Ann Arbor District Library offers recording, consulting services to podcasters, musicians, and more

The Ann Arbor District Library (AADL) has launched Fifth Avenue Studios, a new initiative offering a variety of services to support local podcasters, musicians, and audio creators in the Ann Arbor area. AADL is accepting proposals from those interested in using Fifth Avenue Studios' services, which include recording studio time; recording, editing, and mastering; consulting; and more.

Richard Retyi, AADL's communications and marketing manager, explains that Fifth Avenue Studios was created to offer support at all stages of the creative process. For instance, applicants may be seeking help with sound editing on an existing podcast, or they may be fledgling artists needing help in making initial community connections.

"Maybe you're a musician who has just been recording on a phone or on your laptop. Maybe now you want to release an actual album and put something out there, but you don't really have any idea how to do it," Retyi says. "That's the type of stuff we can help with. And, of course, we are open to anything that springs out of anyone's imagination." 

The program is open to all Washtenaw County residents, and those who are interested in applying can refer to the Fifth Avenue Studios website for a list of services offered. Similar to Fifth Avenue Studios' sister program, Fifth Avenue Press, library staff will review all submissions. If there is a fit, staff will arrange a meeting to determine how AADL can help applicants achieve their goals.

Retyi says AADL has been offering similar support in a less formal way for many years. The library has assisted community partners including the Michigan Theater, Vault of Midnight, and Ann Arbor SPARK with podcasts. However, AADL shelved plans for further development of those services when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Fifth Avenue Studios represents the rejuvenation of those plans and the project's expansion into audio formats other than podcasts.

"I think there might be a lot of people who are thinking about creating something, but to actually put yourself forward and take that next step takes some guts and guidance," Retyi says. "We're there for people who are a little shy, who think they have a really good idea for something, but feel that they can't quite execute it by themselves."

Jaishree Drepaul-Bruder is a freelance writer and editor currently based in Ann Arbor. She can be reached at