Print Extravaganza... Make A GLOWSTER!

Sunday, August 19 | 1-3pm | Multi-Purpose Room | Downtown | All Ages

Join us for a day of print making! You’ll get a chance to screen print a glow-in-the-dark dino poster- a GLOWSTER! While that’s happening we’ll also have pre-carved blocks, paints, and assorted paper for you to do some stamped prints of your own. All the fun happens in the multi-purpose room at the Downtown branch this Sunday. See you there!

Googly Eyes Galore!

How funny looking can you make your little stuffed creature? We will play with pipe cleaners, felt, thread, yarn and other scrap box goodies on Thursday, August 16th at 7:00 pm at the Downtown Library. The endlessly creative Beth Battey will show us basic sewing techniques to make outrageous stuffies!

Animals at Pittsfield!

Steve Marsh, our very favorite wildlife expert, is returning this Thursday, August 9th, to the Pittsfield Branch Library for a 1 pm and a 3 pm program all about crawling, climbing, slithering creatures. Steve has rescued animals from all over the world and given them safe, healthy homes at the Creature Conservancy. This program is for K and up.

7th Annual LEGO Contest Winners!

As always one of the most anticipated events of the year did not disappoint! We were in a new location this year and the competition was as stiff as it always is. Our judges this year were AADL Associate Director of IT & Production, Eli Neiburger, Comics Are Great Podcaster and Kids Read Comics founder, Jerzy Drozd and local artist, Jeremy Wheeler. It takes a full three hours for the judges to pour over the 200 or so entries, but they had a blast doing it and made their decisions. NEW this year were the PEOPLE's CHOICE awards! Anyone who attended the contest and saw the entrires from 6-7:30 were invited to vote for their favorite within each of the six age categories. Congratulations to the 2012 winners! We will have photos loaded soon as well.


1st Place = Milo Varnum
Runner-Up = Iggy Reem
Honorable Mention = Emma Khu
People's Choice = Milo Varnum
Best Motorized = Alexander Smith
Best Architectural/Engineering = Kevin Chu
Coolest Robot = Kaiden Davis
Best Vehicle = Dominic Nazario
Most Creative = William Epps
Most Sophisticated = Theo Sacks-Thomas
AADL LEGO Master Builder = Daniel Mazza
Most Enigmatic = Elijah Davis

Grades K-2

1st Place = Hudhaifah Rehman
Runner-Up = Maxwell Mayman
Honorable Mention = Devayani Pradhan
People's Choice = Micah Davis
Best Motorized = Armann Kamat
Best Architectural/Engineering = Keegan Globke
Coolest Robot = Joseph Bonenberger
Best Vehicle = Ocean Brabbs
Most Creative = Heeryun Kim
Most Sophisticated = Adir Vuppala
AADL LEGO Master Builder = Noah Nieman
Most Magical = Elise Meints

Grades 3-5

1st Place = Betsy Nieman
Runner-Up = Derek Mrachko
Honorable Mention = Anisha Fujii
People's Choice = Elliot Varnum
Best Motorized = Koen Van Nieuwstadt
Best Architectural/Engineering = Kyan Stevdle
Coolest Robot = Grant Pierfelice
Best Vehicle = Liam Farr
Most Creative = Sofiya Palcyzinski
Most Sophisticated = Alina Mankowski
AADL LEGO Master Builder = Elliot Varnum
Most Delicious = Abby Dobson
Most Sustainable = Aakarsh Verma
Most Career-Advancing = Bach Nguyen

Grades 6-8

1st Place = Leah Fleming
Runner-Up = Celeste Forester
Honorable Mention = Ryan Sauer
People's Choice = Lesh Fleming
Best Motorized = Robby Duquette
Best Architectural/Engineering = Justin Nieman
Coolest Robot = Hamza Khan
Best Vehicle = Taras Palczynski
Most Creative = Jeffrey Brooks-Conrad
Most Sophisticated = Kareem El-Tawil
AADL LEGO Master Builder = Casmir Mankowski
Best Flyswatter Based Summer Blockbuster = Peter Johnson
Leafiest Giant = Beatrix Dergis
Best Simulation of Ann Arbor Zombie Apocolypse = Oliver Mayman

Grades 9-12

1st Place = Logan Benton
Runner-Up = Cameron McLaughlin
Honorable Mention = Kevin Tian
People's Choice = Logan Benton
Best Architectural/Engineering = Alianha Porter
Coolest Robot = Alex Morey
Best Vehicle = Luke Thompson-Kolar
Most Creative = Bethany Pletzer
Most Sophisticated = Lee Thompson-Kolar


1st Place = Allen Ano
Runner-Up = Nieka Apell
Honorable Mention = Brian Mickey & Max & Rose Locke
People's Choice = Allen Ano
Best Architectural/Engineering = Sherif El-Tawil
Coolest Robot = Michele Loewe
Most Creative = Richard Mascotto
Most Sophisticated = Joshua Bartell
AADL LEGO Master Builder = David Papp

Play and Connect!

Imagine a big, interactive and colorful space for pure play at the Play Connection on Sunday, August 5th from 1:00 – 3:00 pm at the Pittsfield Branch. All parents with children on the autism spectrum are invited to join the kids as they bounce bumpy balls, crawl through tunnels, create towers with construction toys, put on a puppet show, dig in buckets of buttons or feathers and more! Onna Solomon and Dr. Rick Solomon, from the Play Project, will be there to chat and share their wisdom with parents and children.
Play ProjectPlay Project

The LEGO Contest! See all the projects tonight starting @ 6 & vote for YOUR favorite!

One of the most hotly anticipated events of the year is almost upon us! The 7th annual LEGO contest is on Thursday, August 2 at the Kensington 610 Hilton Blvd. at Briarwood Mall behind Sears. The contest is open to all ages from Preschool to Adults! If you plan to enter the contest be sure to read the complete rules and guidelines. Attendees please note that this year there will be a "People's Choice" award in each age group! Drop-off is from 9:00 am - 3:00 pm; Doors close for judging from 3:00-6:00 pm and doors open for public viewing from 6:00-8:00 PM. The award ceremony is at 8:00 pm.

Margaret Mahy, award-winning children's author, has died

Margaret Mahy, a New Zealand children's author, died July 23rd at her home in Christchurch, New Zealand.

Ms. Mahy was a children's librarian who wrote books on the side. Twelve years into her career, an editor from Franklin Watts Publishing happened upon one of her stories in a New Zealand educators' journal and flew to NZ to meet with Ms. Mahy. It was a successful discussion and by 1980, Ms. Mahy quit her library position to write fulltime.

Her youth novel, The Haunting (1982), won her her first of two Carnegie Medals for Children's Literature. In this charming, edgy book, eight-year-old Barney has ESP. Two years later, Mahy won the Carnegie again for The Changeover, in which 14-year-old Laura battles to save her little brother who is possessed by evil spirits.

Her whimsical, lyrically catchy Bubble Trouble (2009) became a bestseller.

In 2006, the Swiss-based International Board on Books for Young People bestowed upon Ms. Mahy the Hans Christian Andersen Award for her lifelong contribution to children's literature.

Ms. Mahy, who was 76, had been battling cancer.

Countdown to London 2012

"The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not to win but to take part, just as the most important thing in life is not the triumph, but the struggle. The essential thing is not to have conquered, but to have fought well." (The Olympic Creed).

Soon, participating countries will again set aside their differences for two weeks to cheer on their athletes in the world’s most prestigious sporting competition. To get your family into the spirit of the 2012 Summer Games, here are some fun facts, lessons, activities and games to share with children.

Wenlock and Mandeville, the official London 2012 mascots, have their own website, where you can play games, watch films, make your own mascot and more.

Here are some printable Olympics coloring pages, and ideas for crafts

And of course, don't forget to check out our books about the Olympics.

Else Homelund Minarik, author of the Little Bear children's books, has died

It has been a hard day for children's literature fans. First we learned of the death of Donald Sobol, creator of Encyclopedia Brown, and now comes word of the passing of Else Minarik, the Danish author whose series of books about Little Bear has enchanted generations of young readers.

Ms. Minarik, born in Denmark in 1920, came to the U.S. five years later. She taught first graders during WW II, and began writing children's books in order to entertain her young daughter.

The Little Bear books launched Harper's I Can Read books, part of a new genre of readers, books written for new readers to tackle themselves. The first one came out in 1957 and was illustrated by Maurice Sendak who sadly died in May.

In 1995, when Nickleodeon ran an animated adaptation of Little Bear adventures, interest in the series exploded once again.

Mrs. Minarik, who was 91, died July 12th at her home in North Carolina from complications of a heart attack she suffered a while ago.

Donald Sobol, creator of beloved children's character, Encyclopedia Brown, has died

Donald Sobol, who created Encyclopedia Brown, one of the most beloved of classic children's characters, died today.

Sobol's writing career began as a copyboy and then reporter for the New York Sun newspaper back in the 50s. In 1963, he published the first Encyclopedia Brown book, Encyclopedia Brown: Boy Detective. In each of the 39 books in the series, Leroy (a.k.a. Encyclopedia) Brown, is a 10-year old genius. The format for each book is that Brown faces ten mysteries. The reader is given a chance to solve the mystery, before consulting with the answers in the back of the book.

This formula has worked for nearly 40 years. In 1997, Sobol updated Brown's wardrobe, dressing him out in a work shirt and jeans in Encyclopedia Brown and the Case of Pablo's Nose. Six years later, Sobol marked Brown's 40th anniversary with the release of Encyclopedia Brown and the Case of the Jumping Frogs.

Sobol also penned a popular syndicated newspaper feature, his Two-Minute Mysteries.

Mr. Sobol's death (he was 87) immediately began trending on Twitter as news spread and fans of all ages mourned his passing with tender tributes about what their books meant to them.

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