Free Software Tutorials!

Check out the LearningExpress Library @ AADL research for free Software Tutorials in Adobe Flash, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, Corel WordPerfect, Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Access, Microsoft Outlook, Microsoft PowerPoint, Microsoft Project, Microsoft Publisher, Microsoft SharePoint, and Microsoft Visio.

Enjoy free online computer training at GCF Learn Free and research career training at CareerOneStop

Or take a computer class @ AADL, the complete schedule is available at aadl.org/classes. Registration is not required!

Spy School: Continuing Education

Crafting, sending, and decoding your own spy letters can be a great way to practice writing, reading, and counting skills with an exciting twist! If you were interested by the recent Spy School and Revolutionary War Spycraft events, the exploration and learning can continue through these engaging resources:

First, check out the public lists Codes and Ciphers and Renaissance Kid - Spycraft!. On these lists, you will find a range of items available at AADL. There are books for youth and adults as well as videos for youth.

Next, head to the William L. Clements Library's online exhibit, Spy Letters of the American Revolution. Browse through real spy letters from the 1700s, and learn about the methods of invisible ink, codes, mask letters, and quill letters! Find out the stories of the people behind these fascinating letters, including men and women who spied for and against the American cause. Learn about the history and geography of this time period and the famous and lesser known heroes involved.

For some hands-on fun, practice your own spy letter skills with recipes for invisible ink, instructions for using a dictionary code similar to the code used by the Culper Gang, and a guide to make your own St. Cyr slide (and scroll up and down that page for many more types of codes!). Try sending a Morse code message with a flashlight in the middle of the night. There are forty more codes and spy activities to try in this book! And don't forget, inventing your own code after practicing some of these examples is a great way to stretch your brain and creativity!SpySchoolSpySchool

Outdoor Survival Training 101 With Bivouac

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Wednesday, July 13, 2011: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm -- Malletts Creek Branch: Program Room AB

Ever wondered what to do during emergency situations while camping, hiking and exploring out in nature?

Outdoor experts from Ann Arbor's Bivouac Outdoor Clothing and Gear store will give you the basic survival tips and tricks to keep yourself alive if stranded - rain, snow or shine. They'll also talk about extreme survival tips for the most dangerous scenarios.

Be sure to attend and be prepared for your next wilderness adventure!

Ben Brilliant: Science Experiments for Kids!

Ben Franklin was a legendary inventor whose imagination and hard work led him to conduct famous scientific experiments and invent many new devices.

Inspire the young scientist in your family with stories of Franklin's experiments and inventions with Gene Barretta's Now & Ben: The Modern Inventions Of Benjamin Franklin, Rosalyn Schanzer's How Ben Franklin Stole The Lightning, and Pamela Nettleton's Benjamin Franklin: Writer, Inventor, Statesman.

Then dig into some experimenting yourself! This website from the Franklin Institute has instructions for experiments with electricity, air, heat, and the glass armonica. If electricity sparks your imagination, there are plenty more experiments on this topic, including how to build your own Leyden jar!

Did you know that Ben Franklin was the first scientist to study the Gulf Stream, a powerful, warm current in the Atlantic Ocean. Take your own voyage on the Gulf Stream with these science and math activities!

If you're a teacher or parent seeking to incorporate educational lessons and experiments inspired by Ben Franklin's life, refer to the PBS Benjamin Franklin Teacher's Guide, a series of eight lesson plans aligned to National Standards.

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MedlinePlus - Health Information for Adults and Educational Games for Kids

Medline Body PartsMedline Body PartsCome to the West Branch on Monday, June 20th from 7 - 9 pm to learn from Kate Saylor, of the Taubman Health Sciences Library, on how to use MedlinePlus. Brought to you by the National Institutes of Health and produced by the National Library of Medicine, MedlinePlus provides medical information in a language you can understand. MedlinePlus is free, anyone may access information about treatments, drugs, supplements, medical definitions, and even games and videos.

A library card or membership is not required to attend a computer class. Registration is not required. Classes are filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Click here to view the computer class schedule. See you in class!

Teen (and Parent) Magazine Update -- Home Schooling, Conspiracy Theorists and Luchador Socks

image by Odin Fotografia, Flickr.comimage by Odin Fotografia, Flickr.com
As winter and spring duke it out for supremacy, a beautiful new collection of magazines has blossomed in our teen room. Check out these lovely flowers:

For Teens:
Audrey -- All about Actress Olivia Munn, plus an article on the presence of Asian-Americans in mainstream TV shows.

ESPN Magazine -- See athletes strut their stuff in this special Style Report, in more ways then one, plus Derrick Rose shows off his luchador socks.

Rolling Stone -- Where else can you see Snooki, rock star Sammy Hagar and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones in the same place? Plus, 2011's coolest new faces.

Sorry, parents, I've only got one magazine for you this time, but it's a good one:
Home Education Magazine has ideas on teaching your kids about gardening and food, as well as a list of books for Women's History Month!

Get out your umbrella and come check out these cool magazines!

Healthy Eating For Kids

Check out the new series Food Is CATegorical for a way to teach your Kindergarten - 3rd graders about the food pyramid. Using humor and rhyme ("They're loaded with fiber - a friend to your body. They help you digest food and make you go potty."), this series of six books comes from author Brian Cleary, who created the Words Are CATegorical and Math Is CATegorical books. Choose from the following titles:
Apples, Cherries, Red Raspberries : What Is in the Fruits Group?
Black Beans and Lamb, Poached Eggs and Ham : What Is in the Meat and Beans Group?
Green Beans, Potatoes, and Even Tomatoes : What Is in the Vegetables Group?
Macaroni and Rice and Bread By the Slice : What Is in the Grains Group?
Oils (Just a Bit) to Keep Your Body Fit : What Are Oils?
Yogurt and Cheeses and Ice Cream That Pleases : What Is in the Milk Group?

Bright Nights™ Community Forum - Learning and Depression: What's the Connection?

Cindy E-FCindy E-F

Tuesday March 8, 2011: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

Children with undetected attention and learning problems often feel unsuccessful in school. Over time, the stress associated with doing poorly in school can create vulnerability to depression. Similarly, symptoms of depression can interfere with academic progress.

Cynthia Ewell-Foster, PhD, Clinical Assistant Professor in the U-M Department of Psychiatry and member of the U-M Depression Center, will present an overview of the latest research on the interaction of learning disorders and depressive illnesses, and information on effective treatment strategies. This will be followed by a specialist panel discussion. Parents and educators are encouraged to attend.

Bright Nights™ Community Forums are presented by the U-M Depression Center. This public forum series gives community members the opportunity to obtain up-to-date information on a variety of topics related to depression.

Magazine Update -- Lil Wayne, Edible Bugs, and Books about Sports

image by kevinzim, Flickr.comimage by kevinzim, Flickr.com
This month's magazines will stun and amaze you! Take a look...

For the young 'uns:
Creative Kids -- Featuring an interview with Katherine Paterson, author of Bridge to Terabithia!
Dig Magazine -- When is a hole in your head a good thing?
Ranger Rick -- Do you know that dolphins live in the Amazon River? And that people all over the world eat bugs? It's a strange world out there...

For the teens:
ESPN Magazine -- What's it like to be Jadeveon Clowney, who has been called the nation's number one high school football player? Read to find out!
Rolling Stone -- the Global Warming Hall of Shame and what Lil Wayne is up to these days.

For the parents:
American Baby -- baby traditions from all over the world, and a guide to scary symptoms that are really no big deal.
Horn Book -- What is 'YA Fatphobia'? Plus the favorite picture books of 2010, and a guide to good sports books for kids.
The Old Schoolhouse -- Tips for teaching technology, foreign language and writing skills at home.

I don't know about you, but I think these magazines sound fascinating. Especially that 'hole in the head' one. I'm already stunned and amazed!

Fun With Bugs!

During these cold winter months, that young insect enthusiast in your family may be craving the sight of those creepy, crawly bugs. Never fear! The library has many great ideas to keep that curiosity alive and, well, buzzing!

Lakeshore Learning Material's Giant Bug Collection is a new addition to our line-up of fun and educational toys for children's use during their visit to the Ann Arbor District Library. Enjoy some hands-on fun with these over-sized beetles, grasshoppers, ants, scorpion, and tarantula!

There are many ways to explore the insect world at home with books, movies, music, and websites:

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