"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.

Let Freedom Ring: Celebrating the Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in Music

On Monday, January 19, AADL will celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s legacy in music, with two very special performances at the Downtown Library.

All ages are invited at 1 p.m for acclaimed percussion group Biakuye presenting a cross-cultural experience rooted in American innovation and African tradition.

In Akan languages, biakuye means unity, and their style unites percussionists from varied backgrounds, traditional instruments and found objects, and West African musical traditions and American jazz concepts.The group's members come from both Africa and the United States, and have a local connection. Mark Stone and Roger Braun attended the University of Michigan together, studying percussion. Mark spent a year in Ghana while at U of M, where he met master drummer Kofi Ameyaw. The three later formed Biakuye, and have since added and rotated members, but their unique and energetic sound remains, celebrating cultural unity and collaboration. Biakuye will perform in the Downtown Library Multi-Purpose Room.

In the evening, Baritone Emery Stephens and accompanist Alvin Waddles will give an interactive lecture and concert highlighting the musical legacy and achievements of African-American composers and arrangers.

They will discuss such recognizable tunes as “This Little Light of Mine,” “It’s Me, O Lord,” “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot,” and composers such as Harry T. Burleigh, John Work, and Margaret Bonds. Both Emory Stephens and Alvin Waddles have performed, studied, and taught throughout the area and around the country and will join us for an entertaining and informative performance at 7 p.m. in the Multi-Purpose Room.

Can’t make it? Use these lists of books on Dr. King and the Civil Rights Movement for children, teens, adults, graphic novels, and picture books to mark the day.

Pete the Cat Fanmail and Puppet-making!

Are you a fan of Pete the Cat? With his groovy blue color and cool style, how could you not be?! Join us on Monday, December 22 at Traverwood from 2:00 to 3:30pm to make a Pete the Cat puppet and write letters to Eric Litwin and James Dean, the author and illustrator of the popular children's series. This event is intended for kids in grades K-5. All supplies will be provided!

Tiny Expo: Indie Arts & Craft Fair

Saturday December 13, 2014: 11:00 am to 5:30 pm -- Downtown Library Lobby

Ann Arbor's biggest little indie arts & craft fair is back! After a few years of hopping around to different locales, Tiny Expo will land at the Downtown Library.

Just what IS Tiny Expo? It's a fun local, and handmade shopping experience that began with a small group of artists in 2010. As the initial group of creative folks banded together to hold a fun, informal little fair, expo-goers responded, and the show grew just a teeny bit each year. Finding a location that could fit everyone was a perennial challenge, though, and so Tiny Expo jumped around town — from Kerrytown to Felch Street and back again.

Join us for Tiny Expo Saturday, December 13 from 11-5:30, and shop from 38 artists and crafters selling their wares in a festive library space where you can shop local and handmade! It's a great way to support your community and find unique gifts. Check out the vendor list!

Fresh brewed, local coffee will also be on sale by Roos Roast!

Chesstastic this Sunday, December 14, 1-4pm at Traverwood!

Join us this Sunday at our Traverwood location for a relaxing and challenging afternoon of chess--one of the world's most popular games! Players of all ages and skill levels are welcome! Drop in at any point over the course of the afternoon. Chess sets are provided.

Sustainable Landscaping with Landscaping Expert Drew Lathin

Tuesday March 24, 2015: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

Drew Lathin is the General Manager of Creating Sustainable Landscapes and a sustainable landscapes consultant who creates ecologically restorative urban and suburban landscapes. As an outspoken critic of conventional landscaping practices which destroy habitat, result in species extinction, and threaten the biodiversity upon which life depends, Drew utilizes native plants in his beautifully installed landscapes that support wildlife, and reduce or eliminate resource inputs such as pesticides and supplemental water. He will speak on these subjects and offer suggestions and tips for how you too, can utilize native plants and biodiversity to create sustainable landscapes of any scale on your own property.

Game On!

Looking for something to do in your spare time? The wind, snow and frigid temperatures make it challenging to enjoy the outdoors this time of year, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun! The AADL has more than just books to keep you and the family entertained.

If you’re looking to get out of the house, there are two great events coming up for you! Saturday,November 22, there is a Family Board Game Bash at 2:00 at the Pittsfield Branch. The following Saturday, December 6th, you can join us at Traverwood to Learn To Play Mahjongg with a local enthusiast to help you learn along the way.

Maybe you want to keep it cozy at home? Check out the Unusual Stuff in our catalog- maybe you’d like to go big and play Giant Dominoes or Giant Checkers? Or, get your warm weather game on point and borrow a Portable Disc Golf Basket. Whatever your fancy, game on friends!

Home Energy Conservation

Wednesday February 4, 2015: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm -- Malletts Creek Branch: Program Room

DTE staff present an informative talk about all the ways homeowners and renters can save money by using the conservation tips and enhancements that DTE provides free of charge, like LED lightbulbs and energy-saving shower heads. Hear about how you can have a home energy consultation!

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