May 26, 2022

Michigan: Ann Arbor Downtown Library Bond Proposal Defeated


The postmortem of the Ann Arbor District Library’s campaign for a new downtown library began early Tuesday night, as soon as election results showed the proposal failing in key precincts.


The $65 million bond proposal was rejected by voters in every municipality in which it appeared on the ballot Tuesday — throughout the city of Ann Arbor, as well as the portions of Ann Arbor, Lodi, Pittsfield, Salem, Scio, Superior and Webster townships included in the district.

The final tally was 41,359-33,604, giving the “yes” side 44.8 percent.


“I think there was this preoccupation with building this downtown library building because so many other communities are doing it — Seattle, Austin, Des Moines, Iowa — and I really don’t think that’s what Ann Arbor needs,” she said. “We need more library services further out.”

Griswold said she would “absolutely” oppose any effort if the library board decided to take a second shot at winning voter approval for a new downtown library.

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About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.