Play Connection for Families with Children on the Autism Spectrum

Play with toys, pet gentle dogs and chat with Dr. Rick Solomon, from the Play Project on Sunday, February 2nd at the Downtown Library from 2:00 – 4:00 pm. We have a fun space for construction toys and a quiet space for relaxing. For this third Play Connection event we have the awesome Therapy Dogs from Therapaws joining us just for fun!

Play ProjectPlay Project

Chesstastic

Sunday January 19, 2014: 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm -- Traverwood Branch: Program Room

This event is intended for grade K - adult.

Challenge old friends and meet new ones when you play chess with others of all ages and abilities! Chess sets are provided.

Biakuye Percussion Group in concert: an MLK Day Event

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The acclaimed percussion group Biakuye will be at the Downtown Library's Multi-Purpose Room for a special concert on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Monday January 20, 2014, from 1-2pm, performing original compositions and arrangements grounded in American innovation and African traditions.

Among the Akan people of Ghana, West Africa, Biakuye means unity. It is the spirit of unity that brings the American and African members of Biakuye together to perform "Melorhythmic world percussion," uniting the cool sound of American jazz vibraphone, drum set, and electric bass with the melorhythmic richness of African xylophone, kalimba, and hand drums.

Or, as their website puts it, ".....wooden keys suspended over gourds and spider webs….rosewood bars connected to electric pick-ups….seed pods spun like a yo-yo… metal bars, flattened tire spokes, a contoured red box… goat-skin drums and electric bass… These are the sources of Biakuye’s captivating sound—a sound that is both deeply grounded and cutting-edge. The resulting music reflects the unique journeys of its four members, which have taken the group’s West African born artists to the United States and taken its American born artists to Ghana, Uganda, Trinidad, and Cuba."

Check out a video of the group here and sample some album tracks.

MLK Event: Author/Illustrator Bryan Collier at AADL

We are very fortunate to be able to host author/illustrator Bryan Collier at AADL!!! He will be appearing at the Pittsfield Branch on Sunday, January 19, 2014 at 2:00 p.m.

Mr. Collier has illustrated three titles that have garnered him Caldecott honors. He has won the illustrator medal of the Coretta Scott King Awards three times and had honor books another three times. His King Awards were for Rosa, Uptown, and Dave the Potter, Artist, Poet, Slave.

Start off the celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day by coming to see this very talented illustrator.

Family Science Workshop

Are you a dinosaur lover?

Then join us for Dining on Dinos: Long Necks, Sharp Teeth, Club Tails, Killer Claws on Saturday, January 18 from 10-11 AM at the Pittsfield Branch. This Family Science Workshop from the University of Michigan Museum of Natural History will introduce young dinosaur lovers to what fossils can teach us about dinosaurs. The event is intended for children K-5 accompanied by an adult.

You can learn more about dinosaur fossils by checking out these dinosaur fossil books. Be sure to also check out our Science Tools, some of which include models of dinosaur fossils.

See all of our upcoming Family Science Workshops here.

Writing Inspiration for Teens

Working on or even just thinking about writing a short story for the “It’s All Write!” Teen Short Story Contest but need some inspiration? AADL has a lot of books with authors’ thoughts on writing:

King of the mild frontier: an ill-advised autobiography comes directly from Chris Crutcher, author of Deadline and Athletic Shorts: Six Short Stories (providing fuel for the movie Angus). He shares details of his difficult childhood as well as the cathartic effects of writing.

Hole in my life by Jack Gantos combines harsh truths with aspiring hope. He discusses his 15 months in federal prison and how he turned his life around through writing and attending college. Gantos is well-known for Dead End in Norvelt, Rotten Ralph, and the Joey Pigza series.

Still need more inspiration? Check out this list of inspirational books with writing prompts and other teens’ stories. In honor of yesterday’s “John Green Day” at Mental Floss, you can read some of his quotes on writing.

ACT Plus Writing Tips With Kaplan Experts

Tuesday January 14, 2014: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm -- Traverwood Branch: Program Room

This event is intended for teens (grades 9-12).

A Kaplan expert will guide you through the process of preparing to write an essay for the March ACT Plus Writing.

Playgroups

Monday June 2, 2014: 10:30 am to 11:30 am -- Downtown Library: Youth Story Corner

This is a time for babies up to 24 months and their grown-ups to gather and play. The Library will provide the space and a variety of toys.

Each playgroup includes 15 minutes of stories, rhymes and songs. Parents/guardians must remain with their children.

No older siblings, please.

ACT Plus Writing Tips With Kaplan Experts

Tuesday January 14, 2014: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm -- Traverwood Branch: Program Room

Brainstorming, organizing, and writing an essay in just 30 minutes is a daunting task, and that's just what test takers will face during the ACT Plus Writing test. But don't worry, we've got you covered - at this program, a Kaplan expert will guide you through the process of preparing to write an essay for the March ACT Plus Writing.

This event is intended for teens (grades 9-12).

Filmmaking 101

Do you consider yourself a filmmaker? Maybe not yet, but check out these brand new AADL teen nonfiction titles - as well as these film-related events!

Stop motion animation: how to make and share creative videos gives you guidance to create your very own stop motion film! You probably knew you could make your drawings animated by flipping Post-It-Notes, but did you know you could use whiteboards, paper cutouts, Legos, or even Smartphones? Ternan also gives tips on how to edit and share your videos once they’re ready for the world to see.

You can also check out the brand new autobiography by award-winning Andrew Jenks, My adventures as a young filmmaker. Jenks has created multiple documentaries and the YouTube series “It’s About a Girl.” In his book, he includes photos, opinions, lists, and other personal tidbits.

If you like viewing or making films, be sure to attend AADL’s great upcoming January events:

View the Sundance Film Festival Award-Winner: American Promise on Thursday, January 23 at the Downtown Library. This thorough documentary follows two African-American boys from kindergarten all the way through high school, and shows their triumphs and defeats along the way.

On Tuesday, January 28 at the Downtown Library, you can learn from Community Television Network staff how to make your own iMovie and edit the footage.

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