Hike @ Argo Nature Area tonight!

Join us and a representative from Ann Arbor's Natural Area Preservation on an informative nature walk tonight at 7:00pm at Argo Nature Area. This lovely 22-acre park runs along the Huron River offering beautiful views of the water through the oak, hickory and willow trees. The event will be a mixture of hiking the unpaved trail that runs along the river and learning about ecological restoration and native plants and animals from the NAP representative. Remember to wear comfortable clothing and bring water!

We will meet in the parking lot by the Argo Canoe Livery, just off of Longshore Drive.

Nickolas Butler's new novel Shotgun Lovesongs is a Midwestern must-read

I was eagerly anticipating the publication of Shotgun Lovesongs, the brand new novel by Nickolas Butler. In fact, I was a little nervous that it couldn’t possibly be as good as I hoped it would be. Boy, was I wrong! “This is a novel about home, and home is how the book feels,” writes reviewer Josh Weil. At its core, Shotgun Lovesongs is a book about the American Dream, and all the many ways that people go about seeking it. The book is also a vivid description of and ode to a place, that place being a small town in northern Wisconsin. Any Midwesterner will connect immediately with Butler’s beautiful narrative of changing seasons and the changing moods that go with them, and anyone who has spent time in a small town will understand perfectly the atmosphere of the place that he describes so well in the pages of the novel.

The story focuses on four men who grew up in the town of Little Wing, Wisconsin. All of them left at some point but all four have returned, unable to truly leave the place that they call home. In the voice of one of the characters, Butler writes: “Here, life unfurls with the seasons. Here, time unspools itself slowly, moments divvied out like some truly decadent dessert that we savor—weddings, births, graduations, grand openings, funerals. Mostly, things stay the same…. This is my home. This is the place that first believed in me. That still believes in me.”

Fans of other Midwestern authors like Jim Harrison, Bonnie Jo Campbell and Jonathan Franzen will love Shotgun Lovesongs. You can read more about the book in the New York Times review of it here.

Reveal Your Detroit

Reveal Your Detroit: An Intimate Look at at Great American City is a community engagement project led by the Detroit Institute of Arts.

The Detroit Revealed exhibition at the DIA featured more than fifty works created from 2000 to 2010. The artwork captured a diverse Detroit, featuring urban architecture, urban gardens, community, art, and decay.

Reveal Your Detroit is a community based public art response to the exhibit. The project was a dialog between the museum, established artists and community organizations, asking these questions:

What does your Detroit look like?
How do you want others to see it?

After it was announced in March 2012 the project received over 10,000 images taken with disposable cameras in less than three months. The photographs included in this book are from that lot and are photographs taken with disposable cameras by local residents, and for the most part not hobbyist or professional photographers. Even if you did not visit Detroit Revealed at the DIA this book is a wonderful celebration of collaboration and community and is a positive look at the heart of Detroit: its people.

Local Music: Rebel Kind

Thursday June 26, 2014: 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

This event is intended for grades 6 - adult.

AADL is pleased to welcome Rebel Kind, a local pop/rock 'n' roll band with a sound veering from bubblegum to a bit of swagger, from sunshiny-jangle to shadow.

Their most recent album, Today, was recently released. For a preview of their sound, check out their Bandcamp page.

Controlled Burns in Ann Arbor's Natural Areas

Tuesday Feb. 25th | Traverwood | 7:00-8:30 PM | adults and teens (grade 6 and up)

Forest fires are usually a bad thing -- when they aren't meant to happen! However, many Natural Area Preservation organizations around the country use a method called controlled burning to actually help the land. Prescribed or controlled burning is sometimes used in forest management, farming, or prairie restoration and stimulates the germination of some desirable forest trees, thus renewing the forest.

The Natural Area Preservation of Ann Arbor will visit the Traverwood branch of the AADL to further explain what controlled burns are and why they are used in natural areas. This event is for anyone interested in helping with the burns or those who just want to learn more about them.

To learn more about the forests of Michigan, check out these great books in the AADL collection:
- Trees of Michigan: field guide
- Roadside guide to Michigan plants, trees, and flowers: an ecological approach
- Trees of Michigan, including tall shrubs
- Trees of Michigan and the Upper Great Lakes
- Michigan trees: a guide to the trees of the Great Lakes Region

Under the Radar Michigan

During this winter season we might all be driven to insanity, so it is nice to be reminded of the wonderful aspects of our fair state. Under the Radar Michigan is the perfect way to combat the desire to flee to a warmer climate. By watching just one episode you will be reminded of all the amazing places that exist in Michigan. When you are cooped up inside, you might as well dream of the local places you can visit once everything thaws or be so enticed by a location that you decide to brave the elements. Either way you are going to be better off. Some of the places included in these videos are Grand Rapids, Traverse City, Detroit, and our very own Ypsilanti and Ann Arbor!

Now Available Through AADL: Downloadable Issues of Midwestern Gothic

Literary journals can be a marvelous way to discover work by writers you might not already be familiar with — a gateway to some of the most interesting new writing. Midwestern Gothic is "a quarterly print literary journal out of Ann Arbor, Michigan, dedicated to featuring work about or inspired by the Midwest, by writers who live or have lived here."

Is this limiting? The breadth of work collected in Midwestern Gothic — issue after issue — proves that it's not.

The journal, now on its twelfth release, "aims to collect the very best in Midwestern fiction writing in a way that has never been done before, cataloging the oeuvre of an often-overlooked region of the United States ripe with its own mythologies and tall tales." An August interview with AnnArbor.com gives more insight into the journal's background and its founders, Robert James Russell and Jeff Pfaller.

We're happy to report that now you can read every issue of Midwestern Gothic by downloading them directly from AADL's website! A dozen issues are currently in our catalog, and new issues will be added upon release.

If you like what you read in Midwestern Gothic, their MG Press imprint will be celebrating the release of the novel Above All Men with an event at Literati Bookstore on Monday, Feb 17 at 7pm.

Arborwiki Edit Night At Arbor Brewing

Wednesday April 23, 2014: 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm -- Arbor Brewing - 114 East Washington

What's ArborWiki? ArborWiki is the community generated source for details on everything from birthday deals to local history to the lowdown on local playgrounds.

Since it's a "civic wiki" it's created, edited and maintained by locals. Who are those locals? That could mean you! If you have an interest in any aspect of the Arbor/Ypsi area - parks, history, local happenings - you might be a perfect ArborWiki contributor or editor.

Come hang out and grab a frosty beverage at Arbor Brewing (114 East Washington in Ann Arbor), meet some of the current crew of editors, and hop in to edit or create entries about your community. Bring your laptop or use one one of ours!

Arborwiki Edit Night

Wednesday March 26, 2014: 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm -- Downtown Library: aadlfreespace

This event is intended for adults and teens grade 9 and up

What’s ArborWiki? It’s the community generated source for details on everything from birthday deals to local history to the lowdown on volunteer opportunities for youth and teens. Since it’s a “civic wiki” it’s created, edited and maintained by locals. That could mean you!

If you have an interest in any aspect of the Arbor/Ypsi area—parks, history, local happenings—you might be a perfect ArborWiki contributor or editor. Meet some of the current crew of editors and hop in to edit/create entries about your community. Bring your laptop or use one of ours!

World War II Veterans Tell Fascinating Stories

On Nov. 11, Veterans Day, an Ann Arborite walked into the library and told me about a project she started in the 1980s -- working with about a dozen World War II veterans to record service memories. She produced printed manuscripts -- at no cost to veterans -- to share with their families. One result of her project is that three transcripts are now accessible on her blog, "World War Two Remembered: Veteran Memoirs from World War Two." The blog honors the memory of her father and his father, both veterans, in addition to the men she worked with. "Some of them became good friends, and I miss them," she writes. All her life she has been interested in World War II, particularly the North Africa campaign.

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