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News and Reviews

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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.

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Freedom on the Menu by Carole Boston Weatherford

Wed, 11/30/2005 - 4:16pm by Tahira

Freedom on the Menu is the story of the Greensboro Four told through the eyes of a young girl named Connie. Connie wants to sit at the Woolworth counter like the girl she sees twirling on the stool, but the law does not allow African Americans to sit at the lunch counter. Through protests and sit-ins sparked by a sermon by Dr. Marin Luther King, the law is changed and Connie gets to eat her first banana spilt sitting at a Woolworth counter. Carole Weatherford tells the story of this historic event in language that even a young child can understand.

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Chestnut by Constance W. McGeorge

Mon, 11/21/2005 - 11:21am by Tahira

Mr. Decker has important deliveries to make. It is the Mayor's daughter Jenny's birthday. The flour has to go the baker and the ribbon has to go to the dressmaker. He loads the wagon and then takes a nap. Mr. Decker's horse, Chestnut tries to wake Mr. Decker but to no avail. He then sets out on his own to make the deliveries. After facing several obstacles Chestnut makes all the deliveries on time much to the surprise and gratitude of Mr. Decker. Chestnut takes the reader back to a simpler time. Horse lovers will love the warmth of this endearing story.

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The School is Not White! A True Story of the Civil Rights Movement by Doreen Rappaport

Mon, 11/14/2005 - 4:10pm by Tahira

"The School is not White it's brown brick" is a statement spoken by Mae Bertha Carter to her children after their first day at an all white school. The eight Carter children suffered humiliation, prejudice and intimidation for five years in their attempt to integrate a Mississippi school. A good choice for teaching young children about civil rights and the courage of those who fought for equality.

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Ziggy's Blue Ribbon Day by Claudia Mills

Mon, 11/07/2005 - 2:54pm by Tahira

On track and field day Ziggy knows he won't win a blue ribbon for running or jumping. He wishes there was a ribbon for what he loves most, drawing. Ziggy finds that doing what you love is the key to success. Claudia Mills writes this simple book with a winning message for young children. The brightly colored illustrations capture the innocence of childhood.

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Papa Do You Love Me? by Barbara Joosse

Thu, 10/27/2005 - 3:31pm by Tahira

A Maasai father tells his son how much he loves him in a style similar to the classic tale The Runaway Bunny. Babara Joosse, author of the bestselling book Mama Do You Love Me?, sets this tender tale in Africa.

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This Little Light of MIne

Fri, 10/21/2005 - 11:02am by Tahira

The award winning illustrator, E.B. Lewis brings this old negro spiritual to life with illustrations of a boy who spreads his own light by helping others.

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Blackberry Stew by Isabell Monk

Thu, 10/13/2005 - 11:57am by Tahira

Hope's Grandpa Jack has passed away. She does not want to go to the funeral for fear that she will never see him again. Aunt Poogee reminds Hope that the people we love are always with us as long as there a memories to share. Blackberry Stew is a soothing read for a child dealing with the loss of a loved one.

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Girls Hold Up This World by Jada Pinkett Smith

Thu, 10/06/2005 - 2:56pm by Tahira

Jada Pinkett Smith's poem Girls Hold Up This World comes alive with photographs of women and girls from all walks of life. The tender poem highlights the balance of feminine strength and compassion.

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Ramadan

Thu, 09/29/2005 - 11:39am by Tahira

Ramadan will begin next week. Click the link to see
some Youth books that cover the subject of Ramadan.

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Just Like Josh Gibson by Angela Johnson

Tue, 09/20/2005 - 2:25pm by Tahira

Grandma's father taught her how to play baseball. She dreamed of hitting a ball just like the great Negro League ball player Josh Gibson. Girls didn't play baseball in the forties and negroes didn't play for the majors. Nevertheless, both Grandma and Josh Gibson make their mark on the world in the sport they loved most. Angela Johnson hits a home run in this tribute to a great ball player and a reminder that girls can do anything.

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Me and Neesie by Eloise Greenfield

Thu, 09/15/2005 - 3:16pm by Tahira

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Neesie is Janell's imaginary friend. Neesie makes Janell laugh and keeps her company. When Janell starts school Neesie says goodbye. A warm and touching story of family and the wonderful imagination of a child. First published in 1975, this newly illustrated thirtieth anniversary edition is a Reading Rainbow book.

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...And We're Back

Fri, 08/12/2005 - 2:00pm by eli

As you've noticed, aadl.org is back online after a brief network outage at Merit, our internet provider. Sorry for the downtime!

On a related technical note, we have solved another problem that was preventing some patrons, notably AOL users, from receiving library notices via email. If you're still not receiving email notices, and you want to, please contact us and we'll look into it. Due to the outage, today's due date reminder notices went out a little late, and won't reflect if you returned your items this morning.

Thanks for your patience during the outage.

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Update: Notices Resume Monday

Fri, 07/15/2005 - 5:52pm by eli

We've solved some of our notice problems, and starting Monday, we will resume sending our advance notice of due items via email. We've all gotten accustomed to these notices, so if you received fines this past week while the advance notices weren't working, be sure to mention it on your next visit to an AADL circulation desk, and we'll waive those fines for you.

One catch is that Request Pickup notices are still not working via email, so we're going to print and mail them starting Monday. If you get a paper notice, it doesn't mean we've deactivated your email, it's just until we get the email notices working right for when your requests are ready. In the meantime, check your account to see if your requests are 'Ready for Pickup', especially if you are hoping to get one of our 100 copies of You-Know-What, or, the just-cataloged audiobook!

One other note, if your request pickup notice says you only have until 7/18 or 7/19 to pick up your request, don't worry, we're actually giving you an extra week to pickup your holds, until 7/24. We're just not bothering to let the system know that.

Hopefully, this shouldn't be too big an inconvenience, especially since we routinely extend due dates and request pickup deadlines so that nothing is due or expires during the Art Fair. If you have any questions, or would like us to waive your fines, please contact us online.

Thanks for your patience as we settle into the new system, and keep the comments coming!

[eli]

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Email notices still to come

Mon, 07/11/2005 - 10:14am by eli

We're having a problem with email notices on the new system, including hold notices, overdue notices, and advance due date notices. While we are not currently able to send any notices, we are working on the problem, and we hope to have these services restored before the end of this week.

In the meantime, keep an eye on your My Account page to see when things are due. We are refining this page based on your suggestions to give better information about renewals and clearer explanations for renewal failures.

Please Contact Us if you're having any trouble with your account. More to come!

eli

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Architect and Construction Manager for Third Branch Selected

Fri, 07/08/2005 - 1:17pm by josie

In addition to the launch of a new website and the successful migration of our catalog over to Innovative Interfaces, Inc. this week, the Library also announced the selection of an architect and construction manager for the third branch library project that will replace the Northeast Branch. The branch located at Plymouth Mall will be replaced with a new facility at Traverwood and Huron Parkway and is scheduled to open late 2008/early 2009.

Van Tine | Guthrie Studio in Northville, MI teaming with Veazey, Parrott, Durkin and Shoulders from Evansville, IN were selected to design the new branch. Local construction company, O'Neal Construction, owned by Joe O'Neal, will be the construction manager for the project.

AADL opened the NEB 24 years ago and has remodeled and added space to accomodate demand and new services, but we struggle to sustain high standards of service in the current facility.