Blind Americans Equality Day 2013

From the Office of the Press Secretary of the White House comes a Presidential Proclamation- today is Blind Americans Equality Day 2013. Originally named White Cane Safety Day in 1964 by Lyndon B. Johnson, this day is a national observance in the United States. In 2011, White Cane Safety Day was also named Blind Americans Equality Day by President Barack Obama. The date is set aside to celebrate the achievements of people who are blind or visually impaired and the importance of full access and opportunity.

Chesstastic Sunday, October 20 at Traverwood

Chesstastic | Sunday, October 20 | 1:00-4:00 p.m. | Traverwood Branch | Kindergarten-Adult

“Chess is life” – Bobby Fischer

Come and play one of the world's most popular games with players of all ages! Chess sets are provided.

Pediatric Support Group for Parents and Families of Children with Eye Disease and Visual Impairment


The University of Michigan Kellogg Eye Center is hosting a pediatric support group for parents and families of children with eye disease and visual impairment on Saturday, November 2 from 9:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. This support group is open to all parents and families of children with eye disease and visual impairment. The meeting is free but registration is required. Bring your questions! In addition to presentations, the program includes time for group discussion and Q&A sessions. Childcare and a continental breakfast will be provided. Parking is free. For more information please contact: Karen Norman at 734.764.4163.

Film & Discussion: Where Soldiers Come From

Tuesday October 22, 2013: 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

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

Winner of a 2011 Emmy and the Independent Spirit Award, "Where Soldiers Come From" follows the lives of northern Michigan best friends, Dominic and Cole, and other recent high school graduates as they join the National Guard and are eventually sent to Afghanistan.

The young men quickly realize their carefree days are over as they spend their time sweeping for roadside bombs. Repeated bombs blowing up around their convoys lead to Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) symptoms. They have all become increasingly disillusioned about their mission.

The challenges really begin to surface when they return to their families and communities in Michigan. "Where Soldiers Come From" looks beyond the guns and policies of an ongoing war to tell a human story about family, friendship, and community and how they all change when people go off to fight.

Film director Heather Courtney will lead the discussion following the film.

This event is cosponsored by the University of Michigan Community Scholars' Program.

NPR in Town and at the Library

Did you know that you can access some of your favorite NPR shows and their related materials through the library? The AADL has full episodes of This American Life and A Prairie Home Companion as well as excerpts from some of the more famous segments of the shows all on CD. These are great to listen to at home or in the car, and most are appropriate for all ages. The library also has a collection of CDs called I Heard It on NPR, which showcase some of the more popular singers and musicians that have appeared over the years on the radio station.

Garrison Keiller, the host of A Prairie Home Companion, has also written several novels about the fictional town of Lake Wobegon, which he often references in the show. These include Pontoon: A Lake Wobegon Novel, Pilgrims: A Wobegon Romance, and Lake Wobegon, Summer 1956, among others, all of which you can find at the AADL.

In addition, the NPR show Radiolab, hosted by Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich, is on live tour this fall, and is stopping next week at the Michigan Theater here in Ann Arbor! You can listen to recordings of previous Radiolab shows on their website, and there are plenty of tickets still available through their site for the live show on October 7, 2013.

Take a Hike@ Barton Nature Area

Thursday May 8, 2014: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm -- Barton Nature Area

This event is intended for all ages

The City of Ann Arbor Natural Area Preservation staff will lead a Spring nature walk in Barton Nature Area, a 102 acre park with wonderfully diverse natural features.

The park is in two sections: the larger is known locally as the oxbow, and connects to Argo Nature Area; the smaller is known as Foster, and is accessible only by boat from Barton Pond. The main trail in the oxbow is wood-chipped, and connects the two bridges that lead to the parking area. Most of this area is open field, but some areas are shrubby, and lower wet areas support sedges and marsh plants. Foster has a small trail through a relatively open woodland on its eastern side.

We'll meet in the parking lot off of Huron Drive just north of the intersection with Bird Road.

Affordable Care Act

For those looking for more information about the Affordable Care Act and associated changes, the government offers healthcare.gov as the one stop shopping point. Beginning today, October 1, people seeking healthcare can go there to explore options. While they are encouraging people to begin at the site, there is a toll free number people can use to ask questions: 1-800-318-2596.

Consumer reports has published a booklet called, "Health Reform: Seven Things You Need to Know Now." This booklet aims to help people understand the changes brought about by health care reform. This booklet is also available in Spanish as "Reforma del Sistema de Salud: 7 cosas que necesita saber ahora." The Michigan eLibrary pulled together some resources to help Michiganders understand changes in health care law. AARP has also compiled several factsheets that explain how the Affordable Care Act affects different groups of the population.

Finally, AADL is offering an event called How the Affordable Care Act Affects You on October 2, 7:00-8:30 in the Multipurpose Room at the Downtown Library. This program is intended to provide community members age 64 and under with the information and resources to correctly navigate the decisions that must be made in order to comply with new healthcare laws.

Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Reads 2014: the final two!


The Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Reads screening committee has narrowed this coming year's read to two finalists, with the theme A Very Good Read. A panel of well-known locals – musician Mark Braun (Mr. B); radio and TV personality Lucy Ann Lance, Ann Arbor Chronicle publisher Mary Morgan, Ann Arbor City Council Member Sally Petersen, and Ypsilanti Mayor Paul Schreiber – will be reading the two books "The Garden of Evening Mists" and "Between Shades of Gray" to determine just will be selected.

You, too, have a say – just head on over to aaypsireads.org and leave a comment about which book you'd prefer! The selection committee will be keeping an eye out for your feedback.

Take a quick look at the descriptions of our two finalists:

The Garden of Evening Mists, by Tan Twan Eng: Malaya, 1951. Yun Ling Teoh, the scarred lone survivor of a brutal Japanese wartime camp, seeks solace among the jungle-fringed tea plantations of Cameron Highlands. There she discovers Yugiri, the only Japanese garden in Malaya, and its owner and creator, the enigmatic Aritomo, exiled former gardener of the emperor of Japan. Despite her hatred of the Japanese, Yun Ling seeks to engage Aritomo to create a garden in memory of her sister, who died in the camp. Aritomo refuses but agrees to accept Yun Ling as his apprentice "until the monsoon comes." Then she can design a garden for herself. As the months pass, Yun Ling finds herself intimately drawn to the gardener and his art, while all around them a communist guerilla war rages. But the Garden of Evening Mists remains a place of mystery. Who is Aritomo and how did he come to leave Japan? And is the real story of how Yun Ling managed to survive the war perhaps the darkest secret of all?

Between Shades of Gray, by Ruta Sepetys: Fifteen-year-old Lina is a Lithuanian girl living an ordinary life--until Soviet officers invade her home and tear her family apart. Separated from her father and forced onto a crowded train, Lina, her mother, and her young brother make their way to a Siberian work camp, where they are forced to fight for their lives. Lina finds solace in her art, documenting these events by drawing. Risking everything, she imbeds clues in her drawings of their location and secretly passes them along, hoping her drawings will make their way to her father's prison camp. But will strength, love, and hope be enough for Lina and her family to survive?

The official read will take place in January through February 2014. For more information, check out aaypsireads.org.

Developmental Screening for Children

Are you interested in learning more about your young child's growth & development? If you do and live in Washtenaw County, you can take part in the Ages & Stages Questionnaire or ASQ-3 This screening tool can help you understand more about your child's development from 2 months to 5 years of age. On-going developmental screening in the early years can help to ensure that children are on track, and can help identify areas where additional support may be needed. The ASQ-3 includes questions about your child's communication, gross motor, fine motor, problem solving, and personal social skills. If you live outside of Washtenaw County and have concerns about your child's development, you my want to contact: Early On, call 1-800-Early On or go to 1800earlyon.org.

Wild Swan Theater: The Ugly Duckling

Wild Swan Theater will present "The Ugly Duckling" Oct. 17-Oct. 19 in the Morris Lawrence Building at Washtenaw Community College. Resident playwright Jeff Duncan has put his own spin on the classic tale by H.C. Andersen. The performance is designed for children in preschool through second grade. More information is here.

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