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Blog Post

Participate in this year's Washtenaw Reads!

Tue, 01/10/2017 - 11:47am


[:|$2.00 a Day: Living on Almost Nothing in America] is this year’s [:|Washtenaw Reads] book selection. Researched and written by Kathryn J. Edin and H. Luke Shaefer, the book details the lives of six different families who barely survive on less than $2.00 a day in various parts of the country. Eye-opening and alarming, the book also explains the laws behind the reasons that some people are forced to live on so little. The [| authors will speak at Rackham Auditorium] on Tuesday, February 7 at 7:00p.m. The event includes time for questions and book signing.

The AADL is also hosting several more intimate discussions of the book. The first of these takes place on Wednesday, January 25 at 7:00 p.m. in the Downtown Library multipurpose room. The second will occur on Sunday, February 12 at 3:00 p.m. at Westgate Branch in the Westside Room. All are welcome to attend these guided discussions, with no registration required. Participants may want to bring a copy of the book—available at all AADL locations—to reference during the discussion.

For more events surrounding this year’s Washtenaw Reads selection, follow the link [:|here].

Looking for resources about $2.00 a Day, including interviews with the authors and related reading? Visit the link [:|here].

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Blog Post

John Glenn: 1921-2016

Thu, 12/08/2016 - 8:21pm

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John Glenn, American hero, U. S. senator, WWII and Korean War veteran, and icon of the Space Age, on the day he became the first American to orbit the earth.
[|Read the article].

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Blog Post

Pearl Harbor Day Meets Ann Arbor, July 1943

Wed, 12/07/2016 - 2:17pm

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Today we remember and honor the U. S. citizens who were killed in the Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor in Hawaii on December 7, 1941. Here in Ann Arbor, a strange piece of Pearl Harbor history was paraded through our streets in the summer of 1943. Give a listen to the Ann Arbor Stories Podcast, [:node/342957|The Suicide Sub Comes to Ann Arbor] for the quirky details, and take a look at the newspaper's coverage of the [:taxonomy/term/93954|Japanese Suicide Submarine Tour].

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Blog Post

Election Day in Ann Arbor ~ 80 Years Ago

Mon, 11/07/2016 - 6:28pm

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80 years ago, on November 3, the News posted this "Electoral Thermometer" on the outside of its new building at 340 E. Huron St. Total electoral votes were then 531, with 266 needed to win. At this point in the day, candidates Franklin D. Roosevelt (Democrat) and Alf Landon (Republican) are neck and neck. The car parked at lower right with ladders sticking out the back is from the Ann Arbor Window Cleaning Co, which is presumably how they adjusted the "thermometer" as returns came in.

(You can click on the image to bring up a slightly bigger version, then click on the image once more and choose the "X" in the lower right-hand corner to enlarge it further.)

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Blog Post

Register to Vote Day @ AADL ~ Tuesday, Sept. 27

Sun, 09/25/2016 - 7:10am


Tuesday, September 27th is [|National Register to Vote Day] and volunteers from the [|League of Women Voters] will assist you in getting registered at the [|Downtown Library] from 3 pm- 7 pm.

The next general election is Tuesday, Nov. 8th and the [|City Clerk] and [|County Clerk] have all the info on the election online. Wondering if you're already registered? Check online at [|Michigan Votes]. It's always a good idea to check and make sure your address and other information is up to date.

A heavy turnout is expected on Nov. 8th and Michigan County Clerks are encouraging voters to avoid the lines and vote via [|Absentee Ballot]. And it's so easy to do! The League will have the paperwork you need available on Sept. 27th or you can [|download] the form directly from the City Clerk's office.

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Blog Post

August 2 Primary and Resource

Thu, 07/14/2016 - 9:31am


[|] is a new online voter resource to help Ann Arbor residents be informed about local candidates and proposals on the August 2 ballot.

The site also provides basic info on how to register, how to vote absentee and where to go on Election Day, as well as features like a photo gallery, a glossary of election terms, and tools to help promote awareness of local elections. This effort is a project of The CivCity Initiative, a nonpartisan nonprofit that's working to build a more informed, engaged community.

Check it out!

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Blog Post

National "Ask" Day - June 21

Tue, 06/14/2016 - 4:37pm


The Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office is holding their annual Gun Safety Week from June 20-25. This week was chosen because June 21 is [|National “Ask” Day (“Asking Saves Kids”)] which encourages parents to help prevent gun injuries and deaths to our children by asking relatives, friends, and neighbors where families and children visit and play if guns are in the home, and if so, are they secured safely so that they cannot be accessed by children or young people. The Sheriff’s Dept. has information available about gun safety and free gun safety locks available. Call 734-973-4613 to find out more.

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Blog Post

The Hamiltome is Here!

Wed, 04/13/2016 - 4:58pm

[img_assist|nid=334853|title=Hamilton: The Revolution|desc=Hamilton: The Revolution|link=none|align=left|width=100|height=119]Hamilton, the smash-hit Broadway hip-hop musical about Founding Father and America’s first Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton (yes, you read that right), has taken the world by storm. Performances are sold out through the end of this year, and celebrities from Busta Rhymes to Madonna all the way up to Dick Cheney and the Obama family have raved about the show.

If you’ve been listening to [|the Broadway cast soundtrack] non-stop since it came out, you probably already know all about Hamiltome, the nickname for the newest book about the musical. Many Broadway shows publish libretti with music, lyrics, and notes about the show, but Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda and collaborator Jeremy McCarter have put together something more like a scrapbook. In addition to the traditional libretto, [|Hamilton: The Revolution] features large color photos of the cast, set, and show; plus historical background information, interviews, and footnotes from Miranda and the cast. It was published this week, and you can [|place a hold on it] from AADL!

If you just can’t wait for it, and need to dive deeper into Hamilton and his contemporaries, try one of these:

Ron Chernow’s biography, [|Alexander Hamilton] tops the list of further Hamilton reading, and is in fact the inspiration for the musical. Lin-Manuel Miranda took this 800-page tome on vacation as some nice beach reading, connected with the plight and struggle of a man writing himself out of hard times, and started composing the musical when he got back from vacation. This is the definitive Hamilton biography, a vivid and detailed portrait of a multi-dimensional man who came to a new country and made himself a new man.

Hamilton wrote prolifically, and there’s no better way to understand that than by picking up [|the 1108-page collection of his writings], which includes letters, speeches, the infamous Reynolds Pamphlet, and all 51 of the Federalist Papers he authored. Flip through, and you might even notice some lines from his actual writing that became lyrics in the show. Be certain to read some of the affectionate letters he wrote to his wife Eliza and the series of letters with Aaron Burr that led to their fateful duel.

After the duel, Aaron Burr would often casually refer to Alexander Hamilton as “my friend Alexander Hamilton, whom I shot.” They were, at the very least, colleagues, and even worked together as attorneys for the defense in America’s first sensational and fully transcribed murder trial. [|Duel with the Devil], by Paul Collins, shares the scandal of the Manhattan Well Mystery and the trial of suspect Levi Weeks, plus some of the political backstory of the two legendary rivals.

Don’t throw away your shot to learn more about this Founding Father’s fascinating life and career. Placing a hold on one of these books is easy, waiting for it is harder.

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Lectures & Panel Discussions

Proving Innocence: Freeing the Wrongfully Convicted

Thursday July 28, 2016: 7:00pm to 8:30pm
Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

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Blog Post

President Obama and the First Lady share their favorite books of 2015

Wed, 12/09/2015 - 3:54pm


In a [:|recent interview] with People magazine, President Obama and First Lady Michelle shared their favorite books of 2015. The President chose Lauren Groff’s [:catalog/record/1474973|Fates and Furies], as his favorite book of the year. Spanning twenty-four years, the acclaimed novel is a fascinating portrait of a marriage, told first from the husband’s perspective and, in the second half, from the wife’s perspective. With elements of Greek Tragedy, Fates and Furies throws fitting themes at the reader; betrayal, passion, forgiveness, and vengeance all interweave themselves throughout the story of Lotto and Mathilde’s relationship, from their courtship, into the glamorous early years of their marriage, through their journey into middle age. Groff’s brilliant idea to paint one picture for readers in the first half of the novel, and then upend it in the second half by switching narrators is a deafening reminder that there are two sides to every story. The book is a finalist for the 2015 National Book Award.

First Lady Michelle Obama also chose a portrait of a marriage for her favorite book of the year: Elizabeth Alexander’s memoir [:catalog/record/1468754|The Light of the World], which details the sudden death of her husband and her ensuing feelings, reactions and experiences. Some of her emotions surprise her: she feels an intense gratitude for the years that she and her husband were able to share together and a renewed devotion to her two young sons. She details her quest for meaning, understanding and acceptance of the tragedy that has befallen her in beautiful prose, seamlessly switching from her typical medium of poetry. “This beautifully written book is for anyone who has loved and lost,” reads the jacket. “It’s about being strong when you want to collapse, about being grateful when someone has been stolen from you—it’s discovering the truth in your life’s journey: the good, the bad and the ugly.”

The Obamas also shared their favorite TV shows and songs from 2015. The First Lady’s favorite song of the year was “Uptown Funk.”