What's Happening This Week!

DIADIADon't miss these upcoming events!

ART LECTURE: DIA docent Carol George discusses Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo and presents a preview of the upcoming DIA exhibit on Thursday March 5 at 7:00 pm at the Downtown Library.

MUSIC WORKSHOP: Sound Designer Mike Huckaby continues his popular Electronic Music Production workshop for adults and teens on Wednesday March 4 at 7:00 pm at the Downtown Library.

POETRY WORKSHOP: Adults and teens are invited to a special Emerging Writers Workshop focusing on poetry on Thursday March 5 at 7:00 pm at Traverwood Branch.

THIS WEEKEND:

SCIENCE AND NATURE: The Organization for Bat Conservation visits the Pittsfield Branch on Sunday March 8 at 2:00 pm to present an interactive program for kids featuring bats and other nocturnal creatures. Come face to face with these creatures of the night and learn about their survival tools.

CRAFTS: Adults and teens can learn how to spin yarn when they make their own drop spindle on Saturday March 7 at 1:00 pm at Malletts Creek Branch and can create felt flowers on Sunday March 8 at 2:00 pm at Malletts Creek Branch.

HEALTH AND WELLNESS: Preschoolers can enjoy a morning yoga session on Saturday March 7 at 10:00 am at Pittsfield Branch.

HANDS-ON MINECRAFT WORKSHOP: Kids can learn programming basics while enjoying Minecraft on Saturday March 7 at 2:00 pm at the Downtown Library.

Friday 2/27 - Last day to submit stories for the "Write On!" Short Story Contest for 3rd to 5th Grade!

Don’t worry - there’s still time! You can submit a story at the Downtown Library Youth Desk (343 S. Fifth Ave) or email it to youngwrite@aadl.org through February 27th! Check out the contest guidelines for details.

Remember, the top three stories will be chosen from each grade and every writer will receive a certificate of participation! Winners will be announced at an awards ceremony held on Sunday April 19th, 2015 from 2 - 3 pm in the Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room.

Still working on your story? Try some of these writing resources if you need help!

My Weird Writing Tips by Dan Gutman. The author of the “My Weird School” series gives advice on writing, finding your big idea, and provides a checklist to help young writers develop all the important parts of their story!

Just Write: Here’s How by award winning author Walter Dean Myers. Get suggestions for story ideas, characters and plot as well as advice for dealing with helpful criticism.

826michigan
Ann Arbor’s own center for great creative writing workshops. All workshops are free, some require registration. Ages 8 to 18.

Brainfuse Writing Lab
Get live online help from writing tutors 2-11pm, seven days a week. No appointments necessary. Log in to an aadl.org online account and go to http://www.aadl.org/research/browse/studentpapers to use this service for free!

"Write On!" - Let's Get Started!

Thinking about entering this year’s “Write On!” Short Story Contest for 3rd-5th grade, but not sure where to start? What are short stories supposed to be about, anyway?
Good news! That's the fun part about writing - YOU get to decide. It can be scary, funny, silly, or sad. All you need is an idea! Now... where can you find one of those?!

These short story collections should get you thinking:
Ribbiting Tales: Original Stories About Frogs
Sports Shorts: An Anthology of Short Stories
Breaking the Spell: Tales of Enchantment

For some spooky ideas, try:
That’s Ghosts for You: 13 Scary Stories
Beware! : R.L. Stine Picks His Favorite Scary Stories

To find out more about the "Write On!" Short Story Contest, check out the contest home page!

February is Black History Month

Signal of LibertySignal of LibertyThe best way to celebrate and honor Black History Month is to delve into history. What better place to do that than the Library?

This February, AADL has several events and resources to help you mark Black History Month by honoring those who came before, their traditions, and our hopes for the future.
EVENTS:
April Ryan, a 30-year journalism veteran, the White House correspondent for American Urban Radio Networks, and the only black female reporter covering urban issues from the White House has just released a new book, The Presidency in Black and White: My Up-Close View of Three Presidents and Race in America, a behind-the-scenes look at the inner workings of race relations as it relates to the White House. She will be at the Downtown Library on Monday, February 16 at 7 pm to discuss the book, her career, the three presidents she’s covered, and her experiences.

The Sankofa Ensemble takes their name from a word that means “to retrieve the goodness from the past”. They will teach us about the traditions of Ghanaian and West African music and play authentic instruments from Ghana. Families will especially enjoy being able to get up and dance to the music, and learning more about traditional African dancing. The Sankofa Ensemble will perform on Saturday, February 21 at 2 pm in the Downtown Library’s Multi-Purpose Room.

The last very special Black History Month event features the relatives of a prominent Civil Rights figure: Rosa Parks. Sheila McCauley Keys is Rosa Parks’ niece, and she and her siblings grew up very closely with their aunt when she moved to Detroit. They have recently released a new book of memories of their aunt, Our Auntie Rosa: the Family of Rosa Parks Remembers Her Life and Lessons, and Sheila will visit the Downtown Library on Tuesday, February 24 at 7 pm. She will talk about her new book and her Auntie Rosa, and she will take questions from the audience.

PRIMARY SOURCES:
Of course, libraries are fantastic resources for more than just events. Here at AADL, we have the African American Cultural & Historical Museum of Washtenaw County’s Living Oral History Videos. These are recorded interviews with local African-Americans discussing what they witnessed and experienced and their perspectives relating to race, gender, education, equality, faith, housing, employment, community building activities, and social infrastructure in our area. These amazing videos show what a historical resource our own people are, and make learning about history as easy as a conversation with your grandparents.

Newspapers are also great historical resources. AADL has digitized copies of local abolitionist newspaper Signal of Liberty which was started in April 1841 and published almost every week from an office on Broadway Street in Ann Arbor. Issues featured local and national news, anti-slavery poems, interviews with emancipated slaves, minutes from anti-slavery meetings, and stories by abolitionists about helping people escape from slavery. Reading these articles helps us to understand issues surrounding slavery, why people opposed this dark part of our past, and how ordinary people participated in the fight for freedom.

Whatever part of history you are interested in, your library is a resource for research, learning, and commemorating.

Let the "Write On!" Contest Begin!

All third, fourth, and fifth grade writers may now submit their stories to the third annual "Write On!" Short Story Contest! Just type up your story and either send it to youngwrite@aadl.org or bring it to the Youth Desk at the Downtown Branch! Story submissions will be accepted 2/9-2/27. Check out the guidelines and contest website for more information!

If writing a story straight from your head seems tough, try out a couple of these goofy story-starters to get your ideas flowing!

The only thing worse than stepping in grape jelly is...
This morning I woke up and thought, "Aw pickles."
Dragons don't make very good pets...
When I walked into science class today, I didn't expect...
Something sounded like two million cats practicing karate...

Happy writing!

Join us for Kundalini Yoga on Saturday morning!

This Saturday, February 7th, at the Downtown AADL location from 10-11:30AM, local yoga instructor Victoria Duranona will lead a kundalini yoga class geared towards reducing stress and improving sleep. Victoria will teach participants how to become aware of stressors and how they influence communication, relationships, and performance. She will then lead yoga and meditation exercises intended to help release stress.

"Kundalini" is a term that refers to a "spiritual energy or life force located at the base of the spine." Kundalini yoga aims to activate this force through yogic breathing exercises.

This event is intended for teens and adults. It is advised to bring a bottle of water, not eat for two hours before you come, and dress comfortably. Also, please bring your own mat.

The "It's All Write!" Contest Is Now Accepting Submissions!

The 23rd "It's All Write!" Teen Short Story Contest has officially begun! Writers in grades 6-12 may enter their short story today through Friday, March 13.

Whether you are new to the contest or are a returning writer, you may find these Frequently Asked Questions helpful:

Q: Can I use a story that I've already written in class?
A: Yes, as long as it is not already published in print or online.

Q: Do I have to write about a certain topic or theme?
A: You can write about whatever you would like!

Q: How do I start writing a story?
A: The writing resources guide features several websites to help you get started.

Q: Is this contest just for Ann Arbor students?
A: The "It's All Write" contest is for any teen writer who wishes to enter, even if they live in another state or country!

Q: Who are the contest judges?
A: The judges change every year, so keep an eye on our website to find out who is on this year's panel.

For more information, please visit the contest website! Happy writing!

"Write On!" Contest Guidelines are now posted! Entries accepted February 9 - 27th!

Young writers in 3rd-5th Grade may now view the 2015 "Write On!" Short Story Contest Guidelines! The "Write On!" Short Story Contest is now three years old and has received a total of 200 submissions from previous years! Keep the stories coming, writers of Ann Arbor and beyond!

"Write On!" will begin accepting submissions on Monday, February 9.

Need some help getting started? Check out the Writing Resources page. For more information about the contest, please visit the contest home page.

Happy writing!

Resolution Check-In

We are about three weeks into the New Year, which is a great time to check in with those new year’s resolutions! If you’re like a lot of people, they’ve probably been left in the dust for a while, but there’s no reason not to pick them back up and try again. We’re not so far into the year that you can’t get back on the ball!

Luckily, the library is here to help in January and all year long with books, tools, events, and resources to help you meet your goals.

One of the most popular resolutions any new year is to get healthier and more active. Yoga can be a great way to ease into fitness, and it’s also a fantastic way to relax and decrease stress. The Library offers several yoga programs throughout the year, including Kundalini, Vinyasa, and other kinds of yoga. You can also check out a Neulog Pulse Meter from our Science Tools collection to monitor and compare your pulse rates during rest and different types of exercise. Make it an experiment or a game!

If 2015 is the year you will finally write the Great American Novel, or any kind of writing, join the Emerging Writers workshops and meetups, which each take place once a month. The group offers a chance to connect with other writers, ask questions, and have a dedicated time and place to work on writing projects.

Let me guess: you decided to get more organized this year, but you can’t find the paper you wrote down that resolution on because your desk is such a mess. This Organize Your Home book list can help you clean up and keep up with organizing your home, office, finances, and all that clutter. With these books and tips, you’ll be able to unearth your desk AND cross the resolution off your list!

I’m always aspiring to learn new skills, and the library is a perfect resource. Not only can you find tons of how-to books and videos on the shelves and a ton of craft programs, but we also have circulating sewing machines available for aspiring sewists and Big Shot Die Cutters which can be used to make great paper accents for scrapbook pages. If you want to learn more tech-related skills, Gamestart classes are offered in topics like Minecraft Modding and 3D Art and Animation.

Whatever your resolution or goal, let the Library get you on track to make a strong effort, no matter what time of year it is!

Alison Bechdel, author of Fun Home, is coming to Ann Arbor

Hugely popular graphic novelist Alison Bechdel, author of Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic, Are You My Mother? A Comic Drama, and many other graphic novels, will be coming to the Michigan Theater on January 22, 2015. Bechdel's work intertwines political and personal spheres. She uses stories of her father's life before gay rights and her mother's life prior to the women's rights movement to portray intimate images of oppression. In Fun Home, her most popular work, Bechdel shares her personal tales of coming-of-age and coming out in the 1950s and 1960s, under the shadow of her parents' unhappy marriage and nation-wide homophobia.

Bechdel's talk at the Michigan Theater will begin at 5:10pm. The event is free and open to the public. You can read more about Bechdel and the event itself here.

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