Improved Benefits for Families of Emergency Workers Killed on Duty

A recent change in a federal act fixes coverage gaps and provides a better safety net for families of first responders killed or permanently disabled in the line of duty. The action closes gaps in the Public Safety Officers' Benefits Act that had left some first responders without benefits. The program started more than 30 years ago to help families of federal, state and local firefighters, police and medics. The new legislation extends the program to private, nonprofit emergency medical services volunteers and personnel. A push for change came following the 2008 line-of-duty death of Cheryl Kiefer, who worked for Jackson Community Ambulance in Michigan, a private nonprofit service. To learn more, visit the website of Huron Valley Ambulance.

Leading a Healthy Lifestyle - Maintaining Motivation

Thursday, April 4 | 7 - 8:30 pm | Downtown Library | Grade 9 - Adult

John Farah and Nelson Williams, authors of Let's Pick It Up A Bit: A Guide To A Running Lifestyle, return to AADL to discuss fitness as a lifestyle, including ways to get in shape and get healthier. They will also review general run-training concepts and answer questions about the training plans in their book.

John and Nelson have been active in marathons for years. Let's Pick It Up A Bit is more than a collection of their tips for runners -- it is about creating a strong foundation to keep active, fit and healthy, not just physically but mentally, emotionally and spiritually as well. The challenge of life is to learn how to keep growing to keep getting better! Books will be on sale at this event, which will also include a book signing.

This event is for adults and teens (grade 9 and up).

Bats of the World

Tuesday, April 2 | 7 - 8 pm | Downtown | Grade 6 - Adult

Discover the truth about bats and how they live at this multi-media presentation by the Cranbrook Institute's Organization for Bat Conservation.

Learn how bats use sound wave (echolocation) to navigate in the dark; the bat's role in the food web; and about conservation and ecosystems from Michigan and around the world. Meet bats from North and South America and Africa - some with a 3-foot wingspan!

Check out these video clips of the Organization for Bat Conservation on Ellen, The Tonight Show, Conan, and more. Also, learn more about bats with these books from the AADL.

This event is for adults and teens (grade 6 and up).

Wade's World

Readers of David Sedaris, Chelsea Handler, and Augusten Burroughs (a.k.a. fans of ridiculously funny memoirs) should check out Wade Rouse. Rouse grew up “different” in Missouri, and now lives in Michigan with his partner Gary. He has written several snarky books recounting the dramas of his daily life. From being caught as a kid wearing his grandmother’s high heels, to clearing patches of poison ivy off his property, Rouse’s stories are always a riot. Rouse is a regular contributor on Michigan Radio, and his books consistently appear on a host of “Best Of” lists. Check him out!

Wild Swan Theater: “Shipwrecked!”

Wild Swan Theater presents "Shipwrecked!" March 14-16 in Towsley Auditorium in the WCC Morris Lawrence Building. This original play, appropriate for kids in about grades 3-8, was written by accomplished local playwright Jeff Duncan. The story is a coming-of-age drama set during a fierce storm on Lake Huron in 1893. Twelve year-old Aaron Buchanan is sailing with his parents on their small schooner loaded with Christmas trees. Aaron's mettle is tested when a fierce gale hits "Shipwreck Alley," and he helps rescue his family. The play is based on historical accounts of the time and should give young people a good chance to learn some of the history, geography, music and maritime heritage of Michigan and the Great Lakes. For those families who may want to learn more about shipwrecks before going to the play, AADL has some great resources.

Happy Birthday, Michigan!

Today Michigan celebrates its 176th birthday! On January 26, 1837 Michigan became the 26th state in the union. How will you be celebrating?

To feel the local love, check out AADL's local creators lists, which include a list of movies made in Michigan, and books set in Michigan, among others. Or perhaps read up on Michigan history or plan a trip in this fine Mitten State.

Whether you’re a native or a transplant, it’s a great wintery day to be in the Great Lakes State.

Delightful Audiobook for Kids

Did you ever want to learn to play the piano?

That’s what ten-year-old Zoe Elias wants more than anything in the world, but when her father brings home an organ rather than an elegant baby grand, Zoe’s dreams of playing concerts at Carnegie Hall are replaced with competing in the local Perform-O-Rama organ competition. It may not be what Zoe expected, but she just might find it a crooked kind of perfect.

Linda Urban’s debut novel, set here in Michigan, is funny and poignant and hopeful as it chronicles Zoe’s musical dreams, her quirky family and her lost and found friendships. Give A Crooked Kind of Perfect a listen.

Made in Detroit

It may (or may not) surprise you to learn that the last time a comprehensive travel guide covering the city of Detroit was published was sometime in the 1970s. The city had at least 800,000 more residents and Coleman A. Young was still in the earliest phase of his mayoral tenure. Fast forward to 2012 when 3 Detroit residents (and University of Michigan grads) put the finishing touches on their newest endeavor and publish Belle Isle to 8 Mile: An Insider’s Guide to Detroit. Andy, Emily and Rob Linn take us to every corner of the 139 square miles which make up the city of Detroit, introducing readers to the well-known, as well as the unknown.

Belle Isle to 8 Mile will be a great resource for everyone – from first-time visitors to regulars (and even some long-time residents). Grab a copy and plan your next Detroit adventure!

Mittenfest VII is coming up soon!

Mittenfest is an annual local music festival held in Michigan and played by Michigan bands. The festival serves as a fundraiser for 826michigan, dedicating 100% of its profits to the non-profit organization which helps tutor students ages 6-18 with writing. 826michigan is part of a nationwide network of non-profits, started in San Francisco by the acclaimed author Dave Eggers. Last year, Mittenfest raised $21,290.00 for 826michigan, bringing the total raised over the last six years to $55,000.00!

For its seventh consecutive year running strong, Mittenfest is going to run a full 5 days, over which 50 Michigan bands will perform live, including Frontier Ruckus, Starling Electric, Shigeto, Patrick Elkins, and Our Brother the Native, just to name a few! To see the other 45 bands and a complete 5-day schedule, click here.

Mittenfest VII will be held this year at Woodruff's at 36 East Cross Street in Ypsilanti, starting Friday Dec. 28th and running through Tuesday Jan. 1st. Bands will starting playing at 5:30pm and will run through 12:30am each day. Tickets are $10/day or $82.60 for the full 5-day pass. It's only 9 days away - don't forget! - head on out next weekend to hear some great live music and support a great local organization!

Michigan Notable Books 2012

Looking for some local reads? Look no further than these books, hot off the press and certified fresh!

From absolutemichigan.com: "Each year, the Michigan Notable Books list features 20 books published during the previous calendar year that are about, or set in, Michigan or the Great Lakes region or are written by a native or resident of Michigan.

'This year's Michigan Notable Books bring to life the Michigan experience through vivid storytelling that creates portraits of the people and places that make Michigan great,' State Librarian Nancy Robertson said. 'Addressing Michigan's natural beauty, its innovative leaders or the faith of its people, these books celebrate Michigan as a place and a people that even in the most trying of times find transformation.'"

The AADL has most of these books in our catalog! Among some of the most popular include:

Non-fiction:
- Once Upon A Car, "the story of the rise, fall, and rebirth of the Big Three U.S. automakers, General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler," by Bill Vlasic, the Detroit bureau chief for the New York Times.
- Ghost Writers, a chilling collection of fantastical ghost stories written by Michigan authors.
- Vintage Views along the West Michigan Pike features beautiful "vintage postcards, photographs, maps, and ephemera" that give readers a glimpse into the history of Michigan's famous road, US-31.

Memoir:
- Magic trash: a Story of Tyree Guyton and His Art, reflects on Guyton's influence on the city of Detroit, and his arguably most inspiring and popular project, The Heidelberg Project.
- Here Comes Trouble: Stories from My Life by Michael Moore, a Flint, Michigan native who is best known for his unique humor and politically-themed documentaries.
- Elly Peterson: "Mother" of the Moderates, an inspiring story about Elly Peterson's journey as a woman heavily involved in politics during the 1970s; she was the first woman to serve as chair of the Michigan Republican Party.

Fiction:
- Once Upon A River, by Bonnie Jo Campbell, is a soul-searching tale about sixteen-year-old Margo Crane's adventures through rural Michigan as she searches for her long lost mother.
- Motor City Shakedown, by D.E. Johnson, tells a murder mystery set in 1911 about Detroit's first mob-wars.
- Misery Bay by Steve Hamilton is yet another in his series of mystery books set in Michigan's upper peninsula.

Poetry:
- Songs of Unreason, a book of poetry inspired by Michigan people and places, by Michigan native, author and poet Jim Harrison.

Click here for the full list of Michigan's Notable Books of 2012.

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