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Get to Know the Judges: Erin McCahan

Mon, 03/30/2015 - 5:01pm

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Leading up to the It's All Write Teen Short Story Contest celebration on June 7 (mark that on your calendar!), we'll be posting information about the judges who have the difficult task of narrowing down our contestants. Our next judge is [http://www.erinmccahan.com|Erin McCahan], an author born in our own beloved Michigan (East Grand Rapids)!

McCahan grew up in Ohio and is very proud of her Irish heritage. She's particularly interested in Victorian and Colonial history. Her published works include [b:1363978|I NOW PRONOUNCE YOU SOMEONE ELSE] (2010) and [b:1453321|LOVE AND OTHER FOREIGN WORDS] (2014). LOVE is a comedic coming-of-age story in which gifted teenager Josie must contend with the upcoming nuptials of her sister to an insufferable fiance and the mixed emotions involving her boyfriend, her crush, and her best friend Stu. Josie's genius-level IQ can't help her out when it comes to mastering the languages of familial, romantic, or platonic relationships, but one way or another, she has to figure it out.

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AADL is an Ann Arbor Film Festival Community Partner

Sat, 03/28/2015 - 10:51am

[img_assist|nid=314046|title=Ann Arbor Film Fest Logo|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=100|height=168]The Ann Arbor Film Festival is here again, and with it comes another year of films, events, and community partnership. AADL will once again be an official AAFF community partner for Films in Competition 4, on Saturday March 28 at 11 am at the Michigan Theater, which features films especially for viewers and filmmakers age 6 and up.

You can [http://aafilmfest.org/53/events/films_in_competition_4_1/|check out the list of films playing] and buy tickets on the Ann Arbor Film Fest’s website. Make sure to enter the code AAFF53_AADL for half off your advance ticket – normally $6!

When you come to the screening, you’ll even have a chance to hear the premieres of the film scores participants created in our [http://www.aadl.org/node/270748|Making Movie Music workshop], held in conjunction with the AAFF.

The Ann Arbor Film Festival is the longest-running independent and experimental film festival in North America. The 53rd AAFF takes place March 24-29, 2015 and presents over 200 films from across the world with dozens of world premieres. For more information, please visit [http://aafilmfest.org|the Ann Arbor Film Festival’s website].

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IAW 2015 Get to Know the Judges: Cyn Balog

Mon, 03/23/2015 - 11:34am

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Leading up to the It's All Write Teen Short Story Contest celebration on June 7 (mark that on your calendar!), we'll be posting information about the judges who have the difficult task of choosing the top three contenders in each grade. Up first is [http://www.cynbalog.com|Cyn Balog], who also writes under the name Nichola Reilly.

Originally from New Jersey but now in Pennsylvania, Balog has written a number of paranormal and post-apocalyptic young adult novels, including [b:1350376|FAIRY TALE] (2009) and [b:1458002|DROWNED] (2014). Her books have been translated and published in Germany, Italy, and Hungary.

DROWNED is an unusual post-apocalyptic book (the first in a series) that takes place on an island where the tides routinely swallow up the land, and the only thing that saves the inhabitants is the creaky wooden platform they must stand on for hours at a time until the tides recede. Coe, the one-handed teenage protagonist, has always felt unwelcome among and reviled by her people. When the king who rules them falls ill, however, it's up to Coe to find answers to secrets long buried and to find a way to save everyone before the waters swallow them all whole.

Interesting facts about the author: She's obsessed with all things Disney, she once had a crayfish named Harry as a pet, and her favorite book is Charlotte's Web.

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It's All Write: The Countdown Begins!

Fri, 03/06/2015 - 9:58am

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Short story writers, if you haven't written a story for the 2015 It's All Write Teen Short Story Contest, now's the time to get started! The deadline for submission is March 13, which means you have one week in which to write a totally awesome, amazing, incredible, hilarious, jaw-dropping, heart-wrenching, inspired story! Don't have time to write a brand new one? Dust off and spruce up that draft you've got sitting around on your hard drive!

Go to the [:events/itsallwrite|It's All Write] page to find writing guidelines and the submission form.

Happy writing!

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Crafts

Rockin' Paperclip Necklaces

Saturday July 25, 2015: 1:00pm to 2:00pm
Malletts Creek Branch: Program Room
Grade 1 To Adult

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Friday 2/27 - Last day to submit stories for the "Write On!" Short Story Contest for 3rd to 5th Grade!

Tue, 02/24/2015 - 3:59pm

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Don’t worry - there’s still time! You can submit a story at the Downtown Library Youth Desk (343 S. Fifth Ave) or email it to youngwrite@aadl.org through February 27th! Check out the [http://www.aadl.org/files/guidelines%202015(2).pdf|contest guidelines] for details.

Remember, the top three stories will be chosen from each grade and every writer will receive a certificate of participation! Winners will be announced at an awards ceremony held on Sunday April 19th, 2015 from 2 - 3 pm in the Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room.

Still working on your story? Try some of these writing resources if you need help!

[b:1433258|My Weird Writing Tips] by Dan Gutman. The author of the “My Weird School” series gives advice on writing, finding your big idea, and provides a checklist to help young writers develop all the important parts of their story!

[b:1423355|Just Write: Here’s How] by award winning author Walter Dean Myers. Get suggestions for story ideas, characters and plot as well as advice for dealing with helpful criticism.

[http://www.826michigan.org|826michigan]
Ann Arbor’s own center for great creative writing workshops. All workshops are free, some require registration. Ages 8 to 18.

[http://research.aadl.org/login?url=http://main.aadl.mi.brainfuse.com|Brainfuse Writing Lab]
Get live online help from writing tutors 2-11pm, seven days a week. No appointments necessary. Log in to an aadl.org online account and go to http://www.aadl.org/research/browse/studentpapers to use this service for free!

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Crafts

Puffy Paint Rainbow Cards

Tuesday August 18, 2015: 2:00pm to 3:30pm
Traverwood Branch: Program Room
Adults, Teens, And Children Grade 5 And Up.

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Blog Post

"Write On!" - Let's Get Started!

Mon, 02/16/2015 - 3:08pm

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Thinking about entering this year’s “Write On!” Short Story Contest for 3rd-5th grade, but not sure where to start? What are short stories supposed to be about, anyway?
Good news! That's the fun part about writing - YOU get to decide. It can be scary, funny, silly, or sad. All you need is an idea! Now... where can you find one of those?!

These short story collections should get you thinking:
[b:1173284|Ribbiting Tales: Original Stories About Frogs]
[b:1256128|Sports Shorts: An Anthology of Short Stories]
[b:1135616|Breaking the Spell: Tales of Enchantment]

For some spooky ideas, try:
[b:1173977|That’s Ghosts for You: 13 Scary Stories]
[b:1198211|Beware! : R.L. Stine Picks His Favorite Scary Stories]

To find out more about the "Write On!" Short Story Contest, check out the [:events/writeon|contest home page]!

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Blog Post

February is Black History Month

Sat, 02/14/2015 - 3:08pm

[img_assist|nid=311589|title=Signal of Liberty|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=100|height=133]The best way to celebrate and honor Black History Month is to delve into history. What better place to do that than the Library?

This February, AADL has several events and resources to help you mark Black History Month by honoring those who came before, their traditions, and our hopes for the future.
EVENTS:
April Ryan, a 30-year journalism veteran, the White House correspondent for American Urban Radio Networks, and the only black female reporter covering urban issues from the White House has just released a new book, [http://www.aadl.org/catalog/record/1466530|The Presidency in Black and White: My Up-Close View of Three Presidents and Race in America], a behind-the-scenes look at the inner workings of race relations as it relates to the White House. [http://www.aadl.org/node/270426|She will be at the Downtown Library] on Monday, February 16 at 7 pm to discuss the book, her career, the three presidents she’s covered, and her experiences.

The Sankofa Ensemble takes their name from a word that means “to retrieve the goodness from the past”. They will teach us about the traditions of Ghanaian and West African music and play authentic instruments from Ghana. Families will especially enjoy being able to get up and dance to the music, and learning more about traditional African dancing. [http://www.aadl.org/node/266347|The Sankofa Ensemble will perform] on Saturday, February 21 at 2 pm in the Downtown Library’s Multi-Purpose Room.

The last very special Black History Month event features the relatives of a prominent Civil Rights figure: Rosa Parks. Sheila McCauley Keys is Rosa Parks’ niece, and she and her siblings grew up very closely with their aunt when she moved to Detroit. They have recently released a new book of memories of their aunt, [http://www.aadl.org/catalog/record/1466196|Our Auntie Rosa: the Family of Rosa Parks Remembers Her Life and Lessons], and [http://www.aadl.org/node/270751|Sheila will visit the Downtown Library] on Tuesday, February 24 at 7 pm. She will talk about her new book and her Auntie Rosa, and she will take questions from the audience.

PRIMARY SOURCES:
Of course, libraries are fantastic resources for more than just events. Here at AADL, we have the African American Cultural & Historical Museum of Washtenaw County’s [http://www.aadl.org/aachmvideos|Living Oral History Videos]. These are recorded interviews with local African-Americans discussing what they witnessed and experienced and their perspectives relating to race, gender, education, equality, faith, housing, employment, community building activities, and social infrastructure in our area. These amazing videos show what a historical resource our own people are, and make learning about history as easy as a conversation with your grandparents.

Newspapers are also great historical resources. AADL has digitized copies of local abolitionist newspaper [http://signalofliberty.aadl.org/|Signal of Liberty] which was started in April 1841 and published almost every week from an office on Broadway Street in Ann Arbor. Issues featured local and national news, anti-slavery poems, interviews with emancipated slaves, minutes from anti-slavery meetings, and stories by abolitionists about helping people escape from slavery. Reading these articles helps us to understand issues surrounding slavery, why people opposed this dark part of our past, and how ordinary people participated in the fight for freedom.

Whatever part of history you are interested in, your library is a resource for research, learning, and commemorating.

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Blog Post

Let the "Write On!" Contest Begin!

Mon, 02/09/2015 - 4:35pm

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All third, fourth, and fifth grade writers may now submit their stories to the third annual "Write On!" Short Story Contest! Just type up your story and either send it to youngwrite@aadl.org or bring it to the Youth Desk at the Downtown Branch! Story submissions will be accepted 2/9-2/27. Check out the [http://www.aadl.org/files/guidelines%202015(2).pdf|guidelines] and [http://www.aadl.org/events/writeon|contest website] for more information!

If writing a story straight from your head seems tough, try out a couple of these goofy story-starters to get your ideas flowing!

The only thing worse than stepping in grape jelly is...
This morning I woke up and thought, "Aw pickles."
Dragons don't make very good pets...
When I walked into science class today, I didn't expect...
Something sounded like two million cats practicing karate...

Happy writing!