Planning a Memorial Day Weekend Trip?

According to AAA, 1.1 million Michigan residents are planning to travel on Memorial Day weekend. If your family is among them, you can find kid-friendly facts about your destination state in the CultureGrams database, located on the AADL's Research page. Check out the "States Edition" to read about the history, geography, and population of any state. You can even hear the songs of state birds!

Kid Bits - Ecology Kids

It's time for gardens and summer activities. The following web sites can help kids FIGURE OUT how to reduce, reuse, and recycle. Texas Agriculture Extension Service provides a nice slide show sequence of kids setting up a compost bin. Learn how garbage can become new and treasured at EEK! Recycling and Beyond. At The Imagination Factory an Indiana waste management company has a site full of fun and artisitic ideas on how to reuse materials.

Affordable Europe, Really!

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If you are heading to any of these 15 hot travel destinations in Europe this summer, the New York Time staff and contributors have great money-saving tips for you.

In these Affordable Europe: City Guides, you would discover cheap eats, bargain hotels, and great shopping guaranteed not to max out your credit card :
Amsterdam, Barcelona, Berlin, Brussels, Budapest, Copenhagen, Florence, Istanbul, London, Moscow, Paris, Prague, Rome, St. Petersburg and Vienna.

Be sure to send us a postcard and post your own tips online.

Gas Prices Go for Broke

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Getting the best deal on gas has never been more important and the MSN Local Gas Prices database will let you comparison shop without wasting fuel. If the “it could always be worse” argument helps, put in a San Francisco zip code (94102) after you’ve checked out Washtenaw County prices. The AAA Fuel Cost Calculator lets you determine how much your next road trip will cost. Michigan travel looks better and better.

I Read It in the New York Times

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And that makes it official. Zingerman's, according to the front page of the May 3rd NYT business section, is one of the best run and most fun companies in the world. Did you know AADL library card holders can read the entire New York Times full-text back to 1851 through the AADL research page? The coolest part is the full-page images of historical editions with banner headlines, advertising and pictures.

Kids InfoBits is Big Help to Parents

Our family trip to California was planned way before our son chose Walt Disney for his school report. Secretly, though, I was hoping we might get some good information about Walt, or Disneyland, or both, at the park. HA! The "In Walt's Footsteps" tour cost $59 and my husband declared this ridiculous. So we gathered a little “free” historical information and came home to finish the report. Who knew I would find just the right article in a library database Kids InfoBits. From reading this article, both my son and I had new ideas on how to improve his report. Lesson for Mom: When reports are due, Kids InfoBits is a parent’s paradise. It's designed for kids in kindergarten through about fifth grade.

Live from Ann Arbor

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The Ann Arbor Farmer’s Market kicks off Wednesday market days this week on May 2nd with a special Live broadcast of the Martin Bandyke Show from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. at the market. Following Martin's live broadcast Whole Foods Market will feature a tasting of locally grown produce from 10:30 a.m. to noon. So come on down Wednesday to the best Farmer's Market anywhere.

"The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page. " ~ St. Augustine

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Frustrated that you could never get to those unbelieveable low airfares advertized by the airlines? You are not alone.

Michelle Higgins's recent article in the New York Times "If It’s Good, Is It Too Good to Be True?" explains why.

The real bonus of the article is its tips on great websites that help consumers navigate through the maze of advertized come-ons and "special fares". She especially likes Airfarewatchdog.com which scours the Internet for the best bargains; FareCompare.com shows the lowest prices offered by month for the next 11 months between 77,000 North American and 200,000 international cities; and Farecast.com which predicts domestic ticket prices for air travelers. Happy Clicking.

Kid Bits - Web Safety

The internet is a challenge and there are web sites that provide safety tips for parents raising kids to use the internet wisely. The following web site is from the American Library Services for Children (ALSC). GetNetWise offers "web sites for kids", "Tools for Families", and an "Online Safety Guide".

Tulips & Tune-ups

The flowers are sprouting! Spring is here! And now that the ice has melted, Michigan's potholes are also once again in full bloom…and along with the potholes come the sounds of spring: thumping, squeaking, and knocking from someplace inside my (and probably your) car.

If you're more competent than I am and you're looking for a repair guide to help you dis-thump, un-squeak, or de-knock, try using the Chilton Library Auto Repair database on the AADL's Research Databases Page. You'll find repair guides for cars and even lists of manufacturer bulletins to see if you can get that leaky sunroof fixed for free.

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