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News and Reviews

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Baby Lit - Begin with Books

Mon, 05/22/2006 - 11:04am by LibraryRachel

There are excellent web sites that give all the reasons why Literacy begins early. If you want to know Why and How to put Books in Baby's life check these sites for starters.

BEGINNING WITH BOOKS is a non-profit organization in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, dedicated to early literacy. They offer reading tips, news features, and "best books for babies" lists. Find them at Beginning With Books.

Another excellent early literacy resource is found in King County Library System's website Ready To Read. You can find description for "Six Early Literacy Skills", as well as more book and activity suggestions.

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Pittsfield Branch Closed Monday and Tuesday

Thu, 05/18/2006 - 3:10pm by eli

Our new Pittsfield Branch will be getting the final paving on its parking lot this coming Monday and Tuesday, 5/22 and 5/23. Pittsfield Branch will be closed during this process and will reopen Wednesday 5/23. Please note that the dropbox will not be accessible during this period, and items can be returned to any other AADL location.

Thanks for your patience as we apply the finishing touches.

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New York, New York! The Big Apple from A to Z by Laura Krauss Melmed

Thu, 05/18/2006 - 2:37pm by Tahira

New York New York The Big Apple from A to Z takes you on an alphabetical tour of some of the major tourist spots in New York City. Each page has a poem dedicated to a particular sight and facts, history and information in small captions. Watercolor illustrations add a colorful backdrop. This book is fun for native New Yorker's like myself or anyone interested in this great city.

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Show Way by Jacqueline Woodson

Thu, 05/11/2006 - 9:10am by Tahira

Jacqueline Woodson’s 2006 Newbery honor book Show Way traces her maternal family history from slavery, to the Civil Rights movement to the present day in eloquent poetic rhythm. Show Way is the quilt sown by slave women with an encrypted map that showed the way to freedom. The illustrations reveal both the fear and hope of African Americans throughout history.

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Mr. Williams by Karen Barbour

Thu, 05/04/2006 - 9:56am by Tahira

Mr. Williams is a biography of a man who grew up on a farm in Arcadia, Louisiana. He was born the same year as Martin Luther King Jr. and when Calvin Coolidge was president. In simple text, Karen Barbour captures the life of Mr. Williams as it was told to her when she was a little girl.

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Dad Jackie, and Me by Myron Uhlberg

Fri, 04/28/2006 - 12:35pm by Tahira

It's 1947 and Jackie Robinson will play for the Brooklyn Dodgers for the first time. A young boy and his deaf father attend the game. The crowd cheers Jackie, Jackie, Jackie!, but his father who is deaf yells Aghee, Aghee, Aghee! The boy is embarrassed. They go to every game that summer. The boy wonders why his father is so interested in baseball and why he is so fascinated with Jackie Robinson. He later learns that his father and Jackie Robinson have a lot in common. They both have to live in a world of prejudice. Myon Ulberg uses his own life experience to create a story of triumph over adversity.

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"Books Change Lives" at any time of life

Mon, 04/24/2006 - 2:56pm by kcrj49

The Books Change Lives Program is part of the Ann Arbor Book Festival. BCL encourages readers to tell us about their favorite all-time book and how it changed their lives. Rachel's favorite book is Strider by Beverly Cleary. Here's what she had to say about it: "I don't know how many times I have read Strider, but I know it better than any other book. The situations that Leigh Botts faces make me love it so much. He found his comfort in writing about his anxieties and in running with his dog. The way he wrote about running made me want to run. In high school I started. Running boosted my self-esteem, kept me focused and lively, and helped me push myself. Like Leigh Botts, running helped me deal with my social awkwardness." Do you have a favorite book that influenced your life?

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This Is The Dream by Diane Z. Shore & Jessica Alexander

Thu, 04/13/2006 - 3:58pm by Tahira

This Is The Dream is written in verse about the struggle for equality through nonviolence. The illustrations enhance the poetic verse leading to the accomplishment of being able to choose a seat on the bus, sit at a lunch counter with anyone from any race and drinking from the same water fountain in a park. This is a wonderful introduction to the discussion of civil rights with young children.

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Date Due Notice Glitch: Check your Due Dates!

Fri, 03/31/2006 - 4:20pm by eli

We've just discovered that, due to a bug related to the time change this Sunday, Date Due Reminder Notices did not go out yesterday (3/30) or today (3/31), and will not go out tomorrow (4/1). This means that if you have items checked out that are due Sunday, 4/2, Monday, 4/3, or Tuesday, 4/4, you will not receive an email notice reminding you of the due date.

We will take steps to avoid fining items due on those dates, but if you do receive fines next week because you missed your reminders, please be sure to contact us and we'll take care of those fines for you. In the meantime, please take a moment to check your account and see if you've got any items due 4/2-4/4. Reminder Notices will resume via email on Sunday, 4/2, for items due Wednesday, 4/5. Thanks for your patience, and please feel free to comment on this post if you have any questions.

As an aside, we do know that this bug has been fixed in the next release of our circulation system, so this shouldn't happen when we fall back in October.

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If there ever was a time to eat your words.....

Thu, 03/30/2006 - 1:53pm by Maxine

April 1 is not only April Fools' Day but also the date of The International Edible Book Festival. This event brings together book lovers, book artists and gastronomes to celebrate "the ingestion of culture."

Some of my favorites from their gallery include "The Book of Pi" (Guess what that's made of) and "Smore and Peace."

Winners from Michigan from previous years are The Roeper School and The Kalamazoo Center for the Book.

For a fascinating history of edible folk art, read America Eats by William Woys Weaver.

And start thinking ahead for 2007. Maybe Green Eggs and Ham?

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Brothers in Hope: The Story of the Lost Boys of Sudan by Mary Williams

Mon, 03/20/2006 - 10:51am by Tahira

Brothers in Hope is the story of the orphaned boys of Sudan who fled after their villages were destroyed. The story is told from the viewpoint of Garang who was a young boy when his village was attacked and how he and thousands of other boys made it to safety in Ethiopia and Kenya. Since 2000 the U.S. has taken in about 3,000 Lost Boys of Sudan. This is a timely book that speaks to the horrors of the ethnic cleansing in Sudan.

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Pittsfield Branch Opens!

Fri, 03/17/2006 - 2:58pm by TimG

Ann Arbor District Library’s new Pittsfield Branch (2359 Oak Valley Drive in Ann Arbor) opened its doors on Monday, March 20 at 10:00 am, offering a week-long celebration, featuring storyteller LaRon Williams, the music of Mr. B (Mark Braun), The Boychoir of Ann Arbor and other well-known area entertainers. Located in Pittsfield Township near the Ann Arbor Ice Cube, the building was designed by Luckenbach|Ziegelman Architects PLLC, constructed by Skanska USA Building, Inc. and landscaped by InSite Design Studio, Inc.

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My Name is Bilal by Asma Mobin-Uddin

Wed, 03/08/2006 - 3:45pm by Tahira

On his first day at a new school Bilal sees a bully pull the scarf on his sister's head. He does nothing. In class he tells the teacher his name is Bill not Bilal. His teacher gives him the biography of Bilal ibn Rabah, one of the companions of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). He reads about the strength and courage of Bilal Ibn Rabah when he faced religious persecution by the Meccan's. Bilal learns through this book that it takes courage and strength to be who you are. This is one of the first books written about the struggles of an American Muslim child.

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History Bits - 19th Century Libya

Wed, 03/08/2006 - 11:54am by LibraryRachel

At the end of the nineteenth century in Libya, eleven-year-old Malika simultaneously enjoys and feels constricted by the narrow world of women. This slim piece of historical fiction draws a picture of Malika's daily Muslim life, which includes generous and understanding parents, well-drawn family and cultural roles, and a compelling story to keep the pages turning. Shadows Of Ghadames is a timeless glimpse into a traditional Muslim village.

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My Nana and Me by Irene Smalls

Fri, 03/03/2006 - 1:38pm by Tahira

My Nana and Me is a warm celebration of the grandmother and grandchild relationship. Irene Smalls captures the little moments that are shared between a little girl and her grandmother in this touching picture book.

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Danitra Brown Class Clown by Nikki Grimes

Mon, 02/20/2006 - 3:50pm by Tahira

Danitra Brown is back in Nikki Grimes's latest book of verse, Danitra Brown Class Clown. It is a new school year and Zuri Jackson has to face many challenges. With her best friend, Danitra Brown, supporting her every step of the way, Zuri gets through the school year with flying colors.

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Friend on Freedom River by Gloria Whelan

Fri, 02/17/2006 - 12:06pm by Tahira

Louis hears a voice from the bushes. A runaway slave and her family want to cross the Detroit River to Canada where they will become free. Louis remembers what his father told him before he went up North to work for the winter. “If you don't know what to do, just do what you think I would have done.” Gloria Whelan captures the courage and determination of slaves and those who helped them travel the Underground Railroad in this excellent book for young readers.

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Site Plan Submitted for New Branch at Traverwood and Huron Parkway

Tue, 02/14/2006 - 4:59pm by josie

The site plan for the new library branch at Traverwood and Huron was submitted to the City of Ann Arbor Planning Department on Monday, Februray 13 and revisions were submitted on May 1. The project was unanimously approved by the the City of AA Planning Commission Tuesday, May 16. The project will now move to City Council for final approval.

This new building scheduled to open in 2008 will replace the existing Northeast Branch in the Plymouth Road Mall. The location at the corner of Traverwood and Huron Parkway is .5 miles from the current location.

The proposed building includes a total of 16,987 square feet with 90 proposed parking spaces. 34 of the spaces are in an off street underbuilding parking lot, 32 are in an open off-street parking lot, and 24 spaces are on-street. The building is designed to hug the corner with as little impact on natural features as possible. Sustainable design elements include an innovative stormwater management system that may include a vegetative roof.

The project budget of 10 million dollars includes the property purchase, building design and construction, site development, furnishings/fixtures and collection.
The Ann Arbor District Library branch expansion plan is funded from the existing millage approved by voters in 1995. The building is designed by VanTine|Guthrie Studio and will be constructed by O'Neal Construction.

Images of the site plan and elevations are on display at the current Northeast Branch, and elevations can be found at New Northeast Branch Information

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Salman Rushdie sentenced to death 17 years ago

Tue, 02/14/2006 - 11:22am by EllenS

On this day, in 1989, the Iranian leader Ayatollah Ruholla Khomeini called on Muslims to execute Salman Rushdie for his book "The Satanic Verses". The book was banned by many countries at its release because its contents were seen as “blasphemous against Islam”. Upon the issuance of the ‘fatwa’ (an Islamic religious law, in this case calling for the execution of Rushdie), Rushdie went into hiding where he remained until the death sentence was rescinded in 1998 by the Iranian government.

Resulting from this controversy, many writers and others protested against the violation of the freedom of speech. The library owns some publications that contain essays and letters by those who were against censoring Rushdie’s works. For Rushdie: essays – a collection of essays written by Arab and Muslim writers in defense of free speech. The Rushdie Letters: freedom to speak, freedom to write – a collection of letters by 26 writers in support of Rushdie.

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Pittsfield Branch Opens March 20

Wed, 02/01/2006 - 10:23am by josie

We are pleased to announce that the Pittsfield Branch on Oak Valley Drive will open on Monday, March 20, 2006. This library branch, the first in the district to be built outside of the city limits of Ann Arbor, is located in Pittsfield Township at the headwaters of Malletts Creek.

A reading room, to be named the Homer Chance Reading Room, honors the former Ann Arbor Public Library director who initiated branch expansion in the district while serving as director from 1951-1977. Group study and tutoring rooms, computers, a casual study area with vending, a meeting room, and outdoor seating area will be available.

The collection is new and will feature new formats as they are introduced into the marketplace, as well as traditional materials such as books, CDs, DVDs, newspapers and magazines. Access to the collection will be enhanced by self checkout and a 24/7 material pickup system.

The Library continued its committment to build responsibly and sustainably on this site. The building takes full advantage of a southern exposure on the front and will be cooled and heated convectively when conditions are favorable. We have used recycled content, low energy content, and content from renewable resources in our building material choices. We will restore and manage areas including the existing watercourse, Malletts Creek, and a wetland on the property.

The building designed by Luckenbach|Ziegelman Architects PLLC, constructed by Skanska USA Building, Inc. and landscaped by InSite Design Studio, Inc. cost 8.3 million dollars. The cost for the 16,500 square foot project on 5.74 acres include: the property purchase, site development, construction, furnishings, and the new collection.

The library levies 1.94 mills and uses 1.6 for operations. The remaining .34 mills is used for buildings and other capital expenses. Voters approved a levy of 2.0 mills in perpetuity for the library district in 1995.

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Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert

Mon, 01/30/2006 - 2:53pm by Tahira

Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert takes the reader on an imaginary journey of a leaf with two acorns for eyes and a burr for a mouth. The beautiful collage pictures of ducks, geese and prairie animals accentuate the simple text with the refrain "A Leaf Man's got to go where the wind blows."

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Toot and Puddle Wish You Were Here by Holly Hobbie

Tue, 01/24/2006 - 2:45pm by Tahira

A bee stings Toot when he takes a trip to the Wildest Borneo. He comes down with a case of the Violet Virus and turns blue. When he returns home, Opal and Puddle try to nurse Toot back to health and find the cure in a nearby meadow. Holly Hobbie's latest in the Toot and Puddle series is a fun adventure that kids will love.

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Dexter Michigan Central Railroad Viaduct

Fri, 01/20/2006 - 3:31pm by Van

Reference Questions of Local Interest:

Who Designed the Viaduct (Bridge, Tunnel) and When Was It Built?

Frederick Blackburn Pelham (Fred Pelham), according to an Ann Arbor News article on February 22, 2000 (page D-1), "designed 18 to 20 bridges for the Michigan Central line between Detroit and Chicago."

"Amtrak passengers whiz over two of them in Dexter. One over Dexter-Pinckney Road at the village edge is familiar to drivers who must slow down to pass under it. The narrow opening creates a bottleneck for today's heavy auto traffic and has sparked debate about possible traffic rerouting." The bridge was built in 1890.

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Singing for Dr. King by Angela Shelf Medearis

Fri, 01/13/2006 - 2:42pm by Tahira

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Sheyann Webb courageously accepted an offer to lead the freedom songs during the civil rights marches in 1965. She was only nine years old and wanted to help Dr. Martin Luther King and African Americans gain the right to vote. This Just For You book touches on the subject of peaceful protests during the Civil Rights Movement. It is designed for children to read and discuss the important issues in the book with a parent.

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Happy Birthday Elvis!

Fri, 01/06/2006 - 12:00pm by EllenS

This weekend, January 6-8, marks Elvis Presley’s birthday celebration. If you can’t make it down to Graceland for the official celebration, check out some of the materials that the library owns:

Elvis by the Presleys by Priscilla Presley – Intimate stories given by Priscilla, Lisa Marie, and other family members.

It Happened at the World’s Fair starring Elvis.

2nd To None by Elvis Presley – a compilation of 30 tracks, including hit singles and fan favorites.

These are only a few of the materials available at the library. Click here to browse through our collection of his movies, music, and biographies.

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Luke Goes to Bat by Rachel Isadora

Wed, 12/28/2005 - 3:13pm by Tahira

Luke wants to play stickball with his older brother Nicky. He gets his chance and fails. After he is taken to a Dogders game to see his favorite player, Jackie Robinson, he learns the lesson of hard work and determination. Set in Brooklyn, New York, in the 1950's, Rachel Isadora offers a touching tribute to one of America's best baseball players.

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Mr. George Baker by Amy Hest

Thu, 12/22/2005 - 2:41pm by Tahira

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Harry and George are friends. George is a 100-year-old jazz musician and Harry is 7.
They have a lot in common. They both have red backpacks and go to the same school. They are also learning to read. George can’t read, A hundred years old and never learned how. "That must be corrected," says George. Amy Hest captures the warmth of this unlikely friendship in this tender story of the challenge to conquer illiteracy.

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Superhero by Marc Tauss

Thu, 12/15/2005 - 2:03pm by Tahira

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Maleek loves comic books. He is also a superhero. When the city parks disappear Maleek puts on his superhero costume and sets out with his trusty robot Marvyn to find a way to restore the parks. Black and white real life photos capture the wonder and adventure of childhood.

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New aadl.org features: Optional Checkout History and More

Wed, 12/14/2005 - 3:53pm by eli

Thanks to all your comments and suggestions, we've rolled out some new features for aadl.org that will give you better information about how you use the Library.

The biggest news is the addition of an optional Checkout history that will allow you to easily keep track of the items you've previously checked out from the library, and even search through them for those times when you can't remember if you've read something. You can activate the recording of checkouts on your My Account page (just check 'Record Checkouts' in your preferences), and you can view any checkouts you make from then on from the 'Checkout History' button.

Once you've turned this service on, you can turn it off at any time, delete specific items, or delete your whole checkout history if you choose. Please note that we've made an addition to our Privacy Policy, under 'Checking Out Materials', to cover this new service. Also, know that only you can access your checkout history when you log in to aadl.org. Library staff can't access this information for you.

Read more to find out about other new enhancements...

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Rosetta, Rosetta, Sit by Me by Linda Walvoord

Thu, 12/08/2005 - 9:33am by Tahira

Frederick Douglass enrolls his nine-year-old daughter Rosetta, in an all white private school. She is put in a class by herself and is not allowed to play or learn with the other girls. After her famous father returns from a business trip, he confronts the principal and begins the process of integrating Rochester public schools. This fictional portrayal of Rosetta Douglass touches on the life and times of her famous father. A comprehensive timeline and a detailed synopsis of the great orator's life are included.