For the Birds!

Do you keep bird feeders in your yard for the winter? Do you ever see a type of bird that you want to know more about, or can't identify? AADL subscribes to Birds of North America Online powered by Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the American Ornithologists' Union. This subscription-based resource is available through our website for all library users. You can learn the behaviors, eating habits, migration, and more, of hundreds of birds. You can even listen to recorded samples of their bird calls!

Get Out and Vote in the General Election on Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2014

We're only one week away from the General Election for Federal, State and Local Offices and Ballot Proposals. You can view your sample ballot, check your polling location and much more at Michigan Votes.

The Michigan League of Women Voters Nonpartisan Voter Guide is available at all library branches and online. League of Women Voters of the Ann Arbor Area candidate forums can be viewed online as well.

Here's a few tips for making voting easy:
-Don’t forget to bring your photo ID to vote. Voters who do not have acceptable photo ID will be required to sign an affidavit in order to vote.
-Peak voting hours are from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. Voters who want to avoid long lines are encouraged to vote during midday hours.
-Polling place hours are 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Election Day. If you are standing in line by 8 p.m. then you are eligible to vote.
-The City Clerk's Office is open Saturday, November 1, 2014 from 8am to 2pm to accept in-person requests for absentee ballots.
-Ann Arbor Public Schools are closed on Election Day. Polling places located within schools are open.

Washtenaw County election results are televised on Community Television Network’s CitiTV Channel 19 beginning at 10 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2014—after the polls close—and will continue throughout the night.

ET Rover Pipeline - Washtenaw County

Fact sheets and maps of the proposed ET Rover Pipeline, LLC (ET Rover) can be viewed online here and are also available at the Downtown Library 2nd floor Reference Desk.

ET Rover Pipeline Company LLC (a division of Energy Transfer) announced a 42” diameter high pressure natural gas pipeline project that is proposed to run through Washtenaw County. The approximately 810-mile natural gas pipeline will connect the rapidly expanding Marcellus and Utica Shale production areas to markets serving the Midwest, Great Lakes and Gulf Coast regions of the United States, or for export to Canada.

34 Million and Counting

That's the estimate on the number of vehicles currently involved in recalls in the U.S. Now there's a quick tool to determine if your car or motorcycle needs a second look: Safercar.gov, a web site launched this week by NHSTA, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Using the VIN# of your vehicle, the search tool looks for safety recalls that are incomplete on a vehicle, safety recalls conducted over the past 15 calendar years and safety recalls conducted by major light auto automakers, including motorcycle manufacturers. Very recent recalls may not be in the system yet and not every make and model is covered but it's a fairly comprehensive database with a straightforward interface.

Treasures of the British Library

I am recently back from London where I visited the British Library's Sir John Ritblat Gallery. Among its treasures are the Magna Carta, the Gutenberg Bible, Shakespeare's First Folio, and the only remaining medieval manuscript of Beowulf.

There's nothing like seeing rare books in person but you can't browse through them. Now, for selected items, the British Library allows you to do that online at their virtual books page. Here you can read handwritten books by Lewis Carroll and Jane Austen, examine William Blake's, Mozart's and Leonardo's notebooks, and study the drawings in The Birds of America and the Medieval Bestiary. A "Read" option brings up the text of or commentary for the work (Carroll's handwriting is neatly legible but Jane Austen's is not). A "Listen" option reads the text or commentary to you.

I didn't learn about the treasures on the British Library website from my British Library visit. I learned by looking at the Books and Reading page at aadl.org. You can also find the Complete Works of Shakespeare, the New York Review of Books and dozens of other options there.

A Community for Victory - Ann Arbor in World War Two

AADL is pleased to partner with the University of Michigan Stephen S. Clark Library to explore community life in Ann Arbor during World War Two. "A Community for Victory - Ann Arbor in World War Two", which will be on display May 1-August 1 on the 2nd floor of the Hatcher Graduate Library, makes use of AADL’s local historical archives, the Clark Library's map collection, and special materials from the the American Culinary History Collection.

Among the documents on display from AADL’s collection are Ann Arbor News articles and photographs highlighting homefront activities during World War II, including the promotion of victory gardens, scrap drives, and bond drives. Nearly 800 additional articles and photographs from the World War II era are available via AADL’s Oldnews site.

An opening reception will take place at the Stephen S. Clark Library, 913 S. University Ave., on Thursday, May 1st, 4- 6pm, with coffee and light refreshments provided. Public welcome!

AADL partners with UMS to present UMS Rewind

AADL is pleased to have partnered with the University Musical Society to help build UMS Rewind, a searchable database of performances, programs, and photographs from 135 years of UMS history.

Open to all researchers, this unique research tool is available for searching by composer or composition, conductor or performer, and provides access to repertoire, programs, and other material detailing the unique legacy of UMS and the history of touring in the performance arts in America.

The Reader's Eternal Question...

...is "What do I read next?"

The Books, Reading & Literature Databases can help, whether through lists, reviews, book clubs, or ebook selections. Start with Books & Authors where you can browse by title, author, genre and winners of awards named for James Fenimore Cooper, Ernest Hemingway, Edgar Allan Poe, Philip K. Dick and more. Join a Free Book Club in the genre of your choice.

Then, move on to Select Sites for Books & Reading where you can peruse articles at the New York Review of Books or Kirkus Reviews, find classics in Modern Library's Top 100, figure out the reading order of the series you like with Kent District Library's What's Next? Page, read Hamlet on one single screen page at The Complete Works of Shakespeare, and discover free ebooks at Project Gutenberg and Open Library. You can even read Alice in Wonderland in Lewis Carroll's own hand (as well as other scans of rare originals) courtesy of the British Library.

It won't be long before "What do I read next?" becomes "What do I read first?"

Introducing LearningExpress Library 3.0!

MeL, or the Michigan eLibrary, has just updated its LearningExpress Library for all ages. The new website features a brand new interface, additional options for users, and more intuitive organization.

What is the LearningExpress Library? It's a database offered by MeL to help students of all ages test themselves in various categories, including:

  • Adults (also available in Spanish): Reading and math skills, becoming a U.S. citizen
  • High School: GED, TASC, HiSET, basic skills
  • College: ACT, SAT, AP, TOEFL
  • Elementary/Middle: content in core subjects

Who can use this service?
Anyone who is a permanent resident of the state of Michigan!

  • AADL Library Card holders: Log in to your AADL online account
  • AADL visitors: Log in to LearningExpress while visiting any AADL branch
  • Other option: Use your Michigan Driver's License or State I.D. to log into mel.org

Where can I go to start using LearningExpress Library?
You can access the LearningExpress Library in two ways:

  • Go to aadl.org and click on the Research tab. Click Test Prep.
  • Go to mel.org and click on Mel Databases. Scroll down to LearningExpress Library.

Note: Once you select a test to take, you will have to register (it's free!) with a username and password.

I was using version 2.0. What does this change mean for me?
You will have until June 30, 2014 to access your old testing sessions and results in version 2.0. Version 3.0 requires a new username and password.

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