for the new items, but I can tell you that $176,600 will be spent on AV, and the remaining $123,400 will be spent on books. New magazine titles were purchased from our regular materials budget. The allocation decision is based on many factors. We used shelf snapshots (what percentage of items in each category are circulating each day at the current NE), a demographic use study, new shelf capacities at Traverwood, and lessons learned from our two previous branch projects. There will be more of everything, and more choice because we have more space and appropriate shelving for different formats.

Also at the new branch:

  • Covered bike parking
  • 90 parking spaces
  • Events room with capacity for 90 (not necessarily open to the public, see more places to have a meeting in Ann Arbor on ArborWiki)
  • 10 new MAC based game stations for children, 30 new games, touchscreens.
  • Study / tutoring rooms
  • 24 new Internet stations with a new server farm, stable performance, simpler startup, consistent support for sound, and better support for USB drives. Let me say, this is a big thing; back in “my day” (last year) the public stations were notoriously not-so-reliable on all those fronts. Those stations will eventually be used at all branches.
  • Power for laptops
  • Free Wi-fi
  • Floors made from wood hauled from the site by a team of horses (photo)

The branch under construction in January, via

And yesterday, with a sneak peek inside:

Traverwood replaces the old Northeast Branch. Northeast, where I went as a child and worked as a teen, has been closed since 1 June 2008, and the northeast side of town has not had a book dropoff location closer than the Downtown Branch since then. I wonder if anyone organized a book dropoff co-op or ride-share.

The old branch also had a very convenient location next to a kid’s tutoring service, grocery stores, and ice cream. The new spot is a 5 minute walk away, but still physically separated, which may significantly change usage. No reply yet from the library if Traverwood’s collections (especially the foreign language collection & periodicals) or services have been expanded to serve the neighborhood.

Furniture from the old branch is for sale, pictures here.

  1. I love the old location better. But no matter. There’s always Borders. =)

       —Hafiz    Jun. 28 '08 - 08:28AM    #
  2. I was at the grand opening gala – it’s a really lovely new place.

       —Edward Vielmetti    Jun. 29 '08 - 05:40AM    #
  3. I still miss the old Loving library in SE Ann Arbor. That was walking distance for me, and I used to go there all the time. I hardly ever go to the Mallet’s Creek replacement library because it requires that I drive and there’s never any parking.

       —KEF    Jun. 29 '08 - 05:51AM    #
  4. I’d really appreciate people’s comments on Traverwood’s interior.

       —David Cahill    Jun. 30 '08 - 05:55AM    #
  5. David – it’s awesome! I saw the new branch on Saturday, and the use of the reclaimed ash wood is amazing – warm and welcoming. And the use of the tree trunks, showing where the ash borer infested them is educational as well as beautiful. (Click on the team of horses photo to learn more about the use of the dead ash trees from the property.) It is open and airy, and I was very impressed with the views of the outdoors. Also, meeting space and a lot of computers. Another job well done from the AADL.

       —Leah Gunn    Jun. 30 '08 - 03:11PM    #
  6. David, it’s an amazing building, but… we were really looking forward to it having more of an open area for kids, like the area in the kids section downtown or the multipurpose/play area at Pittsfield. You couldn’t beat the one stop location of Plymouth Road Mall for convenience but it’s hard to complain once you walk in the door. Another gem; we’re pretty lucky folks in this town to have such a library system and hard working board.

       —Thomas Cook    Jul. 7 '08 - 02:40AM    #
  7. The program room at Traverwood will indeed have toys and play area for kids, just like Pittsfield. However, this week, they’re finishing up installing the large wooden doors for the program room, so we haven’t broken out the toys yet. But they’re almost done, so the program room will soon be ready for play. Enjoy!

       —eli    Jul. 10 '08 - 11:41PM    #