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News and Reviews

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Blog Post

Library Closed On Friday, February 9

Thu, 02/08/2018 - 4:42pm by TimG

Due to a National Weather Service travel advisory, all locations of the Ann Arbor District Library will be closed on Friday, February 9.

We apologize for any inconvenience.

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Blog Post

Blind Date with a Book at all locations!

Fri, 02/02/2018 - 11:40am by eapearce

Stop by any of the AADL locations for a sweet February surprise!

Adults and teens will find Blind Date with a Book displays, where one can hopefully find the mysterious item of their dreams! Books (and movies!) are wrapped in butcher paper and decorated with hearts in red, pink and purple. They have a short description of what the material inside contains… but you’ll have to check out the item and take it home to unwrap to find out if it’s really meant for you!

Kids aren’t left out either! There are Surprise displays at every location too, where kids will find mystery items decorated with stars and question marks in bright rainbow colors, and wrapped up with only hints written on them to imply what’s inside.

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The Buddha in the Attic

Mon, 01/22/2018 - 1:07pm by Nholtzman

The front cover features an open suitcase with a red umbrella in it.

Julie Otsuka's second novel, The Buddha in the Attic, begins like this:

"Come, Japanese!

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Blog Post

New Feature: Freezable Requests!

Fri, 01/05/2018 - 5:54pm by eli

Thanks for all your patience throughout this week as we got the last data out of the old system! Requests have now been loaded and enabled, and we're thrilled to introduce a long-awaited feature, entirely appropriate for the weather we've been having: FREEZABLE REQUESTS!

Animated bubble freezing

What is a Frozen Request?

When you freeze a request, you'll keep moving up the line, but a copy will not be put on the holdshelf for you until you unfreeze the request. That means you can avoid too many things coming in at once, or freeze all your requests when you go on vacation!

When can Requests be Frozen?

You can freeze and unfreeze any of your requests at any time, except for requests which are in transit, or ready for pickup on the hold shelf. Once your request has hit the hold shelf, it's too late to freeze it.

How do I Freeze my Requests?

On your my account page, you can freeze or unfreeze any or all of your requests using the modify button. You'll see a spinner while your command goes through, and then the status will change to Frozen or Unfrozen.

How do I know what place in line I am when a request is Frozen?

For now, you can't see what place in line you are when a request is frozen. You can unfreeze and reload to check if you want to know. We'll be working on this as we see how patrons are using this feature!

I was #15 of 18 requests, but now it's ready for pickup, what happened?

What happened was that requests 1-14 were all frozen, so you were next! We expect this sort of thing may happen a lot for popular items with lots of outstanding frozen requests. We'll be working on ways to display this better and give you a better idea how close you are to the top of the queue once we have more data on how this is used by our patrons.

Just Contact Us if you have any questions about this new feature or run into any trouble! It's a whole new way to use your library, and we're excited to see how you make use of it!

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Blog Post

Welcome to the new AADL.org!

Sat, 12/30/2017 - 4:54pm by eli

Welcome to the all-new AADL.org! We're still working on a lot of features and cleaning up webpages, but the new site is here at last!  Here are a few updates on where we're at, and what's to come this week and beyond.

Requests have been loaded, with NEW FEATURES!

With the new website, you can FREEZE or UNFREEZE your requests whenever you'd like, so long as they haven't yet hit the hold shelf.  When a request is Frozen, you'll keep moving up the line, but the item won't be hit the hold shelf for you until you Unfreeze that request.  Perfect for when too much stuff is coming in at once, or for when you go on vacation!  We're getting ready to start filling requests early this week, so stay tuned for that!

Call or Text Your Library, just one number!

You can always call us at (734) 327-4200, but now you can text us at that number too with your questions!  You'll get a response from library staff via text to your question, usually in just a few minutes!

New Bookable Rooms!

If you've used the Meeting Rooms at Westgate Branch, you know they're a hot commodity! So we've made two meeting rooms on the second floor of the downtown library bookable just like the Westgate Rooms.  The Whiffletree Room and the Lamplighter Room can now be booked online for up to 2 hours, a minimum of one day in advance. You can book each of these rooms 12 times in a 365-day period with your library card.  Get started booking these rooms right now!

Introducing AAMPS!

We've slowly been growing our collection of local digital music for download, and now we're thrilled to launch a single place to find it: AAMPS, the Ann Arbor Music & Performance Server! With great music you can download right now, and much more to come in coming months, we hope you'll find something great to listen to everyday.

A New Year's Surprise!

As part of the new system, we've waived any outstanding late fees on your account for items you've returned.  If you have overdue items that have been billed, those bills will be regenerated soon, unless, of course, you bring the stuff back first!

Many More Features to Come!

After the dust settles, there are a lot of great new features coming on AADL.org. Notifications by text, custom alerts and reminders, series holds and much more... once we get over this big leap we've just taken, we'll start making more useful features to save you time and effort every time you use the website.

 

Thanks for checking it out, and Thanks for Using your Library!

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Blog Post

Holiday Hours

Thu, 12/14/2017 - 2:36pm by TimG

All locations of the Ann Arbor District Library will be closed on Sunday and Monday, December 24 & 25. Regular hours will resume on Tuesday, December 26.

All locations will also be closed on Saturday & Sunday December 30 & 31 and on Monday, January 1. Regular hours will resume on Tuesday, January 2.

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Star Wars: The Last Jedi!

Fri, 12/08/2017 - 4:55pm by PizzaPuppy

Alright folks! We are officially one week away from the biggest film release this year: Star Wars: The Last Jedi! To help you prepare for this monumental event, we've pulled together a list of just some of the hundreds of awesome Star Wars items in our collection.

To start with, we have all of the previous movies on DVD: the original trilogy (consisting of A New Hope, The Empire Strike Back and Return of the Jedi), the prequel trilogy (consisting of The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith), The Force Awakens, and Rogue One. All of these movies are also available on Blu-Ray.

Kids have lots of movie options as well. First on the list is the Clone Wars television series and the Clone Wars Lost Missions, as well as the stand-alone movie The Clone Wars. We also have multiple seasons of the television series Star Wars Rebels, as well as the stand-alone movie Rebels: Spark of Rebellion. The LEGO Star Wars movies are also popular, consisting of The Empire Strikes Out, the New Yoda Chronicles, Padawan Menace, and Droid Tales. LEGO Star Wars has a television series as well, called The Freemaker Adventures.

We have many of the soundtracks from the Star Wars films and television shows, including those for A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi, The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones, Revenge of the Sith, The Force Awakens, Rogue One, and The Clone Wars. A soundtrack of the original trilogy is available here, and a CD of instrumental solos is available here.

We have tons of kids books about Star Wars. For babies, we have board books such as Epic Yarns: A New Hope and Return of the Jedi. Picture books include BB-8 on the Run and Han and Chewie Return!. For children just learning to read, we have Readers such as Are Ewoks Scared of Stormtroopers?, Death Star Battle, R2-D2 and Friends, and Jedi Heroes. Chapter books for kids include Darth Maul: Shadow Conspiracy, Rise of the Rebels, and Before the Awakening. Star Wars comic books are very popular, and include The Original Trilogy, Crash Course, Jedi Academy, and Star Wars Adventures. Nonfiction reads include The Amazing Book of Star Wars, 5 Minute Star Wars Stories, Star Wars: Absolutely Everything You Need to Know, Ultimate Star Wars, The Star Wars Craft Book, and Incredible Cross-Sections. We even have Star Wars books for kids in languages other than English, such as the Spanish language book La Guerra de los Clones Aventuras.

For a full list of Star Wars children's books, see these public lists: Star Wars Readers, Star Wars Chapter Books, Star Wars Graphic Novels for Kids, Star Wars Nonfiction for Kids, and Star Wars Kids Books in World Languages.

Teens have plenty to choose from too. Most take the form of graphic novels, including The Clone Wars series, Knights of the Old Republic, Empire,Invasion, Kanan, and Legacy, although there are novels like Ahsoka and Rebel Rising as well. For a full list, see the public list Star Wars Books for Teens.

The adult collection is where you'll find many of the extended universe novels, both new and old. These include novels such as Bloodline, Dark Disciple, Jedi Trial, Honor Among Thieves, and the Legacy of the Force series. The adult collections are where you're likely to find film adaptations, such as The Phantom Menace and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. There are a ton of adult graphic novels, such as From the Ruins of Alderaan and Heroes for a New Hope. Adults also have interesting Star Wars nonfiction to choose from, in books such as Star Wars Costumes: The Original Trilogy, Where Science Meets Imagination, The Making of Star Wars and Year by Year: A Visual History. For a full list of adult Star Wars materials, see the public lists Star Wars Books for Adults and Star Wars Nonfiction for Adults.

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Blog Post

Snow!

Fri, 12/08/2017 - 10:09am by MelCat6

In celebration of this year's First snow, magic snow here are some books to get you into the snowy spirit that don't necessarily end with you singing along to the Frozen!

Into the snow, Snow! Snow! Snow!, Splat the Cat : blow, snow, blow, Skippyjon Jones. Snow what, and Pete the Cat : snow daze are cute books about kids and animals playing in the snow. In case you're looking for more of a classic story, here's a few more children's titles you might be interested in: Clifford's first snow day where Clifford the puppy, before he grow's up to be The Big Red Dog, encounters snow for the first time; take a trip with Mrs. Frizzle in The Magic school bus lost in the snow; and who can forget this wonderful classic of a kid enjoying snow in The snowy day.

For Teens, we have After the snow, a futuristic tale about a boy in search of his missing family during a new ice age. There is a retelling of the classic fairytale, The Snow Queen, in Winter's child. Finally, in Snow-walker, we see a group rebelling against an evil ruler trying to control their land.

We even have a couple of cozy books for adults to, so you can warm up by the fires in the branches, or maybe with coffee or hot chocolate from Sweetwaters. First up, Wagging through the snow, a cute mystery where some adorable dogs are discovered at an abandoned house, right next to a dead body! Next we have another mystery, Snow White Christmas cookie, this time involving a small town and a big cover-up. And finally, Dashing through the snow, a funny love story about a couple who get caught up in some strange scenarios during the holiday season.

Hope you enjoy the snow, because they say there's more to come this weekend! Cozy up in the library, or your favorite chair, with some of these books to warm you up!

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Blog Post

The Empathy Exams

Tue, 12/05/2017 - 10:30pm by Nholtzman

Leslie Jamison gets a job as a medical actor. She plays complex characters, women who are shy or embarrassed, or women who distrust doctors. Leslie assesses the medical students who interact with her. Do they wash their hands before the exam? Do the students ask important questions? Do they have empathy for their patients? The first essay of Leslie Jamison's book, The Empathy Exams, offers a view into a hidden world. How are doctors trained to empathize with patients? What does empathy mean to doctors? What does empathy mean to patients?

In her other essays, Jamison explores the idea of pain. How do people deal with chronic pain? Do people believe one another about their pain? How do doctors respond to pain? What kind of pain is "most important" or most recognized by society?

Jamison writes with tenderness and empathy about people in distress. The Empathy Exams is a beautiful portrait of agony in America that will keep you awake at night pondering the philosophy of

pain.

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Margaret Atwood on the small screen

Tue, 12/05/2017 - 4:52pm by Lucy S

Margaret Atwood’s 1996 novel, Alias Grace, discloses the inner musings of a true-to-life Irish immigrant, Grace Marks, who was accused with and locked up in a Canadian penitentiary for killing her employer and his housekeeper. Grace’s story is given to us mostly through the interviews she has with Dr. Simon Jordan, a psychiatrist who has arrived at the penitentiary to determine Grace’s guilt or innocence. From Margaret Atwood’s able hands, we receive intricately drawn out details of the drudgery of a servant’s day, peppered with profound and beautiful observations about nature, God, men, and women. Born to serve, first her father, than various other households, Grace continues to serve through her crime. Her accusers, her co-conspirators, her defender, her jury, and the journalists who tell her story are all male. The action in Grace’s story belongs to the men who want to convey it. In order to own her narrative, Grace must rely on creating misconceptions, fugues, hallucinations, and evasions.

There are two threads running through this story at all times. The actual answers Grace gives to Simon’s many questions are interwoven with the answers she richly imagines providing. For his own part, Simon envisions a Grace different from the one who sits before him. “Grace’s will is of the negative female variety - she can deny and reject much more easily than she can affirm or accept. Somewhere within herself - he’s seen it, if only for a moment, that conscious, even cunning look in the corner of her eye - she knows she’s concealing something from him. As she stitches away at her sewing, outwardly calm as a marble Madonna, she is all the while exerting her passive stubborn strength against him. A prison does not only lock its inmates inside, it keeps all others out. Her strongest prison is of her own construction.”

Simon is excited by the possibility of Grace being a murderess. Though he is there to support her innocence, he can’t remove his own fantasies from Grace’s tale and therefore is unable to ascertain whether Grace is guilty of the crimes she has been charged with or not. “Murderess, murderess, he whispers to himself. It has an allure, a scent almost. Hot house gardenias. Lurid, but almost furtive. He imagines himself breathing it as he draws Grace toward him…”
Alias Grace has recently been made into a mini-series on Netflix. Showrunner Sarah Polley’s outstanding adaptation sticks closely to Atwood’s story (Atwood was a producer and has a small role in it). If you have a chance to watch it, I highly recommend it. What you won’t get from either Polley or Atwood are definitive answers as to the question of Grace’s guilt, but both work to convey the timeless struggle faced by women of how to have a voice.

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Blog Post

AADL Earns Five Star Rating for 10th Year in a Row

Mon, 12/04/2017 - 4:33pm by richretyi

The Ann Arbor District Library has been named a five star library for the 10th year in a row in Library Journal’s annual rating of public libraries nationwide. The AADL is one of just 13 public libraries in the country to earn LJ's five star designation in each of the last 10 years.

Three other Michigan libraries received star ratings this year. Richland Community Library was named a Four Star library within its category, West Bloomfield Township Public Library received four stars, and Genesee District Library received three stars. Congratulations to our fellow Michigan libraries!

See the full list of libraries earning stars here.

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New from Celeste Ng: Little Fires Everywhere

Fri, 12/01/2017 - 3:32pm by eapearce

By now you've probably heard that Celeste Ng, author of Everything I Never Told You, has published her second novel, Little Fires Everywhere. Like Everything I Never Told You, Little Fires Everywhere is focused on family intricacies. However, while her first book centered upon one family, Ng's latest work explores how two families become intertwined. Set in Shaker Heights, Ohio (an idyllic community that got its start as an envisioned utopia by its creator) in the 1990s, the book masterfully weaves together several storylines full of moral ambiguities.

Single mother Mia and her daughter Pearl arrive in Shaker Heights in the summer, looking for a place to rent. Although most spaces are out of their price range, local landlady and prominent Shaker Heights resident Elena Richardson takes a liking to them and rents them the upper half of a duplex that she owns. Pearl quickly befriends the Richardson children, who are all about her age, and Mia, an artist, begins working as a housekeeper for the Richardsons to help make rent money. Readers know from the very beginning that this close relationship between landlords and tenants is a ticking time bomb; the book opens with the Richardsons' house in flames and Mia and Pearl leaving town in the dead of night. Still, we can't help but cheer for all of the characters in the book who--although all flawed in their own ways--are mostly kind-hearted. As the book goes on, Mrs. Richardson begins to dig into Mia and Pearl's past and all of the characters become involved in a local scandal--some intentionally and others by accident.

Little Fires Everywhere, like Everything I Never Told You, showcases Ng's ability to create amazingly nuanced characters that tell a story that is thought-provoking in part because of its shocking believability. I did feel that this story wasn't quite as gut-wrenching as her first, mostly because the number of players in Little Fires Everywhere makes it so that readers cannot really get to know and understand any single one. Without a doubt, however, if you liked Everything I Never Told You, Little Fires Everywhere is a must-read. And, if you're unfamiliar with Celeste Ng, now is the time to play catch up! I am already eagerly anticipating her third work.

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Lad: A Yorkshire Story

Thu, 11/30/2017 - 12:18pm by ballybeg

A truly lovely film, Lad: A Yorkshire Story, will make you fall in love with the Dales. Slow, sweeping views of the hills and valleys, provide a natural remedy for the turmoil of the story, and the world. The landscape is a strong presence throughout the film, and plays a role in soothing the souls of all the characters. That landscape is distinctly of Yorkshire, as the title suggests, but Lad is, ultimately, an archetypal tale, of relating to one's place and family of origin, of finding resolution and peace in your own backyard.

The film is notable for its simplicity. Very low-budget, using local settings and almost unknown actors, with no computer enhancements or special effects, the result is a triumph for the writer/director, Dan Hartley, and the cast, all Yorkshire born and bred.

Lad is a classic coming-of-age story, but with a fresh, original face, and such a sweet, unassuming style, that it never appears sentimentalized or maudlin. Young Tom’s world is falling apart and he is saved by love and friendship, which he finds in familiar and new places. Simple. But intricate and heartbreaking, fragile and surprising. Would that every troubled 13-year-old could find solace working outside under the guidance of a wise, seasoned park ranger. Would that we all could.

I almost stopped watching Lad after about ten minutes. It starts slow and deliberate, and I couldn’t tell where it was going, and there are no subtitles to help decipher the accents, and no one told me that it would turn into one of the sweetest, most satisfying stories ever. Now I am so glad I saw it.

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A Woman Is a Woman Until She Is a Mother

Wed, 11/29/2017 - 1:39pm by evelyn

The end of pregnancy is a strange time. You wait for the biggest change that can happen to a person other than death and yet, for most, you don’t know when the change will happen. When will the baby be born? When will a woman become a mother? When I was pregnant with my son, I read the title essay of A Woman Is a Woman Until She Is a Mother by Anna Prushinskaya probably 15 times. It became almost a talisman to me, a promise that he would eventually be born, that I would be able to cross over to motherhood.

In A Woman Is a Woman Until She Is a Mother, Prushinskaya writes beautifully about her experience balancing between places, between states: between pregnancy and motherhood, and between her Soviet homeland and her current home of Ann Arbor. Her essays range from parenthood to identifying local woody plants, and they are all gorgeous- sparse and lyrical.

I spoke with Prushinskaya about her experience writing the book, how motherhood has changed her as a writer, and the birth of her second son. Find our conversation on Pulp!

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The Making of Jane Austen

Mon, 11/27/2017 - 9:05am by howarde

At the time of Jane Austen’s death in 1817, no one but close family and friends knew that she was a published author. Fast forward to 1995: a wet-shirted Colin Firth, starring in the BBC’s Pride and Prejudice miniseries, seemingly launches Austen into pop culture superstardom and initiates an Austen craze that has continued ever since.

We are now used to Jane Austen cosplay conventions, spin-off novels, and countless Austen-themed tchotchkes. But it’s worth asking the question: How did Austen go from complete anonymity to a cultural institution?

The answer to that question, Devoney Looser argues, starts long before Colin Firth. And, she continues, it often has less to do with Jane Austen herself than with how Austen has been interpreted—and invented—by readers, illustrators, playwrights, screenwriters, actors, activists, and teachers.

In her new book, The Making of Jane Austen, Looser sets out uncover the little-known parts of Austen’s legacy in British and American culture. She focuses on five areas: how Austen has been illustrated, adapted for the stage, adapted for the screen, politicized, and taught in schools.

Looser turns away from literary histories of Austen and instead focuses on equally important but long-neglected appearances of Austen in popular culture. What makes her book so enjoyable is that she strolls down the byways of history, tracking down obscure figures like the young women (yes, women) who played Mr. Darcy in early stage adaptations of Pride and Prejudice or the author of the first Jane Austen dissertation, who was supposedly channeled by a spirit medium after his untimely death. (You can’t make this stuff up, folks!)

If The Making of Jane Austen piques your interest, be sure to mark your calendar for Anne-Charlotte Mecklenburg’s talk, “Lights, Camera, Austen: the screen adaptations of Jane Austen” at Westgate Branch from 7-8:30pm on Wednesday, December 13th. And stay tuned for info about all our upcoming Jane Austen events this winter in partnership with the University of Michigan—Austen Trivia! Embroidery! English Country Dancing! Everything to satisfy the Austenian heart.

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Blog Post

Cozy Winter Documentaries

Thu, 11/16/2017 - 6:38pm by Nholtzman

Do you enjoy a good documentary?

Search no further!

Ken Burns has directed a number of outstanding documentaries that are perfect for the transition into these cold winter months.

These documentaries have multiple DVDs, so get ready to snuggle under a big blanket with some hot tea and enjoy!

The Civil War

The National Parks: America's Best Idea

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AADL Will Be Closed On Thanksgiving

Thu, 11/16/2017 - 10:03am by TimG

All AADL locations will be closed on Thursday, November 23 for Thanksgiving.

Regular Library hours will resume on Friday, November 24.

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Calling All High School Students!

Wed, 11/01/2017 - 2:51pm by amy

Do you love local history? If so, you or your team could win the annual Ray Detter Local History Award for up to one thousand dollars! And our Oldnews team at AADL can help! Possible projects you could consider include, but are not limited to one of the following:

  • Document an historic site in Ann Arbor.
  • Assist with Ann Arbor Historical Street Exhibit tours.
  • Develop material for a local historical museum: e.g., Kempf House Museum, Cobblestone Farm, Museum on Main Street.
  • Produce media that promotes local history, e.g. Community TV; graphic novel.
  • Document an interview with a local historian.
  • Contribute to local history efforts at the Ann Arbor District Library.
  • Develop a program to promote this Award to all Ann Arbor high schools.

Watch this video for more information about the award, or email project director Ilene Tyler at historicA2@gmail.com.

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All AADL Locations Closed On Monday, October 9

Mon, 10/02/2017 - 9:48am by TimG

All Library locations will be closed on Monday, October 9 for our annual staff training day.

Regular Library hours will resume on Tuesday, October 10.

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Mast Shoes Marks 75th Anniversary

Tue, 09/19/2017 - 1:39pm by oldnews

In 1942, Ann Arbor High School graduate Walter Mast struck out on his own and opened Mast Shoe Store on S. Main St. No sooner had Mr. Mast opened the store than Uncle Sam called and Helen Mast took over running the store while Walter served in World War II.

In 1949 Mast Shoes added a Campus store on Liberty with elegant departments for women and men. Their stores featured the latest styles in sandals, winter boots, trendy boots, and top brands for men.

In 1968 the flagship store moved down to 217 S. Main and re-opened with much larger display areas. The Westgate store opened in 1993. In 1997, Tom and Greg Mast made the tough decision to close the Main Street store. In 2004, the Masts closed the Liberty St. store, concentrating their business to Westgate. Stop by Westgate and see the display of vintage photos they've put in the store to celebrate their 75th anniversary.

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AADL Closed On Labor Day

Mon, 08/28/2017 - 9:53am by TimG

All Library locations will be closed on Monday, September 4.

Regular Library hours will resume on Tuesday, September 5.

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Blog Post

Solar Eclipses

Mon, 08/07/2017 - 8:29am by oldnews

A total solar eclipse will be visible in North America on Monday, August 21. Although in Ann Arbor only a partial eclipse will be visible, it will still be an exciting event! In honor of this event, we have gathered some articles and pictures from past solar eclipses as seen in Ann Arbor. Ann Arbor News' photographer, Cecil Lockard, captured the 1970 eclipse in time lapse. Examples of how to view the event include an Ann Arbor resident's pin hole box created for the 1963 solar eclipse, and the use of paper to project an image as seen in this picture from the 1994 eclipse. See additional photos and articles from the News pertaining to solar eclipses here.

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AADL & TheRide Offer Free Ride Saturdays With Your Library Card

Thu, 06/15/2017 - 2:51pm by TimG

AADL and the Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority (TheRide) are partnering this summer to provide Free Ride Saturdays during the AADL Summer Game!

Every Saturday from June 17 - August 26, library cardholders can ride any of TheRide local fixed-route buses for free. All you need to do is show the driver your library card when boarding the bus!

While riding, look for the AADL Summer Game code sign inside the bus and win 1,000 points to trade in for awesome Summer Game Shop prizes. Each bus has the same code inside the bus, so it's easy to find! When you see it, text the code to 4AADL (42235) or visit play.aadl.org to enter the code and get 1,000 points.

TheRide and AADL have created fun ways to get even more Summer Game prizes:
• Find the code featured on the outside of several buses for 500 points.
• Find the code hidden on TheRide.org on the MyAlerts Service page (which you can get to by clicking on "All Alerts" directly from the homepage) for 500 points.

Find all the codes to earn the Ride Master Badge and a 500 point bonus!

The AADL Summer Game is a great way to enjoy your summer and to ride TheRide for free! For more information on TheRide's routes and schedules, pick up a Ride Guide or visit TheRide.org.

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Blog Post

In The Path of Amelia Earhart

Wed, 06/14/2017 - 11:32am by oldnews

Aviation pioneer Amelia Earhart and her navigator Fred Noonan departed Oakland, Calif., on May 29, 1937, in a second attempt to circumnavigate the earth by airplane. About three-fourths of the way, Earhart, Noonan and their plane disappeared somewhere over the Pacific Ocean.

In 1967, 30-year-old former Saline schoolteacher and aviator Ann Pellegreno made news by tracking and completing Earhart’s historic flight in a duplicate of Earhart’s Lockheed 10 Elektra. Pellegreno was a graduate of the University of Michigan with two education degrees. At the time of the flight, she and her husband, Donald Pellegreno, were living in Saline.

She became interested in aviation when she helped her husband and brother-in-law build a small biplane and was encouraged to try flying it. She and Donald joined an aeronautical club in Ann Arbor and began a lifetime of flying. While working as an English teacher, she was also involved working as a flight instructor and working for Gordon Aviation at the Ann Arbor Airport.

Lee Koepke told Pellegreno he was rebuilding a plane similar to the one flown by Earhart. Koepke’s encouragement and a book on Earhart’s flight convinced Pellegreno to make the attempt in commemoration of the 30th anniversary of Earhart’s flight. The Lockheed plane used in the flight was owned by Koepke, who accompanied her on the flight as a mechanic. Two additional crew members participated, navigator William Polhemus and co-pilot William Payne. The plane was prepared for flight at Willow Run Airport. The plane flew from Willow Run to Oakland, Calif,, to officially begin the world-circling flight at the same place as Earhart.

National news services tracked Pellegreno’s flight as she and her crew sky-hopped around the globe and dubbed her Michigan’s flying housewife. Back at home, the News kept up with Don Pellegreno as he “kept the home fires burning.

In Saline, the excitement was building around Pellegreno’s return and plans were made for a big parade. Pellegreno touched down at Willow Run Airport in mid-July. Saline held a ticker-tape parade for Pellegreno and her crew on July 16. A large crowd of enthusiastic fans held up signs, cheered and wrapped themselves in ticker-tape while Pellegreno and her crew smiled their appreciation for the strong local support.

Pellegreno wrote an award-winning book on her flight, World Flight; The Earhart Trail, in 1971. She and her husband left Michigan for teaching positions in Iowa. In 1990, Ms. Pellegreno was inducted into the Iowa Aviation Hall of Fame.

Pellegreno, 80, still lives in Iowa and still flying.

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Nickels Arcade Celebrates 100 Years

Wed, 05/24/2017 - 8:58am by oldnews

By Grace Shackman

Nickels Arcade celebrates its Centennial this year and the Arcade and AADL are commemorating the milestone with exhibits, receptions and a digital history of the Arcade. AADL will host an exhibit at the Downtown Library beginning June 1, 2017, featuring photos, articles, and artifacts that tell the story of the first 100 years of Nickels Arcade. The Arcade "family" will have ongoing exhibits throughout the Arcade and a gala reception in July.

When Tom Nickels inherited his father’s State Street meat market, he decided to tear it down and build the elegant European-style Nickels Arcade that is still there one hundred years later. He bought the land all the way down to Maynard from his siblings and then hired local architect Herman Pipp to design. The section on the southeast corner, then Farmers and Mechanics Bank and now Bivouac, was finished in 1915, but the rest was not ready for occupancy until 1917 due to shortage of materials during World War I.

Soon the Arcade filled with up-scale businesses of the kind that European arcades aimed to attract. The oldest business is the barber shop, which opened in 1917 and, although changing owners periodically, has stayed in the same location offering the same service. The oldest store to stay in the same family is VanBoven Clothing, which opened in 1927 where the meat market had been located. The Caravan Shop opened the same year but has, like the barber shop, had different owners. Tom Nickels’ sister, Bee Nickels, opened a store that specialized in fine children’s clothing imported from Europe.

Many of the other stores that opened in the first decade stayed for years, including a post office substation (until 1998), Bay's Jewelry (three generations until 1992), and Betsy Ross Restaurant (closed in 1975). Women’s undergarments were sold at the Van Buren shop, owned by Mae Van Buren, who had managed that department at Mack’s Department Store and knew how to do perfect fittings. From 1932 to 1982, a mainstay of the Arcade was the Arcade Newsstand at the State Street entrance.

As the economy picked up after World War II, a crop of new stores opened that followed the pattern of pre-war tenants of staying for many years. Milford Boersma, who opened his travel business in 1945, was a pioneer in many phases of travel. Jessie Winchell Forsythe opened Forsythe Gallery, the first art gallery in Ann Arbor, in 1954. In 1956 University Flower Shop moved into space that had been Aunt Bees and has been a flower shop ever since. In 1987 the Arcade was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Today, the Arcade is a mix of old-time stores, such as the tobacco shop that opened in 1964 and Arcadian Antiques, which dates back to 1983, with very “now” concerns such as Babo Juice and Food and Comet Coffee, keeping the European feel.

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All AADL Locations will Open at 10 AM Tuesday

Mon, 05/22/2017 - 6:51pm by eli

All AADL Locations will open one hour late Tuesday morning. We apologize for the inconvenience, and we thank you for your patience!

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Civil Rights History Comes To Ann Arbor

Sun, 05/07/2017 - 6:51pm by oldnews

On March 25, 1965, civil rights activist Viola Liuzzo, 39, of Detroit was driving back to Mongomery, Ala., after a voting rights march in Selma with a black man, Leroy Moten, 19, one of the Selma demonstrators. A car carrying four Ku Klux Klan members began a high-speed chase down Alabama Highway 80. When they caught up with Liuzzo, the men opened fire, killing Liuzzo. Her passenger was uninjured.

In 1983, five of Liuzzo’s children filed suit against the U.S. government and the Federal Bureau of Investigation for negligence, cover-up and violation of the their mother’s civil rights. The $2 million lawsuit was brought before a federal court because one of the four men arrested in the murder was an FBI informant. The non-jury trial was heard by U.S. District Judge Charles W. Joiner in Ann Arbor.

The four Klansmen were arrested hours after the incident and charged with conspiring to violate the civil rights of the victim, but one of them, Gary Thomas Rowe Jr. was later dropped from a state grand jury’s murder indictment because he was an undercover FBI informant. An 1975 investigation by the Senate Select Committee to Study Government relations began an investigation. Rowe testified that he has participated in acts of violence that were known and approved by the FBI. Rowe was indicted in the Liuzzo murder in 1978 by an Alabama grand jury but had not been tried because of legal complications.

The trial in Ann Arbor opened on March 21. The five Liuzzo chidren –Anthony, Thomas, Penny, Mary and Sally – allege that Rowe killed their mother or failed to prevent the slaying as an agent of a law enforcement agency. The other three men in the pursuit car were tried for murder in Alabama but acquitted.

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Suggest a Title For Washtenaw Reads 2018

Tue, 04/04/2017 - 4:08pm by TimG

Read a good book lately? Suggest it for Washtenaw Reads 2018!

The Washtenaw Reads screening team is meeting throughout the summer to select finalist titles for the Read and they want your ideas!

The Washtenaw Reads program is a community initiative to promote reading and civic dialogue through the shared experience of reading and discussing a common book. Participating libraries and communities include Ann Arbor, Chelsea, Dexter, Milan, Northfield Township, Saline, and Ypsilanti.

To suggest a title visit Washtenaw Reads or the Washtenaw Reads Facebook page. Washtenaw Reads 2018 will take place January - February 2018.

Thanks for your suggestions!

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Internet Down at Pittsfield Branch

Mon, 03/27/2017 - 1:50pm by eli

Due to a fiber problem, Pittsfield Branch is currently without Internet connection. This affects public computers, wifi, and catalog searching at Pittsfield Branch. Staff can still assist with checkouts that will be processed later once connectivity is restored. Thanks for your patience, and stay tuned!

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The 55th Ann Arbor Film Festival Begins Tonight!

Tue, 03/21/2017 - 4:29pm by TimG

AADL will once again be an official community partner for this year's Ann Arbor Film Fest, and will cosponsor Films in Competition 8: Almost All Ages on Saturday, March 25 at 11 am at the Michigan Theater. This special screening features 12 short, family-friendly films. Make sure to enter the code AAFF55_AADL for a discount on your advance ticket!

You can see the festival's entire schedule and buy tickets on the Ann Arbor Film Fest’s website.

The Ann Arbor Film Festival is the longest-running independent and experimental film festival in North America. The 55th AAFF takes place March 21-26, 2017 and presents over 200 films from across the world with dozens of world premieres. For more information, please visit the Ann Arbor Film Festival’s website.