2nd Tuesday – Meet Julie Orringer @ Neutral Zone Tues., Feb. 13, 7 pm

Hear Julie Orringer read from her short story collection, How to Breathe Underwater, a New York Times Notable Book and the winner of the Northern California Book Award. Julie is the Helen Herzog Zell Visiting Professor at the University of Michigan.

Copies of the book will be available for sale. The Neutral Zone is located at 310 E. Washington.

2nd Tuesday – How to Breathe Underwater – Join the book group Mon., Feb 13

A few books are left for the Monday, Feb. 12 teen book group that will meet 6:30-8 pm at the Downtown library. Join the group by picking up a copy from the Youth Department at the downtown library. You’ll speed through this intriguing book of short stories. Each young female protagonist must face an event or a task that seems impossible. Each girl, teen or young woman must in author Julie Orringer’s own words:

“. . .re-create themselves as adults and learn to survive in a world that confronts them with difficult decisions or with awful truths about the fallibility of human beings. They must learn to hold onto the familial, romantic, and companionate love in their lives, even when that love involves significant emotional risk.”

Ice Carving Extravaganza in Ann Arbor

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Embrace the icy weather by visiting the Ice Carving Extravaganza on Main Street. Watch members of the UM ice carving team carve ice into detailed sculptures on the sidewalks of downtown Ann Arbor on Feb. 9 from 6-10 PM and Feb. 10 from 10-6 PM. The sculptures will remain on display as long as the wintry weather continues. Bundle up!

On your walk downtown, stop at the library to warm up and pick out some good books to read by the fire. Some of my favorites are Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder, Snowflake Bentley by Jacqueline Briggs Martin and One Winter’s Day by Christina Butler

Exam Bits - Test Prep

Preparing for school exams? Is everything checked out at the library? Try Learning Express Library on our website.

If your Library card is registered through "My Account" you have access to the databases from home. Login with your username and password. Choose "Research" file at the top of the page. Choose "Learning Express Library" by name. You will find practice exercises for TOEFL, Civil Service, Citizenship, GRE, SAT, and more. You will also find standardized testing for elementary, middle, and high school ages. Study Up!

Pet & Wildlife Photo Contest - enter starting Monday, Feb. 5!

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Beginning Monday, February 5 the Downtown Youth Department will start taking submissions for the "Pet & Wildlife Photo Contest." Students in grades K-12 are eligible for the contest. Here are the details: Limit of 2 entries per person. Each photo must have your name, phone # and either your pet's name or a photo title on the back of the photo and be accompanied by a signed entry form (available at the time of photo drop-off). Photos may be black & white or color, must be no larger than 5x7" and must be glossy prints only. Photos will be judged based on subject, originality and creativity. One winner and one honorable mention will be named in each of 4 categories: Grades K-2; 3-5; 6-8 and 9-12. Entries may be dropped off at the Downtown Youth Department Reference Desk during library hours beginning Monday, February 5 at 10:00 AM through Thursday, March 8 by 9:00 PM. Every photo entered will be displayed in the Downtown Youth Department during the month of March., beginning Friday, March 9. Photos will be returned to participants and can be picked up anytime during the first week of April.

Happiness In! Demon Out!

We will be tossing beans to keep those demons away and celebrate Setsubun, at our Japanese Family Cultural Celebration this Sunday at 2:00 pm at the Downtown Library. We will begin the festivities with a story and a demon mask craft upstairs, then parade downstairs for music with Miyabi and pocky treats. Families with children of all ages are invited to attend and while you are here, check out Japanese Children’s Favorite Stories and other folktale collections.

Baby Bits - Go, Go, Go

We did "things that go" in Baby PlayGroup this week. You can go home with books like Beep Beep Let's Go; Sail Away Little Boat; Sheep In A Jeep; Jiggle Joggle Jee; Giddy-Up! Let's Ride; or I Love Trucks and GO some more.

There's Nothing Like the Art from our Youth

If the Downtown Library seems like a cozier place to be during this icy month, it may be due to the warm colors and shapes emanating from the paintings by young artists on the lower level and third floor of the building. Now the glass case in the Youth Department is filled with colorful ceramic, woodwork and other hand work created by the 1st through 12th grade students from the Rudolf Steiner School. We look forward to this exhibit each year! For books to inspire youthful creators, try A Rainbow at Night, My Wish for Tomorrow and Children of the World Paint Jerusalem.

Baby Bits - Kitchen Band

Sittin' in my chair, my chair, high chair, sittin' in my chair, bang my spoon! Kitchen stories for babies can begin with bright pictures, rhythm and rhyme, and songs, because babies LOVE to hear your voice. Try Lunch by Denise Fleming; Tickle Tum by Nancy Van Laan; One Little Spoonful by Aliki; and Cows In The Kitchen by June Crebbin. If you are ready for a "real story" don't forget the classic, In The Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak.

History Bits - African-American Artists

Introduce kids to African-American history through visual arts. Two books that overview African-American artists since slavery are In Praise Of Our Fathers And Our Mothers: A Black Family Treasury and Wake Up Our Souls. Three youth level biographies with color illustrations of the artist's work are Romare Bearden a collage artist; Don't Hold Me Back with poetry by Nikki Giovanni and art by Winfred Rembert; and Faith Ringgold.

If you wish to find names of African-American artists you can use our database called Biography Resource Center and use the "biographical facts search".

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