Unusual Stuff to Borrow

There's more to borrow at AADL than books, music, and movies. Check out these unusual items during your next library visit.

Art Prints

Do you get tired of the same pictures on the wall month after month? Are you a student who doesn't want to spend a lot on decor? Then AADL Art Prints are for you. AADL has hundreds of reproductions and original pieces. Up to three art prints can be checked out for eight weeks at a time. Browse the prints in the catalog or visit the second and third floors of the Downtown Library.

Book Clubs to Go

A successful book club can take a lot of preparation, but AADL's Book Clubs to Go (BCTG) can help. For a variety of popular and lesser-known titles, both fiction and non-fiction, AADL has collected ten copies of the featured book, one copy of a movie DVD (if available), and a resource folder with summaries, reviews, discussion questions, etc. BCTG kits can be checked out for six weeks and browsed in the catalog.

Brain Quest and Fandex Family Field Guides

Brain Quest Question and Answer Card Decks:
Each set contains decks of cards, held together at the bottom with a grommet. Questions are on one side of the card, and the answers are on the next card, so kids can play it alone or with friends. In this fast-paced world, it's a way to take a brain break with your children, have some quiet time, and make learning fun. “It’s Fun to Be Smart!” is the slogan and philosophy behind these fast-paced, curriculum-based educational games that challenge kids on the stuff they need to know. Choose from 20 different sets, for preschoolers on up to 7th graders.

Fandex Family Field Guides:
50 full color die-cut cards, bound together, put knowledge at your fingertips. In the Dinosaurs deck, each dinosaur is illustrated in amazingly life-like detail, accompanied by information on size, diet, and lifestyle. This deck also includes key paleontologists, fossil-finding methods, and a glossary. Or try The Wonders of the World, for an introduction to our most magnificent buildings and monuments. From Egyptian pyramids to the International Space Station (the only man-made wonder not on earth), it covers 4,500 years of world history. There are over 20 family-friendly sets available.

You'll find both Brain Quest and Fandex in the Youth sections at all Branches and Downtown. Look for the bright green bags, hanging near the red Book-and-CD Kits.


Get outside, or not, it's entirely up to you with our collection of lawn games. We've got giant versions of normal size games and miniature versions of giant games. Even Scandinavians love lawn games with our regulation Kubb set. Try one today and let us know what you think.

Home Tools

Home tools are things that come in handy around the house. We’re starting with some uncommon tools that you might not have lying about, like an indoor air quality meter, a thermal leak detector and an infrared thermometer to accompany our existing energy meters.

Kids Book Clubs to Go

If you’re leading a book group for kids, AADL’s Kids Book Clubs to Go can help. Each one of these kits contains twelve copies of the featured book, one copy of a movie DVD (if available) and a resource guide with summaries, reviews, discussion questions, etc. Kids Book Clubs to Go kits can be checked out for six weeks.

MI Big Green Gym

The MI Big Green Gym's Park and Read program for 2014 runs from May 16 - September 30. Passes are available for check out at all AADL locations on a first come basis. Simply bring one of the MI Big Green Gym cards to the Circulation Desk for checkout and receive the official pass to be used at participating parks. Remember: the card will not work to enter parks, passes (received at the desk) are needed to enter the parks. You can check the status of passes online in the catalog.

For information about MI Big Green Gym program go to the Michigan Recreation & Park Association website and find map of Michigan's parks here.

Michigan Activity Pass

Year Two of the Michigan Activiy Pass begins on May 24, 2014. This is an online program available to cardholders at the AADL. Find information about the participating institutions in the MAP 2014 Brochure and start planning your visits at the program's information site.

How the Program Works
Library users with a valid library card from one of Michigan’s nearly 400 public libraries can print a pass, either from home or at the library, to one of the nearly 60 participating institutions at the Michigan Activity Pass website. Some cultural partners offer complimentary or reduced price admission; others, discounts in their gift shop or other exclusive offers for MAP pass holders only. Each Michigan Activity Pass expires within one week from the date it is printed. Each library will have five passes for each of the participating organizations available.

Music Tools

AADL's AADL Music Tools collection offers you a chance to get your hands on some very uncommon, unusual, and fun musical instruments! The Music Tools collection features musical gear that you can check out from the Library, from such noted manufacturers as Moog, Korg, Maywa Denki, Bleep Labs, Chamber of Sounds, Critter & Guitari and more!

For now, Music Tools are not renewable, and not requestable. You can find them at the downtown library near the circulation desk, and they check out for one week. As the collection grows, new ways to borrow will be coming!

Science Tools

Science Tools help you explore the world around you in fun and creative ways. Get an up close look and discover secret details invisible to the human eye with a powerful stereomicroscope, or go mobile in the field with a digital pocket microscope and see what you can turn up under logs and in puddles; devise experiments with a variety of handheld meters for measuring ultraviolet light, electromagnetic fields, sound, radio frequency microwaves and environmental quality; and gaze into the cosmos with a Dobsonian telescope. Watch the Science Tools list for newly added items.

Stories to Go

Teachers, parents and caregivers will love these Stories to Go kits. Inside each is a collection of picture books, CDs or DVDs, and a resource folder of games and activities for young children all related to a theme. Each kit can be checked out for four weeks. Browse the catalog to request these themed kits.


Our circulating Orion Starblast 4.5" Astro Reflector Telescope, brought to you in partnership with the University Lowbrow Astronomers, is a powerful yet fully accessible scientific instrument and a perfect family-friendly scope for entry-level and intermediate astronomy enthusiasts. Telescopes circulate for two weeks, with an option for renewal if there are no outstanding requests, and you can return them to any branch location. Read more about the collection and viewing tips for stargazing near Ann Arbor.

Up For Grabs

Up For Grabs is the newest way that you can borrow materials from AADL. Think of Up For Grabs as free Zoom Lends, where we set aside a few of our most popular items to be available for walk-in checkouts. Up For Grabs items are non-requestable and non-renewable, though you can still place requests on their non-Up For Grabs counterparts. They currently circulate for 1 week and are available on a first come first serve basis. Up For Grabs items have a special sticker so that you can find them on the shelf, and their own call number so that you can find them in the catalog. So if you’re deterred by long request lists or Zoom Lends rental charges then keep an eye out for Up For Grabs!

Zoom Lends

Want a popular book or movie without having to place a request and wait your turn in the request queue? Check if it's available as a Zoom Lends Book or Zoom Lends DVD. Zoom Lends is a rental collection of our most popular titles. The cost is only $1 per week and copies are available at all library locations on a first come, first served basis.