New Collections And New Ways To Borrow!

Today we present two new collections: Science Tools and Home Tools!

Science Tools help you explore the world around you in fun and creative ways. Get an up close look and discover secret details invisible to the human eye with a powerful stereomicroscope, or go mobile in the field with a digital pocket microscope and see what you can turn up under logs and in puddles; devise experiments with a variety of handheld meters for measuring ultraviolet light, electromagnetic fields, sound, radio frequency microwaves and environmental quality; and gaze into the cosmos with a Dobsonian telescope. Many new Science Tools will debut this summer, so watch the link above for updates!

Home tools are things that come in handy around the house. We’re starting with some uncommon tools that you might not have lying about, like an indoor air quality meter, a thermal leak detector and an infrared thermometer to accompany our existing energy meters.

But that’s not all! Today you also get a brand new way to borrow materials from AADL: Up For Grabs. Think of Up For Grabs as free Zoom Lends, where we set aside a few of our most popular items to be available for walk-in checkouts. Up For Grabs items are non-requestable and non-renewable, though you can still place requests on their non-Up For Grabs counterparts. They currently circulate for 1 week and are available on a first come first serve basis. Up For Grabs items have a special sticker so that you can find them on the shelf, and their own call number so that you can find them in the catalog. We’re starting out with some telescopes, stereomicroscopes and digital pocket microscopes, so if you’re deterred by long request lists or rental charges then keep an eye out for Up For Grabs!

Tools can be found on the Stuff Shelf, take a look!

We hope you enjoy your new tools and borrowing options, and let us know what you think.


A lot of these items look very cool. How long can the non up for grabs items be checked out? I tried looking on the website but couldn't find couldn't find information on everything. I'm especially curious about the microscopes and the music items.

Hi SBrandt. Non-Up For Grabs microscopes go out for 1 week, NUFG Telescopes go out for 2 weeks, and all Music Tools go out for 1 week and are non-renewable/non-requestable. You'll get a receipt with the due date whenever you check one of these out.

I never knew that you could actually check out such tools...

These are such great ideas! How fun to be able to check out science tools. Should make camping trips extra interesting.

How wonderful. Thanks!

This is wonderful !! Looks like a lot of things that people would want to use, but not really want to buy. AADL goes above and beyond again. Thank you !!

Looks like fun. I will check one out at the next opportunity.

Really cool!

That is so so awesome!!!!!!

Totally Awesome!!

These are great - I managed to get the indoor air quality monitor when I was there on Friday. Now to actually use it and gather data...

I can't wait to let my kids browse the selections. :-)

I think it is really cool that we can check out these interesting items!

The music tools sound really cool. I'll have to check one out next time I'm at the Downtown branch! I hope that sometime they will be made requestable.

However, if you could request them, some tools are very large, and lots of people would want the tools, and you would have to wait like a few weeks...

Cool stuff...
Might check out the telescope soon,

I already suggested it through the "contact us" suggestions - but a GPS would be an awesome addition to this collection. :-)

I agree. Maybe there could be a special GPS for Geocatching around the library!

That would make this much easier...

Of course it would. You go into a library, find the GPS, use it to find the Geocatche, and put the GPS back for the next person.

Well, what if someone broke the GPS? That would be really bad.

Then they get fined. I forgot to mention the check-out part. After returning the GPS, there would be a systems check to make sure the GPS is in working order...

No, then the library wouldn't have a GPS anymore.

Who would be careless enough to break a library GPS? or let their kids break it?

GPS could be cool and has definite potential, we'll look into it. Thanks for the tool suggestion and let us know if you have more!

How about a spy camera so I can find out what's the password for the TV?

How great is this?! I look forward to trying out some of the new tools. Thanks for bringing cool stuff to AADL's shelves!

That's true, but I don't get to go to the library very often - my dad tutors there and he can pick up anything I have on reserve for me. I could deal with waiting for the tools.

That is awesome!

Cool; my son loves science- birds, star-gazing etc. He'll love this. Thanks AADL......

Adding a GPS would be useful...

Wow, What can I say

the air quality meter is an interesting gadget - worth checking out!

Cool, I will check it out.


*Speechless* That is SO COOL!!!!! I can't believe we can actually check out that kind of stuff! It's SOOO amazing!!!! :D

That's really good, will check it out next time when I go to the library.

Cool! I think AADL is the most high tech library in USA!

This is an awesome idea!

This is a great idea for the library. What a wonderful way to be able to introduce kids to science without having to buy expensive tools yourself. And the home tools look like a great way to help make the home more efficient again without having to buy something you'd only use a couple of times. Big thank you to the library for this new service.


With all these AMAZING tools, I wonder why AADL isn't world famous...

Yeah. The telescopes are actually really big...

How were they? By that I mean are they easy to use?

wow cool stuff

These Home Tools look excellent! I have used the energy meter and recommend it. I will need to check out some of the others soon.

My friend who lived in ann arbor but moved away, saw these and was jealous

this is simply awesome!

bookbird - re: "With all these AMAZING tools, I wonder why AADL isn't world famous..." AADL *is* actually world famous! Between Eli Neiburger and the Director Josie Parker they have given talks about AADL's varied services all over the country and the world: Germany, Sweden, The Netherlands, Australia, Norway. If you do some googling you can read all about it. We were featured here and Eli was recently on NPR

Oooooh, thanks for the On Point link, @Erin, I will definitely check that out.

That's AMAZING!!!!!!!!!
How do I check out seeds?

AADL has a pH meter? Where is it?

Bookbird - read the article more closely AADL doesn't have a seed collection. We're always thinking about the collections though - so it's in the mix of the discussions. Lots of new stuff still coming from us - keep your eyes peeled.

sad.... but in my defense I had a limited amount of time on the computer and was excited at the prospect of checking out seeds. Maybe AADL should do the seed collection.

- "AADL has a pH meter? Where is it?"

We've looked at circulating a pH meter and how that might work. The problem is that they require a calibration solution, and we aren't sure that we can checkout the necessary little bottles of liquid. So currently we don't plan on circulating a pH meter, but its always a possibility.

If you can work it out to be able to include a circulating pH meter, I assure that I would be happy to use it. Good luck!

This is an improvement that will be very helpful!

I really like the idea of the new home tools available for check out. The Baldwin Library in Birmingham has an awesome Toy Collection that is available to check out. It is great for parents to get to try out toys before buying, and great for kids to have something new to play with once in a while.

I'd love to check out a thermal camera someday. Then I could see where my house is actually losing heat without having to pay the big bucks to a professional.

me to I've always been interested