View YOUR Sample Ballot Now

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Your sample ballot, from President of the United States right down to your City Council Ward candidates, is available now from Michigan Votes. Once you fill in the info on the opening screen you'll go to a page with a purple "View My Sample Ballot" button. There's a handy print feature on the sample ballot page too. Need more info on the candidates and proposals? Check out the League of Women Voters of Michigan Statewide Voter Guide and the MLive local candidate guide.

Parent Bits - Kids and Self-Esteem

There's more than one way to help kids grow up healthy and competent. In addition to books on Self-Esteem like Stick Up For Yourself!, there are websites that can be useful. The October 2008 issue of Library Sparks provides suggested websites:
Kid's Health: Self-Esteem offers easy-to-use information by age levels, and a "fun and games" section section for kids 6-12 years old.
Kids Health For Kids: The Story Of Self-Esteem offers information in both English and Spanish language.

Terrible Beauty Underfoot

It's a great time of year for hiking at any of the delightful Ann Arbor city parks, as the leaves are changing color and the blood-thirsty insects finally die off. But don't forget about the terrible beauty underfoot: poison ivy, oak, and sumac. These silent pests are some of the first plants to change color, and they thrive where many a "step had trodden black." You can find poison ivy at the edge of footpaths, on the barks of trees, along fences, or at its most vicious, as autonomous shrubs that branch out laterally.

Although not everyone is allergic to the urushiol oil that causes the weepy, itchy blisters, it's important to be able to recognize the three leaf plants on sight, for the oil can seep into the skin within three minutes of contact. All parts of the plant -- including the roots and berries -- contain the poisonous oil, so be careful when digging in the garden as well. If you do make that unfortunate contact, it's best to wash the area immediately with plenty of soap and water. For more information on the poisonous trio, try the Health and Wellness Resource Center database available on aadl.org.

Get Homework Help with a Live Tutor

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The Library is pleased to offer Brainfuse, a new online tutoring service that matches students with a live tutor for personalized homework help. Just log on to chat one-on-one with a tutor in real time for individual help answering homework questions, building skills in specific subject areas, or writing a better research paper. Tutors (including Spanish-speakers) are available from 2-11 p.m. 7 days a week and help is available for all students, from elementary school through high school and beyond. No appointment is necessary.

Kid Bits - Back To SCHOOL

Here are some "Back to School" books for young children: Ready, Set, Preschool!, It's Time For School With Tallilah, I Love School!, Bunny School: A Learning Fun-For-All, Miss Bindergarten Gets Ready For Kindergarten, The Bus Stop, D.W.'s Guide To Preschool. If you'd like to know what professionals suggest for parents, you may explore the Discovery Education web site or, PBS Parents web site.

Check out our new Research page

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We've made a few changes to the AADL Research page for better access to our many magazine and research tools. You can browse a new subject listing at the top, quickly scroll through a more detailed ABC listing, or jump right to our most popular magazine database. We'll be featuring a selection of databases in the right-hand column, and from the left-hand menu you can now click on A2 Facts for links to interesting facts and statistics about Tree Town.

Choice Web Sites

Some of the best browsing you can find begins at aadl.org in the Research section. AADL Select Sites offers high quality Web sites on many topics, chosen by an AADL librarian. Click on the first topic that interests you. A great surprise for me was in History: Primary Sources, Making of America. It was a very readable digital copy of a June 1842 article, "Blindness and the Blind," in Southern Literary Messenger. I will be going back to this site a lot because there's something for everyone!

Parent Bits - New Baby Coming

When the BIG news is... a new child is coming, The Scholastic website offers parents very useful information, and it is very easy to use.
The Library offers books to read with young children in anticipation.
Try Waiting For Gregory;
We Belong Together: A Book About Adoption and Families;
Dear Baby: Letters From Your Big Brother;
Benny And Beautiful Baby Delilah; and
What To Expect When Mommy’s Having a Baby.

True Crimes of Ann Arbor

As crime dramas broadcast their final episodes of the season and channel surfing after 9pm proves fruitless, look no further than the Ann Arbor Police Department Online History Exhibit for murder mysteries that carry the added thrill of being true.

You can find this exhibit in our database collection, which can be accessed via the Research tab on this website. More than just a list of Ann Arbor marshals from the 1800s, the site also contains a history of some of the most notorious criminal cases in Ann Arbor history, including the 'Student Riot of 1908', 'The Murder of Officer Clifford Stang', 'The Co-ed Murders', and many others. Much of the history is written by Sergeant Michael Logghe, who published a book on the subject in 2002. The Library owns his book and the videorecording of his lecture at the Library in 2006 on DVD.

The Downtown library is also home to the Ann Arbor News on microfilm, where one can research the original news reports of these cases, and perhaps even be the first to write a screenplay based on these local events. Find these and other items on true crime here at the AADL.

Summer K-3 Math Bits - Online Practice

Bored? Need something to do?
If you are in Kindergarten-to-3rd Grades, you can KEEP your math skills "Under Construction" and visit IXL Math online. "Created by ed-tech outfit Quia, IXL involves a membership plan, but site visitors can answer 20 questions a day, free of charge". Math activities inspired by books can help too. Try Adding Puppies And Kittens; Measuring Puppies And Kittens; and Telling Time With Puppies And Kittens.

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