Playgroups

Thursday May 1, 2014: 6:30 pm to 7:30 pm -- Malletts Creek Branch: Program Room AB

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.

Emerging Writers Workshop: Publishing Options

Thursday May 1, 2014: 7:00 pm to 8:45 pm -- Traverwood Branch: Program Room

This event is intended for adults and teens (grade 6 and up).

The world is changing and today’s writer has more options than ever to see their work in print. Which is the right one for you?

Local authors Lara Zielin and Margaret Yang will explore the differences between traditional publishing and “indie” self-publishing, and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each path. This is the third in a monthly series of writing and publishing events called the Emerging Writers Workshops.

These events feature perspectives from both traditional publishing and indie publishing. Considerations for fiction and non-fiction writing will be covered as well.

There will also be an opportunity for workshop attendees to meet up at the Traverwood Branch on Thursday, May 15 from 7 – 8:45 pm to discuss their works-in-progress. Both Lara Zielin and Margaret Yang will be on hand to offer advice, tips and review. These open houses will be a wonderful time to meet your fellow writers and potentially create your own writing group.

Preschool Storytimes

Thursday May 1, 2014: 7:00 pm to 7:30 pm -- Pittsfield Branch: Program Room

Join us for stories and songs for listeners age 2 to 5 years, accompanied by an adult. Siblings are welcome.

Child in a Strange Country: Helen Keller and the History of Education for People Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired

Friday May 2, 2014: 9:00 am to 9:00 pm -- Downtown Library Lobby And 3rd Floor

Child in a Strange Country: Helen Keller and the History of Education for People Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired is a new traveling exhibit from the Museum of the American Printing House for the Blind exploring the human ingenuity expressed by generations of teachers and students.

There will be an opening reception for the public at the Downtown Library on Friday, May 2 from 7:00 to 8:00 pm. There will also be related events throughout May and June at the Downtown Library.

In 1891, teacher Anne Sullivan wrote a report about her famous young student, Helen Keller, an Alabama girl who lost her hearing and sight at an early age. “For the first two years of her intellectual life she was like a child in a strange country,” wrote Sullivan, realizing that for her student, no learning was possible until she could overcome the communication barrier posed by blindness and deafness. Eventually, however, Keller became the first deaf-blind woman in America to earn her undergraduate degree, graduating from Radcliffe in 1904.

This was made possible by a number of educational tools developed in Europe and the United States since the late eighteenth century, beginning with Valentin Hauy’s invention of the tactile book in 1786 in Paris, France. Hauy’s book featured raised letters, and helped prove that blind people could learn to read. Louis Braille’s dot code, introduced in 1829, allowed students to both read and write.

“Child in a Strange Country” explores four primary subjects: Reading, Science, Math, and Geography. Using Helen Keller’s educational journey as a lens, the exhibit uses tactile reproductions and authentic artifacts to uncover the roots of modern education for children with vision loss.

The exhibit is designed to be fully accessible. Each section includes six panels mounted with tactile reproductions or touchable examples of real artifacts. Each concludes with a sit-down touch table with interactive games and activities which spur the sensory imagination. Labels are available in large-print, braille, and audio versions recorded in the APH studios on Frankfort Avenue.

Highlights of the exhibit include:
• Thirty-four artifacts, including a “washboard” slate used to write braille, similar to models developed by Louis Braille himself, and a giant thirty inch diameter relief model of the Earth.
• Fourteen tactile reproductions, including a page from Valentin Hauy’s original raised letter book and tactile maps by Martin Kunz and Harald Thilander.
• Thirty text and artifact panels with over fifty-three historic photographs, including ten images of Helen Keller.
• Four touch tables, with activities ranging from writing braille to performing math problems on both a tactile abacus and a talking calculator.

Preschool Storytimes

Friday May 2, 2014: 10:00 am to 10:30 am -- Pittsfield Branch: Program Room

Join us for stories and songs for listeners age 2 to 5 years, accompanied by an adult. Siblings are welcome.

Playgroups

Friday May 2, 2014: 10:30 am to 11:30 am -- Traverwood Branch: Program Room

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.

English as a Second Language Conversation Group

Friday May 2, 2014: 1:00 pm to 2:30 pm -- Malletts Creek Branch: Program Room AB

Washtenaw Literacy's ESL groups focus on speaking and listening skills for adults in an informal, relaxed setting. TOEFL preparation is also available.

Child In A Strange Country Exhibit Reception

Friday May 2, 2014: 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm -- Downtown Library - 3rd Floor

Join us for the official opening of AADL’s special exhibit Child in a Strange Country: Helen Keller and the History of Education for People Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired, a new traveling exhibit from the Museum of the American Printing House for the Blind, which explores the human ingenuity expressed by generations of teachers and students. The exhibit will be on display in the lobby of the Downtown Library lobby and on the Third Floor from Friday, May 2 – Wednesday, June 25.

This exhibit opening reception will include:
• A welcome by AADL Library Director Josie Parker ( who will also note that the Washtenaw Library for the Blind and Physically Disabled celebrates its 5th anniversary at AADL this year);
• Remarks by Micheal A. Hudson, Director of the Museum of the American Printing House for the Blind;
• Music by harpist Deborah Gabrion;
• Elegant refreshments.

The exhibit is designed to be fully accessible. Each section includes six panels mounted with tactile reproductions or touchable examples of real artifacts. Each concludes with a sit-down touch table with interactive games and activities which spur the sensory imagination. Labels are available in large-print, braille, and audio versions recorded in the APH studios on Frankfort Avenue.

Please join us for this opening celebration of this extraordinary exhibit and be sure to attend some of our many other related events.

Cute Clay Charms

Saturday May 3, 2014: 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm -- Pittsfield Branch: Program Room

This event is intended for Grades K - 5

Make tiny clay charms to use for jewelry, decorating stuff, or just for collecting. They also make great Mother's Day gifts!

Fairy Tale Vacation Improvisation

Saturday May 3, 2014: 2:30 pm to 3:30 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

This event is intended for grades K - 5

Ann Arbor Civic Theatre’s Junior Theatre is getting set for their delightfully comic upcoming show - Fairy Tale Family Vacation – and, in preparation, would like to invite area youth in grades K – 5 to an afternoon of Fairy Tale improvs with Director Katherine Altman and the Junior Theatre cast.

This is a great opportunity to enjoy theater games and improvs led by a children’s theater director accompanied by her young cast in a fun and welcoming atmosphere. Be prepared to have a great time!

This event is in conjunction with Ann Arbor Civic Theatre’s Junior Theatre’s original children’s comedy, Fairy Tale Family Vacation, by Emilio Rodriguez, which rill run at Washtenaw Community College May 15-18..