Holiday Hours

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.

What's Happening This Week!

ART ACTIVITIES & CRAFTS: On Sunday December 17 at 1:00 pm at the Downtown Library, kids can draw penguins. On Sunday December 17 at 2:00 pm at the Downtown Library, kids, teens & adults can create a fleece pillow. On Sunday December 17 at 2:00 pm at Pittsfield Branch, kids, teens & adults can make a felt ball. On Sunday December 17 at 3:00 pm at the Downtown Library, adults and teens can learn to draw birds. On Monday, December 18 at 10:30am at Pittsfield Branch, preschoolers can have fun with art. On Monday, December 18 at 7pm at the Downtown Library, instructor Rae Hoekstra leads a sewing session on how to gather. On Wednesday, December 20 at 6pm at the Downtown Library, discover the art of letterpress printing.

GAMES & TOURNAMENTS: On Sunday December 17 at 1:00 pm at Traverwood Branch, kids, teens & adults can enjoy an afternoon of chess.

EVENTS FOR BABIES: On Sunday December 17 at 1:00 pm at the Downtown Library, babies & preschoolers can have fun at a Dancing Babies session.

SCI-TECH: On Sunday December 17 at 2:00 pm at the Downtown Library, kids can learn more about Minecraft.

LECTURES & PANEL DISCUSSIONS: On Monday, December 18 at 7pm at the Downtown Library, U-M Professor Kai S. Cortina discusses American public schools compared to educational systems of other nations. On Wednesday, December 20 at 6:30pm at the Downtown Library, explore aromatic substances used by doctors during the plague.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi!

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.


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 : soundtrack!

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, Hans Christian Andersen's 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, The 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!

The Empathy Exams

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.

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

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

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.

The 2018 Washtenaw Reads Title Has Been Selected!

After much deliberation, the book for the 2018 Washtenaw Reads program has been selected.

A panel of community members from Ann Arbor, Chelsea, Dexter, Milan, Northfield Township, Saline and Ypsilanti voted on the winner from two finalist titles. Without further ado, this year's title is...

Homegoing, by Yaa Gyasi

Homegoing follows the parallel paths of two half sisters, born into different villages in 18th century Ghana, and their descendants through eight generations: from the Gold Coast to the plantations of Mississippi, from the American Civil War to Jazz Age Harlem.

The book has won many awards, including the PEN/ Hemingway Award, the NBCC’s John Leonard Award, New York Times Notable Book, Washington Post Notable Book and was named one of the best books of 2016 by NPR, Time,, Harper’s Bazaar, San Francisco Chronicle, Mother Jones, Esquire, Elle, Paste, Entertainment Weekly, the Skimm, Minneapolis Star Tribune, and BuzzFeed.

One of the highlights of Washtenaw Reads each year is a visit from the author. Yaa Gyasi will appear in Ann Arbor on Tuesday, February 6 at 7:00 pm at Rackham Auditorium in a program entitled "Homegoing: A Conversation with Yaa Gyasi" - The 2018 Institute for the Humanities Jill S. Harris Memorial Lecture." The event includes a book signing and copies of the book will be for sale.

Washtenaw Reads is a community initiative to promote reading and civic dialogue through the shared experience of reading and discussing a common book. Copies of Homegoing can be found at AADL and in libraries and bookstores throughout Washtenaw County.

Keep an eye on the Washtenaw Reads website, for more information on upcoming events, as well as reading and discussion resources.

Homework Help Returns

School is back in session and the worksheets, projects, and papers return. As students settle back in to their routines it's good to brush up on some of the resources AADL has to help make after school work educational and, dare we say, fun.

In addition to online databases, reading lists, and access to online tutoring, AADL partners with students from Circle K at the University of Michigan to provide in-person Homework Help. On most Mondays (4 - 8pm), Wednesdays (4 - 8 pm), and Sundays (3 - 5 pm) students can meet in the Downtown Branch's Youth Story Corner to study alongside their peers and receive help from Circle K volunteers.

NEW this term, Homework Help is also available at Traverwood! Starting this week, Circle K tutors will be available most Thursdays from 4 - 6 pm in the Traverwood Branch program room.

Participants are always encouraged to check the schedule to confirm when Homework Help is being offered.

Best of luck to everyone with your studies this year!

Today's Events at the Ann Arbor District Library


Sensory Storytime

Saturday December 16, 2017: 10:00 am to 11:00 am -- Westgate Branch: West Side Room

DIY Bath Bombs

Saturday December 16, 2017: 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm -- Downtown Library: Secret Lab

Kids Comics Workshop: Write With Images

Saturday December 16, 2017: 1:00 pm to 2:30 pm -- Malletts Creek Branch: Program Room

Danish Heart Baskets

Saturday December 16, 2017: 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm -- Pittsfield Branch: Program Room

DIY Bindis

Saturday December 16, 2017: 3:30 pm to 5:00 pm -- Westgate Branch: West Side Room

Intermediate Origami with Beth Johnson

Saturday December 16, 2017: 3:30 pm to 5:30 pm -- Downtown Library: Secret Lab

Current & Upcoming Exhibits at the Ann Arbor District Library

Climbing Out of The Abyss: Mono-prints & Mandalas by John Gutoskey

Now through January 10, 2018 -- Downtown Library: 3rd Floor Exhibit

No Cake is Safe: a Cakeasaurus Tale, Woodblock Prints by Marian Short

Now through January 10, 2018 -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room Exhibit

The Nichols Arboretum in Black and White: Photography by Jeff Clevenger

Now through January 10, 2018 -- Downtown Library: Lower Level Display Cases

Remembering Summer: Oils & Watercolors by Marcelle Gray

December 17, 2017 through January 25, 2018 -- Malletts Creek Branch: Exhibits

2018 AIA Honor Awards Exhibit

January 13, 2018 through February 26, 2018 -- Downtown Library: 3rd Floor Exhibit

Over/Come(ing): Paintings by Juliet Seignious

January 13, 2018 through February 26, 2018 -- Downtown Library: Lower Level Display Cases

Additive/Subtractive Works by Helen Gotlib & Dylan Strzynski

January 15, 2018 through February 25, 2018 -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room Exhibit

Resettlement Through The Eyes of Refugees

January 28, 2018 through March 15, 2018 -- Malletts Creek Branch: Exhibits

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