Easy English News For You

Are you an adult who is learning to read or is becoming an English Language Learner? AADL has a couple magazines that should get your attention.

The Easy English News is available at all of our branches. It contains current events written at a fourth grade reading level. It's written in a way to build your vocabulary and help you read for meaning. There's also News for You, which you can find at our downtown location or put a hold on a copy and have it sent to the location most convenient for you. Both publications have vocabulary words, puzzles and interactive websites. Spread the word!

The Ann Arbor Commission on Disability Issues is Seeking Commissioners

Are You:

● A Disability Advocate
● Physically Challenged
● Developmentally Disabled
Blind or Visually Impaired
● Deaf or Hard of Hearing
● A Person with a Chronic Disease
● A Care Giver

Become a Commissioner!

The purpose of the Ann Arbor Commission on Disability Issues is to promote and advocate for equal opportunities for all individuals with physical, mental and/or emotional disabilities, including full accessibility in Ann Arbor facilities, programs, businesses and organizations. The Commission addresses issues of significance to the local disability community, through effective committee work and collaboration. Commissioners serve a 3-year term requiring an appointment by the Mayor with approval from City Council. Ann Arbor residents are given priority consideration, but non-residents will be considered if they are viewed to fill a gap on the commission.

Meetings are open to the public and can also be viewed on Community Television Network (CTN)-Comcast Cable Channel 16. You can also view CTN videos On Demand by going to a2gov.org. Public meetings are held at City Hall on the third Wednesday of every month starting at 3:15pm

If you would like an application to apply for a seat on the Commission contact the Mayor’s Office at 734-794-6161 or visit the Resource Page at a2gov.org/disabilityresources. If you want more information about being a commissioner e-mail a2disabilityissues@gmail.com.

Dental Clinic Open House

On February 17th, the Washtenaw County Dental Clinic will be opening in the Haab Health building, 111 N. Huron St., Ypsilanti. In preparation for the grand opening, the Washtenaw County Health Department would like to invite service providers and community partners to come to the WCDC Open House, which will be held January 30th from 3-5 p.m. at the new clinic site. This clinic is county-owned, with the intent to serve people receiving Medicaid, and those that are low-income (serving up to 300% of the poverty level) or have no dental insurance.

Please share this information with anyone who may benefit from this service. If you are a service provider or would like flyers, posters or business cards to hand out, please contact Ruth Kraut, Program Administrator at the Washtenaw Health Plan. You can reach her at (734) 544-3068 or krautr@ewashtenaw.org. If you are an interested patient, please call 877-313-6232.

Workshop: Top 10 Tips for New Entrepreneurs

The Greater Washtenaw Region Michigan Small Business Development Center will be holding a workshop for new entrepreneurs on Tuesday, January 27 from 3 pm to 4:30 pm at the Washtenaw Community College Entrepreneurship Center in the Plant Operations building, room PO 120. The workshop, titled Top 10 Tips for New Entrepreneurs, will provide information on the basics of entrepreneurship including the mindset of an entrepreneur, pitching, mentorship, budgeting, planning and executing, business resources, and more. You can register by calling the Entrepreneurship Center at 734-249-5880 or the Small Business Development Center at 734-477-8765.

Can't attend the workshop but want to learn more about starting a small business? Check out AADL's resources!

Resolution Check-In

We are about three weeks into the New Year, which is a great time to check in with those new year’s resolutions! If you’re like a lot of people, they’ve probably been left in the dust for a while, but there’s no reason not to pick them back up and try again. We’re not so far into the year that you can’t get back on the ball!

Luckily, the library is here to help in January and all year long with books, tools, events, and resources to help you meet your goals.

One of the most popular resolutions any new year is to get healthier and more active. Yoga can be a great way to ease into fitness, and it’s also a fantastic way to relax and decrease stress. The Library offers several yoga programs throughout the year, including Kundalini, Vinyasa, and other kinds of yoga. You can also check out a Neulog Pulse Meter from our Science Tools collection to monitor and compare your pulse rates during rest and different types of exercise. Make it an experiment or a game!

If 2015 is the year you will finally write the Great American Novel, or any kind of writing, join the Emerging Writers workshops and meetups, which each take place once a month. The group offers a chance to connect with other writers, ask questions, and have a dedicated time and place to work on writing projects.

Let me guess: you decided to get more organized this year, but you can’t find the paper you wrote down that resolution on because your desk is such a mess. This Organize Your Home book list can help you clean up and keep up with organizing your home, office, finances, and all that clutter. With these books and tips, you’ll be able to unearth your desk AND cross the resolution off your list!

I’m always aspiring to learn new skills, and the library is a perfect resource. Not only can you find tons of how-to books and videos on the shelves and a ton of craft programs, but we also have circulating sewing machines available for aspiring sewists and Big Shot Die Cutters which can be used to make great paper accents for scrapbook pages. If you want to learn more tech-related skills, Gamestart classes are offered in topics like Minecraft Modding and 3D Art and Animation.

Whatever your resolution or goal, let the Library get you on track to make a strong effort, no matter what time of year it is!

Volunteer Opportunity to help Washtenaw County

Every two years, communities across the country take part in the Point-In-Time (PIT) count, which helps create a national snapshot of the number of people that are homeless in a given area. This year, the Office of Community and Economic Development and the Washtenaw Housing Alliance are teaming up to conduct the count, which will take place on Wednesday, January 28th, from 7:30 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.

If you are interested in getting involved, approximately 50 survey volunteers are needed, and an additional 10 individuals to help at the Volunteer Headquarters. Teams of three will take to the streets, and survey formal and informal congregate areas. Volunteer shifts can be as short as 2 hours, or last all day! If you or your organization is interested in helping in other ways, please contact Amanda Carlisle with the Washtenaw Housing Alliance at (734) 222-3575 or carlislea@ewashtenaw.org.

Additional volunteer opportunities in throughout Michigan can also be found here.

Resources for High School Students

Are you a high school student who is starting to think about life after graduation? AADL cardholders can access all of the resources LearningExpress Library has available by logging onto aadl.org. Just click the "Research" tab, then select "Test Prep." You will then be prompted to register through learningexpresshub.com

Learning Express Hub is full of resources for preparing for just about anything! If you are college bound, there are resources on how to write college admissions essays, including tips on grammar, editing, and how to tackle your personal essay. There are also practice tests to help you prepare for taking the ACT and SAT.

Not sure if you want to go on to college? You can prepare for several "Occupational Exams" too. A few available are: homeland security, cosmetology, emergency medical services, air traffic controller and culinary arts.

Affordable Housing Options for Seniors and People with Disabilities

Washtenaw Association for Community Advocacy and Partners in Personal Assistance are offering free workshops each month related to the needs of senior citizens and people with disabilities. On Tuesday, January 20, the workshop “Affordable Housing Options for Seniors and People with Disabilities” will be offered at 6:30pm at Washtenaw Community College’s Gunder Myran building, Room 316. Representatives from the following organizations will discuss their programs and services, and outline options for people who seek service-enriched housing: Housing Access Washtenaw County (HAWC); Housing Bureau for Seniors; Ann Arbor Housing Commission; Avalon Housing; and Fair Housing Center. Since seating is limited to approximately 40 persons per workshop, reservations are recommended by calling PPA, (734) 214-3890 or Washtenaw ACA, (734) 662-1256.

#GivingTuesday

As the holiday season continues on, we mustn’t forget about our neighbors that can’t indulge in the temptation of gluttonous eating and frivolous spending. Did you know that one in five children and one in six adults in Washtenaw County do not know where their next meal will come from? In these situations, the thought of trying to provide a little extra for your family is just not a possibility.

But there is good news! After the onslaught of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, there is #GivingTuesday. This global campaign started in 2012 as a response to the commercialization of the holiday season, and as a way to tap into the generosity of the holiday spirit. Take a moment tomorrow to donate your time by volunteering, or make a donation to your favorite non-profit. Many organizations have set up matching campaigns so that your financial contribution will have double the impact! Even as part of your regular shopping, some businesses will donate a portion of sales to the charity of your choice. If you still need ideas of how you’d like to be involved, log on to your computer and follow #GivingTuesday on Twitter and Facebook to see what’s happening in your neck of the woods.

For the Birds!

Do you keep bird feeders in your yard for the winter? Do you ever see a type of bird that you want to know more about, or can't identify? AADL subscribes to Birds of North America Online powered by Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the American Ornithologists' Union. This subscription-based resource is available through our website for all library users. You can learn the behaviors, eating habits, migration, and more, of hundreds of birds. You can even listen to recorded samples of their bird calls!

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