Come out to the Book Festival's Street Fair this weekend

Book festival logoBook festival logo

Ann Arbor's annual Book Festival culminates this weekend with Saturday's day-long Street Fair. AADL is proud to host Friday night's opening reception at 6:00 p.m. in the Downtown Multi-Purpose Room, where you'll have the chance to meet many distinguished authors. Also tonight, the Michigan Theater will be showing "The Life Before her Eyes" based on the book by local author Laura Kasischke. On Saturday, at 2:00 p.m. Deb Caletti, author of Fortunes of Indigo Skye, will be at the State Street Association Stage on Ingalls Mall to announce winners of AADL's annual "It's All Write!" teen short story writing contest. Check out the complete schedule for all the many fun-filled festival events this weekend.

Getting Things Organized Online

Is your online life a mess? I don’t mean your Second Life or your Facebook life, but your real life that seems to have found its way online, from shopping and banking to the daily news and even your favorite television shows. Del.icio.us: Organize your Life Online, Monday evening at 7pm at the Malletts Creek Branch will offer some coping mechanisms in the form of online organizational tools like del.icio.us, a social bookmarking (we’ll explain what that means) site, Yahoo! Bookmarks and Google Notebook. See something you want to remember online? Learn how at this class! (registration required, call 734-327-8367 to sign up)

Sancho's Scene: Community Events that Wander off the Path

Circle of ArtCircle of Art

I must confess to cheating a bit in my blog this week—one of these events is not in our community, not even close! But it’s in somebody’s community, and it’s so cool that I wanted to share it with you all.

At the prestigious Brooklyn Museum in NY, the curators are hanging up their hats in favor of an innovative and unusual approach: they’re foisting their curatorial responsibilities on you, the public at large. Their exhibit, Click, has been designed as an experiment exploring the “wisdom of crowds,” columnist James Surowiecki’s notion that a large group of people will make a better decision than a trained expert. Click the link and give it a try!

Closer to home, this Sunday marks the 4th annual Circle of Art Auction at the Saline Picture Frame Company. A benefit for Food Gatherers, Circle of Art features hundreds of small works of art up for auction. The bidding begins online and continues at the event, which runs from 12-5 on Sunday. It’s a fantastic event—a worthy cause, inclusive, anything but elitist—all art is welcome and the bidding starts at $10. Check it out!

Know Your Rights

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Having trouble with a landlord or a former spouse and don’t know what to do next? Perhaps you want to start your own business and have a legal question that is holding you back. The Women’s Center of Southeastern Michigan holds free legal clinics once a month during which you can talk to an experienced lawyer about business or family law. Sessions are twenty minutes in length and advanced registration is required. This month’s clinic is on Monday, May 30th from 11am to 1pm. To register, call 734-973-6779 on Mondays between 3pm and 6pm.

Are you a Jandek fan?

JandekJandek

Probably not. "The Representative from Corwood Industries" has put out 53 albums in the last 30 years, none of which you can find in stores or libraries (except ours, now, see Jody's post below), and he is rarely played on the radio. Jandek performs live in Ann Arbor at the Lydia Mendelssohn Theater on Saturday, May 17 at 7:30, and a lot of people there will have never heard a single Jandek song.

Jandek is more famous for his unusually secretive nature than his music: he has only granted 3 interviews in the last 30 years and only began playing live in 2004. In fact, his real identity was not even known until a few years ago, and it has yet to be officially confirmed by Jandek or Corwood Industries, the record label that puts out Jandek records exclusively and can be contacted only through a Houston P.O. box.

If you have heard Jandek's music, you probably didn't like it. It is often dark and depressing, lacking structure, melody and harmony, and is sung and played out of tune. But he has a tiny, devoted following. Intrigued? Come see this free performance sponsored by WCBN and UMMA to find out if this is all as weird as it seems.

Opportunity to have toys tested for lead

This Friday, May 9, 2008, the Washtenaw United Way will provide an opportunity for parents to have toys and other child related plastics tested for lead at the Whittaker Road Ypsilanti Library from 12:00 to 2:00 p.m. The Ecology Center will have its XRF Lead Analyzer there and they will do on the spot tests to check for high lead levels. Other educational activities will be available from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at our Pittsfield branch. Read more about chemicals in toys from the Ecology Center and check out the top toys from HealthyToys.org.

Dollars and Centsable Advice for Homeowners

Are you a homeowner and worried about making your mortgage payments? Need some advice? Come to a free seminar on foreclosure prevention on May 22 at 6pm at the New Progressive Missionary Baptist Church in Ann Arbor or on June 5 at 6pm at the New Testament Baptist Church in Ypsilanti. Space is limited so reserve your place now by calling 998-9341.

Visions 2008

Washtenaw County Library for the Blind and Physically Disabled and several partners present Visions 2008, a important event for anyone interested in the latest technology and services for people who are blind and visually impaired. It takes place on Wed., May 14, 10:00 am to 4:00 pm at the Washtenaw Community College, Morris Lawrence Bldg. Over fifty vendors and organizations will be on hand to demonstrate their latest devices and services that can help with vision issues. At 11:00 am Dr. David N. Zacks from the UM Kellogg Eye Center will speak on "What's New in Eye Therapy?" in Towsley Auditorium. Sighted assistants will be on hand to serve as guides, and low priced food prepared by the Michigan Commission for the Blind Business Enterprise Program will be available.

The 826 Gazette rocks!

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Great news! The premiere edition of The 826 Gazette published by students of 826michigan is attractive and impressive. I just picked up a copy at the downtown library youth desk, and I particularly liked the articles ”Restaurant patrons to help fight cystic fibrosis,” by Maureen McCord, and “Michigan’s Green Schools initiative aims to make schools more environmentally friendly,” by Andrew Yoo. The newspaper was written and reported by local tweens age 10-14. Erik Gable of The Daily Telegram in Adrian helped with the journalism, many volunteers assisted, and printing was donated by The Ann Arbor News. Yay! Already I’m looking forward to the next issue this summer!

Free Comic Book Day!

Free Comic Book DayFree Comic Book Day

It's that time of year again. Spring is upon us and, along with being the birthday of Niccolo Machiavelli, Saturday, May 3 is Free Comic Book Day! What is Free Comic Book Day, you ask? It is a wonderful day when participating comic book shops across North America and around the world give away comic books to anyone who comes into their stores. Local comic book shops that are participating include Get Your Game On, Vault of Midnight, and Fun 4 All. I'm especially looking forward to Tiny Titans! Too busy to go to the comic book store this Saturday? Fear not, true believer! Everyday is "free comic book day" at the library. AADL has thousands of comics and graphic novel titles available for checkout.

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