Michigan Activity Pass - Check Out Free Passes to Michigan Attractions


Looking for adventure this summer? The Michigan Activity Pass (MAP) is newly expanded, offering free or discounted entry to more than 360 attractions across the state. Library card holders can log in to the MAP site to explore opportunities close to home or farther afield. Use the Advanced Search option to narrow your results by area of interest, such as art, historical sites, maritime, children's activities, campgrounds, and many more.

Use MAP to get free or discounted entry to some of the historic lighthouses dotting Michigan's coast, to art museums such as the Detroit Institute of Arts or the Detroit Museum of Contemporary Art and Design, to history museums like the Yankee Air Museum, the Michigan Firehouse Museum, and the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum, as well as to state parks and campgrounds throughout Michigan,

Find MAP on the library's website under Unusual Stuff and explore your options for making this summer a non-stop Michigan adventure!

Check out the program brochure for a complete listing of participating locations.

Nature Walk @ Barton Nature Area this Thursday

The Ann Arbor District Library and Natural Area Preservation team up each year to offer a series of informative walks at local nature areas throughout the summer. This year's first nature walk will take place this Thursday, May 7 from 7:00-8:30pm at the Barton Nature Area.

Barton Nature Area is a 102-acre park located along the Huron River divided into two sections. A variety of ecosystems can be seen in Barton, including old field, prairie, wet shrubland, mesic forest and emergent marsh. A representative from NAP will lead the walk, offer information about native plants and animals, and about the landscape, and answer questions. We'll meet in the parking lot off of Huron River Drive, just north of Bird Rd. Wear comfortable shoes and clothes and bring water if you'd like.

Other walks this summer will take place at Argo Nature Area, Furstenburg Nature Area and Black Pond Woods.

Fabulous Fiction Firsts #524 "There are cities that get by on their good looks, offer climate and scenery, views of mountains or oceans, rockbound or with palm trees; and there are cities like Detroit that have to work for a living..." ~ Elmore Leonard

Called a "powerful, timely debut" The Turner House * * by Angela Flournoy is especially poignant for readers in Southeast Michigan.

Set in Detroit's East Side, it is the story of an American family spanning five decades, from the Second Great Migration in the 1940s to the present, weathering the series of boom-and-bust associated with the auto industry and the history of the city.

Francis and Viola Turner raised all thirteen of their children in the house on Yarrow Street. Now widowed and ailing, Viola is forced to head to the suburbs and move in with Cha-Cha (Charles), her eldest. The house, once a proud symbol of working-class respectability, now stands among abandoned lots and urban plight, and is worth just a tenth of its mortgage. The Turner children must gather to decide its fate.

Narrating the family saga are Cha-Cha, who feels the full burden of being both father and brother to his 12 siblings; Troy, a former vet and a disillusioned policeman, wants to illegally short sell the house; and Lelah, the youngest daughter whose gambling addiction has cause her her job, her apartment, maybe even her family, finds it necessary to squat in the Yarrow Street house unbeknownst to her siblings.

"The Turner House brings us a colorful, complicated brood full of love and pride, sacrifice and unlikely inheritances. It's a striking examination of the price we pay for our dreams and futures, and the ways in which our families bring us home."

"Flournoy's writing is precise and sharp..., the novel draws readers to the Turner family almost magnetically. A talent to watch."

The author, a graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop and a former librarian, grew up on the west coast but spent time throughout her childhood at her grandparents' home on Detroit's East Side. She will be at the Chelsea District Library on Saturday, April 25th as part of the Midwest Literary Walk. Click here for details and other near-by opportunities to meet the author.

* * = 2 starred reviews

2015 Michigan Notable Books Announced

Each year, the Library of Michigan selects a list of titles for recognition as Michigan Notable Books. These have been singled out as exceptional titles published in the previous year that highlight Michigan people, places, and events.

In addition to drawing attention to books with a Great Lakes region focus, "...the list continues to offer something for everyone. The 2015 list represents fiction, short story collections, history, children's picture books, mysteries, poetry and memoirs," says State Librarian Randy Riley. This 2015 list includes a range of diverse offerings, from dystopian fiction bestseller Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel to Derek Jeter's YA novel The Contract, from a history of Detroit's crucial supply role during WWII in A.J. Baime's The Arsenal of Democracy to Josh Greenberg's River of Sand guidebook to fly fishing in the waterways of the Great Lakes region.

Ready to explore the books for yourself? Here's a Michigan Notable Books|list of this year's honored titles in the AADL catalog.

Diego & Frida

From now through mid-July the Detroit Institute of Arts is hosting the exhibition Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo in Detroit. The exhibit focuses on their lives and work before Detroit, during Detroit, and after Detroit. Diego and Frida spent 1932-1933 in Detroit, where Diego worked on the Detroit Industry murals that are painted on the walls of the DIA. The work is amazing, as is the exhibit. Here’s a sneak peek of the magic if you haven’t been yet.

There’s been a lot of buzz about this exhibit and the artists are popping up all over the place, particularly Frida. Feeling inspired for more? Take a peek at the Caldecott Honor picture book Viva Frida!. There are also many other books and DVDs on Diego and Frida in the AADL collection, including the exhibit catalog that’s on order, and the visual book Diego Rivera: The Detroit Industry Murals.

Fly Tying Workshop and Demonstration

Thursday May 14, 2015: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm -- Traverwood Branch: Program Room

The staff from Bailiwicks Outdoors in Dexter will be on hand to demonstrate beginning fly-tying techniques. Participants will be able to tie their own fly fishing lure just in time for the Spring fishing season - no experience necessary!

Nature Walk @ Furstenburg Nature Area

Thursday August 6, 2015: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm -- Furstenburg Nature Area

This event is intended for adults, teens, and children grades K and up.

Join staff members of AADL and the City of Ann Arbor’s Natural Area Preservation for an informative nature walk in the beautiful 38-acre Furstenburg Nature Area.

Furstenburg Nature Area encompasses a wide variety of natural landscapes, including wetlands, woodlands, prairie, and oak savannah, and is connected to Gallup Park on the east side.

Dress comfortably and appropriately for the weather. Meet in the parking lot off of Fuller Road across from Huron High School.

Michigan Author Jerry Dennis: A Daybreak Handbook

Monday January 26, 2015: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

This event will be recorded

Author Jerry Dennis, best known as an award-winning nature writer, has branched out in two new directions: poetry and publishing. Jerry's first book of poems, A Daybreak Handbook, was published in 2014. Also in 2014, Jerry, his wife Gail, and illustrator Glenn Wolff established Big Maple Press, a small press dedicated to producing special editions exclusively available for sale through independent booksellers.

Dennis will discuss these new avenues in his career as well as his ongoing work with the Great Lakes. Dennis' book The Living Great Lakes was the Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Reads selection in 2010. A selection of Dennis' books will be available for sale and signing at the event.

Sustainable Landscaping with Landscaping Expert Drew Lathin

Tuesday March 24, 2015: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

Drew Lathin is the General Manager of Creating Sustainable Landscapes and a sustainable landscapes consultant who creates ecologically restorative urban and suburban landscapes. As an outspoken critic of conventional landscaping practices which destroy habitat, result in species extinction, and threaten the biodiversity upon which life depends, Drew utilizes native plants in his beautifully installed landscapes that support wildlife, and reduce or eliminate resource inputs such as pesticides and supplemental water. He will speak on these subjects and offer suggestions and tips for how you too, can utilize native plants and biodiversity to create sustainable landscapes of any scale on your own property.

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