Ann Arbor Triathlon/Duathlon

Half mile swim? Easy. 14 mile bike ride? Name the day. 5 mile run? No problem. If these sound like your answers to these questions, then you're probably planning on competing in the Ann Arbor Triathlon/Duathlon on Sunday, June 8th, at Pinckney Recreation Area. But if your answers are -- like most reluctant athletes -- a laundry list of excuses, then consider the resources the Ann Arbor District Library has to offer to help you mentally and physically prepare for your first triathlon. Highlights from the Library's collection include: Triathlete Magazine's Essential Week-By-Week Training Guide, by Matt Fitzgerald; Triathloning for Ordinary Mortals, by Steven Jonas; Triathlon 101, by John Mora, and many more.

Why tri? Namely, because it's fun to swim, to bike, and to run! Training for a race is a great way to motivate yourself to get outdoors and to stay healthy. Also, you don't have to be Michael Phelps, Lance Armstrong, or Wilma Rudolph to participate; triatholons are for everyone. Competitors can choose between 4 distances based on their level of preparation and personal preference. The distances are The Sprint Tri: 700 yard swim, 12 mile bike ride, and 3 mile run; The Olympic Tri: 1760 yard swim, 25 mile bike ride, and 6.2 mile run; The Half-Ironman Tri: 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike ride, and 13 mile run; and The Ironman Tri: 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride, and 26.2 mile run. The only triathlon held in Ann Arbor this summer is June 8th, but there are many other races held in Michigan this summer, so sign up for your first tri today.

Books for Michigan gardeners

My favorite class at U of M was Woody Plants, and the required text, written by Burton V. Barnes and the late great Warren H. Wagner, is well worth reading...although it didn't keep me from killing several shrubs and a Pinus Strobus. AADL has several books about gardening in Michigan for both experts and those of us with perennially black thumbs. The free edition of Michigan Gardener (available at many locations around town) recommends the following in their April 2008 issue: The Michigan Gardener's Companion: An Insider's Guide to Gardening in the Great Lakes State, Covering Ground, and Viburnums: Flowering Shrubs for Every Season.

Michigan Filmmakers at the Festival

This Sunday, the Ann Arbor Film Festival presents Made in Michigan, featuring films by Michigan residents, including the 42-minute "buzzards steal your picnic", a film by Ann Arbor filmmaker, Terri Sarris, about Frank Pahl, a Detroit-area composer, multi-instrumentalist, sound artist, and creator of self-playing musical automatons. (3:00 p.m., Sunday, March 30)

Finding Your Way Through the Family Tree

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Looking for new ways to research the family tree? "Learning More at the Library of Michigan," a free annual genealogy seminar set for Saturday, March 29, will focus on utilizing online resources for family history research. The workshop runs from 1 to 4:30 p.m. at the Michigan Library and Historical Center. Seating is limited, so registration is recommended. Sign up online at www.michigan.gov/familyhistory, by e-mail at librarian@michigan.gov or by phone at (517) 373-1300.

Job Opportunities in Higher Education

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Check out a new web site with more than 1,200 job postings at 24 Michigan colleges and universities: Michigan Higher Education Recruitment Consortium (HERC). Jobs include research, professional, executive, administrative, and support positions in academia and their hospital and healthcare facilities as well as tenure-track and instructional faculty and positions in information technology and the trades. To broaden your job search, use the AADL Employment & Jobs section of the AADL Select Sites.

Michigan Notable Books 2008

The Library of Michigan's annual selection (annotations from the Library of Michigan list):

Alden B. Dow: Midwestern Modern, by Diane Maddex (Alden B. Dow Home & Studio) - This tribute to Midland native and nationally renowned architect Alden B. Dow (1904-1983) celebrates his creative and innovative designs for homes, churches, schools and government buildings, as well as his life philosophies of honesty, humility and enthusiasm. In his half-century career, Dow designed more than 600 structures, more than 100 of which were built in Midland, making the town a monument to his talent. Filled with vivid photos and design elements that reflect Dow's own style, the book also provides a detailed tour of the Alden B. Dow Home and Studio in Midland.

Connecting the Dots: Tyree Guyton's Heidelberg Project (Wayne State University Press) - A remarkable story of an artist's quest to transform his urban neighborhood, Connecting the Dots explores both the beginning of Tyree Guyton's journey as an artist and his impact on his Heidelberg Street neighborhood in Detroit. The book covers the controversies surrounding the project, the hopes of the artist, and a glimpse at the plans for the future.

Detroit Classic Rock Radio: A Plea For Sanity

If you asked me six years ago if I liked Bob Seger, I’d’ve said, “I don’t know who that is.” If you asked me four years ago if I liked Bob Seger I’d’ve say, “Yeah, he’s okay. I got Stranger In Town for fifty cents; it was worth it.” If you asked me right now if I liked Bob Seger, I’d say, “Are you kidding? Every disc jockey in Detroit spends their days fawning over him, his “musical influence,” and playing ev'ry cut off of Live Bullet! Just because he’s from Michigan, I have to love him? No, thank you.” Then I’d probably find a cardboard cutout of Bob Seger, just so I could punch it in the face. I routinely bring three wherever I go. You got to have backups.

Mitt and Minn series is geographical and fun

Kathy-Jo Wargin has done it again, with the Mitt and Minn series about a pair of friendly traveling Midwestern mice. The series came out just as my husband begged for “no more talking mice books.” Ha. Not since Judy Blume’s Fudge books has a series been such a hit with our son. The first book is Mitt the Michigan Mouse followed by Minn from Minnesota, Mitt and Minn at the Wisconsin Cheese Jamboree and Mitt and Minn‘s Illinois Adventure. The publisher is Mitten Press, an imprint of Ann Arbor Media Group. The series is represented in the Michigan Children's Book Authors, Illustrators & Publishers Exhibit presented by the UM Special Collections Library, on display in the lower level of the downtown AADL through Nov. 29.

A Hunting We Will Go

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Hunting season is afoot in Michigan. The DNR has guides for all types of hunting as well as licensing information. The Deer Hunting Prospects brochure will help you decide where and when to get out in the woods. Check out the state parks and recreation areas map to find the perfect camp site.

The Great Michigan Read

The Great Michigan Read is a new program for the Michigan Humanities Council.

It is a community reading program for the entire state, focusing on a single literary masterpiece. The 2007 pick is The Nick Adams Stories by Ernest Hemingway.

The selection committee cited The Nick Adams Stories as "a literary masterpiece literally made in Michigan. The author, Ernest Hemingway, spent the majority of his first 22 summers in Northern Michigan. These experiences played an essential role in his development as one of the world’s most significant writer”.

In a series of linked coming-of-age stories, a young man grapples with the complexities of adulthood, including war, death, marriage, and family.

Find out how to participate among the 100 community partners in the state, and in Ann Arbor. There is even a self-directed tour of Hemingway's old haunts.

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