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!

NEW Diary of a Wimpy Kid Book: The Long Haul!

Can't get enough of Greg Heffley and the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series? Well you're in luck! Jeff Kinney just released his newest addition to the series, "The Long Haul," yesterday! This time Greg is definitely in for some eye-rolling and groans: he's going on a family road trip. That's right, he's stuck with Rodrick, Manny, Mom and Dad inside a car for what seems like eternity, and that can only mean one thing: this hilarious journey is sure to keep you laughing!

More good news! The official series website has a free excerpt for you to read, or you can read ALL OF IT by checking it out from AADL!

Even MORE good news! If you want to celebrate this awesome book series, join us at the Pittsfield Branch this Saturday (11/8) at 1pm for a Diary of a Wimpy Kid Book Release Party! We'll have crafts, games and prizes for the whole family!

Provide feedback on plans for an Allen Creek trail!

All Ann Arbor residents are invited to share their opinions on the trail, which will provide green space and help reduce flooding in Ann Arbor. This short survey has been designed to capture ideas and feedback.

Looking for more information on the trail? See last week's MLive article, and take a look at a map of the trail.

Book Fun at AADL!

Can't get enough of your favorite books? Have fun with other book-lovers and the Library's most popular characters in the months of November and December! The Ann Arbor District Library will host a variety of fun book-related events that will appeal to the whole family:

Diary of a Wimpy Kid Book Release Party- Saturday, November 8, 1-2pm at Pittsfield
Play the cheesy bean bag toss for prizes, hunt around the Pittsfield branch in a scavenger hunt, and do "Wimpy" crafts!
Check out the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series here.

*NEW* Story and Craft Time: Junie B. Jones- Sunday, November 23, 1-2pm at Malletts Creek
Listen to part of the famous book series and use your creative flair to make some sassy sunglasses!
Check out the Junie B. Jones series here.

Pete the Cat Fanmail- Monday, December 22, 2-3:30 at Traverwood
Write a letter to children's author Eric Litwin or illustrator James Dean and make a Pete the Cat puppet!
Check out the Pete the Cat series here.

For even more events for kids and families, check out our Jump events page. See you there!

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