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Survey: Ann Arbor residents support new downtown library, possibly as part of mixed-use housing development

The downtown branch of the Ann Arbor District Library
Ann Arbor District Library
The downtown branch of the Ann Arbor District Library

A survey of Ann Arbor residents shows support for a new downtown library.

While there is support for a new downtown branch of the Ann Arbor District Library, how it will be funded and what it will look like is an open question.

Out of 400 residents who were surveyed, 57% said they would support a 30-year 0.5 mill tax to build a $70-75 million library. Not surprisingly, if you drop it down to a 0.25 mill, 76% of residents support it. Also, 76% of people support a mixed-use facility that would include housing.

Eli Neiburger is the director of the AADL. He says the challenge is to adapt to the changing demands of the library.

“We’ve done about all we can with this building. There’s a little bit more that we can …do some cosmetic updates or move some walls around, but the building is maxed out, and it’s inevitable that a new facility will need to be constructed.”

Neiburger says there is no timetable for this project. He says, “We don’t have anything cooking. We’re just shopping for ingredients.”

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Josh Hakala is the general assignment reporter for the WEMU news department.
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