Parent's Corner: Get Outside!

The Downtown library has a shelf in the Youth Department known as the Parent Shelf. On this shelf you’ll find a variety of parent-child related books on a multitude of topics- including everything from phonics to tantrums to potty training to diet. These books are available for checkout, and can be found in the catalog when searching “parent shelf,” if you’d like to have one sent to a branch of your choice.

This also includes some books on nature and the great outdoors, geared towards parents and children. Be sure to check out Sharing Nature With Children, Get Out! 150 Ways For Kids & Grown-Ups to Get Into Nature and Build a Greener Future, Nature’s Playground: Activities, Crafts, and Games to Encourage Children to Get Outdoors, or perhaps I love Dirt!: 52 Activities To Help You and Your Kids Discover the Wonders of Nature. Any time of year is perfect for a nature walk, a chance to stop and smell the fresh air and see what wondrous things are around us.

Join us for a Voyage to the Edge of the Universe

Thursday, November 1 | 7:00 - 8:30 p.m. | Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

Terence Dickinson was made a Member of the Order of Canada in 1995—that nation's highest civilian achievement award—for his commitment to popularizing the wonders of astronomy. The editor of Canada's SkyNews magazine; author of the internationally bestselling Nighwatch: A Practical Guide to the Universe and The Backyard Astronomer's Guide; and a commentator for Discovery Channel Canada, Dickinson is perhaps better known for the distinctively accessible narrative style found in his several stargazing guidebooks (14 of which are still in print with over 2 million sold). In short, Dickinson is one of that rare breed of astronomer’s astronomer who, like the late Carl Sagan, is also a gifted people’s astronomer.

Who better then to explain the science behind those mind-blowing Hubble telescope photos of the cosmos comprising his latest book, Hubble's Universe: Greatest Discoveries and Latest Images? There is no one better—and Dickinson will be here in Ann Arbor to do just that at 7 p.m. on Thursday, November 1, with his illustrated talk, “A Voyage to the Edge of the Universe.” He’ll then sign copies of the book (which will be for sale) following the event.

Happy National Fossil Day -- Make a Fossil at Pittsfield October 17

Today, October 17, is National Fossil Day! The AADL is celebrating the day with a fossil making program at the Pittsfield branch from 7 - 8pm for grades K - 5. 'Rock' out with us and make your own cast fossil out of clay and plaster of paris while exploring a process that has created fossils in sedimentary rock for billions of years. We will also have fossils found in Michigan on display.

Fossils in the earth can be formed out of plants, or out of invertebrates like mollusks and arthropods, or out of vertebrates like dinosaurs and woolly mammoths. Fossils are found in different forms too. Sometimes they are turned to stone or preserved in amber, and other times they leave an imprint in the earth that is filled in by different minerals, forming a cast. We will replicate the process of creating cast fossils.

You're welcome to bring a small, hard item that can fit in the palm of your hand -- for example, a dinosaur toy or a sea shell -- to the event or you can use the objects the library provides. Looking for more information on fossils? Check out these great books and videos from the AADL collection.

Make Your Own Cast Fossil

Wednesday, October 17 | 7-8pm | Pittsfield | Grades K-5

National Fossil Day is October 17! 'Rock' out with us and make your own cast fossil out of clay and plaster of paris while exploring a process that has created fossils in sedimentary rock for billions of years. We will also have fossils found in Michigan on display.

Fossils in the earth can be formed out of plants, or invertebrates like mollusks and arthropods, or vertebrates like dinosaurs and woolly mammoths. Fossils are found in different forms too. Sometimes they are turned to stone or preserved in amber, and other times they leave an imprint in the earth that is filled in by different minerals, forming a cast. We will replicate the process of creating cast fossils.

You're welcome to bring a small, hard item that can fit in the palm of your hand -- for example, a dinosaur toy or a sea shell -- or you can use the objects the library provides. Looking for more information on fossils? Check out these great books and videos from the AADL collection.

Controlled Burns in Ann Arbor’s Natural Areas

Wednesday, October 10 | 7:00-8:30 PM | Downtown Library | Multipurpose Rom

Prescribed or controlled burning is a technique sometimes used in forest management, farming, or prairie restoration. Fire is a natural part of both forest and grassland ecology and controlled fire can be a tool for foresters. Controlled burning also stimulates the germination of some desirable forest trees, thus renewing the forest.

The Autumn 2012 Burn Season is upon us! Join us as the City of Ann Arbor's Natural Area Preservation staff discusses what controlled burns are and why they are used in Ann Arbor's natural areas. This presentation is recommended for anyone interested in helping with burns, as well as anyone simply interested in learning more about why and how they are conducted.

Storytelling with the Stars on the Autumnal Equinox

Friday, September 21, 2012: 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

Grab a free star map this Friday evening and join us for a stellar storytelling journey bringing the stars and constellations alive on the eve of the autumnal equinox. Mary Stewart Adams, storyteller, star lore historian, and one of the primary movers behind the recently established Michigan Dark Sky Coast, has studied the star tales and myths of many cultures and she'll be your guide to our starry night.

After the program, three lucky attendees will get to take home one of our circulating telescopes!

As the Program Director for the Headlands International Dark Sky Park in Emmett county, Mary regularly tells star stories on the dark shores of Lake Michigan. She recently talked with us about her passion for reconnecting us with the night sky and about the passage of Michigan Public Act 251, establishing a 23,000-acre Dark Sky Preserve in Michigan.

Research Scientists From the United States Geological Survey: Wednesday, September 19th at 7pm

Join us at our downtown location on Wednesday, September 19th at 7pm when four members of the United States Geological Survey will talk about their latest research on the Great Lakes.

Dr. David Warner, a Research Fishery Biologist, will discuss the USGS Deepwater Science Program spanning Great Lakes ecology, ecology of invasive species and remote sensing in ecology.

Dr. Bruce Manny, a Research Fishery Biologist, will speak about his work designing, researching and monitoring activities to restore spawning and nursery habitat for valued native fish species in the Huron-Erie Corridor.

Joseph Baustian, a Research Analyst, will discuss his work in the GLSC Coastal Ecosystems Branch currently focused on restoring coastal marshes in the Great Lakes basin.

David Galbraith, a Geographic Information Systems Specialist, working in the GLSC Coastal Ecosystems Branch, will speak about his work investigating the landscape ecology of invasive wetland flora.

Paddling Michigan's Hidden Beauty With Kayaking And Canoeing Expert Doc Fletcher

Tuesday September 18, 2012: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

PBS-featured Michigan author Doc Fletcher invites you to enjoy an hour-long photographic journey down rivers selected from his canoeing and kayaking books, including his new 2012 book Paddling Michigan's Hidden Beauty: The Rivers, The Towns, The Taverns. The event also includes a book signing and books will be on sale.

Take a virtual trip down several rivers & discover what makes each of them uniquely FUN! Histories of towns along the way are shared and tales are told of local, old-time, neighborhood taverns in those riverside towns. At the end of the program there will be a drawing for a free canoe or kayak trip, good for a day trip down one of Michigan's rivers!

A Visit To The Grand Canyon With Artist-in-Residence Nancy McKay

Wednesday September 12, 2012: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

This May, local artist Nancy McKay served as artist-in-residence on the North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park, helping visitors experience and express a deeper connection with nature's wonders through art.

Nancy will share a photographic overview of the North Rim as well as an overview of key geologic features as they relate to earth's history. She will also discuss how she used the theme of color to help park visitors more deeply connect with this amazing National Park.

Nancy's medium, Digital Silk, combines watercolor-style painting on silk, digital printed imagery, and stitching.

Take a hike @ Furstenberg Nature Area

Thursday, August 16 | 7:00-8:30 PM | All Ages

Join us for a nature walk through Furstenberg Nature Area with the City of Ann Arbor Natural Area Preservation staff. We’ll walk through prairie and woodlands viewing native plants and trees, and learning about the ecological restoration going on at this site.

Park in the lot off Fuller Road (across from Huron High School). We’ll meet near the restrooms.

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