Film & Discussion: Telling Amy's Story

Monday October 24, 2011: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

In observance of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, AADL and SafeHouse Center present a special screening of the award-winning documentary Telling Amy's Story.

The film, hosted by actress and advocate Mariska Hargitay and told by Detective Deirdri Fishel, follows the timeline of a domestic violence homicide that occurred in 2001. The victim's parents and co-workers, law enforcement officers, and court personnel share their perspectives on what happened to Amy in the weeks, months, and years leading up to her death.

While the ending to Amy's story can never be changed, it is hoped that it's telling can change outcomes for the millions of victims, survivors, and loved ones affected by domestic violence every day. A discussion (led by SafeHouse Center) will follow the screening of the 43 minute film, which is not rated.

Ann Arbor in the Sixties: Were you there?

Girl on CurbGirl on Curb

Students for a Democratic Society. White Panthers. Student Riots. Sit-ins. The Great UFO Chase. Concerts in West Park. Sheriff Doug Harvey.

Were you in Ann Arbor during the Sixties? Do you have a story to tell? Award-winning author and archivist of popular culture Michael Erlewine, founder of the All-Music Guide (and related All-Movie Guide and All-Game Guide), ClassicPosters.com, and lead singer for the Prime Movers Blues Band (Iggy Pop was his drummer), will share some of his personal memories of the cultural shifts that took place in Ann Arbor during the Sixties and early Seventies. If you were there, we'd like to hear from you as well.

We'll also let you know about a related series of events the Library is planning in collaboration with the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in December to mark the 40th anniversary of the John Sinclair Freedom Rally that took place on December 10, 1971.

Ann Arbor in the Sixties | 7:00 p.m., Wednesday, October 12, 2011 | Downtown Library Multi-Purpose Room

Housing Access for Washtenaw County

One of the agencies that's been instrumental in housing & services to the homeless in Washtenaw County for decades, SOS Community Services, will be closing from September 21st -September 30th. When the doors re-open they will be called Housing Access For Washtenaw County. This means the Food Pantry at SOS will close on Tuesday September 27th and will resume Tuesday October 4th under its new name, Housing Access for Washtenaw County. We will keep you posted as more details are announced.

Fabulous Fiction Firsts #283

South Asia Bureau Chief of The New York Times Amy Waldman's The Submission * * * is "a dazzling, kaleidoscopic" debut novel that re-imagines the aftermath of 9/11, at once "piercing and resonant."

When the winner of a high-profiled competition to design a memorial for victims of a terrorist attack is revealed to be Mohammad "Mo" Khan, an American born Muslim architect, instantly everyone has an opinion and a need to debate the selection.

Claire Burwell, the self-possessed widow on the jury and Mo's fiercest defender finds herself pressured by outraged family members. Journalist Alyssa is desperate to capitalize on the controversy. Families of the victims struggle with grief and remembrance while weighing the moral quandaries of doing the right thing. No one was prepared that Mo's submission of a garden design meant "to provide a way for the families, the nation to mourn and to remember all that was lost ... and also to heal" would become the catalyst that divides a nation.

While there is no shortage of post 9/11 fiction, " Waldman fluidly blends her reporter's skill at rapid-fire storytelling with a novelist's gift for nuanced characterization. She dares readers to confront their own complicated prejudices steeped in faith, culture, and class. This is an insightful, courageous, heartbreaking work that should be read, discussed, then read again."

* * * = Starred reviews

Dan Savage Loves Libraries

“I want to emphasize the subversiveness that I think you librarians have by providing access to this information.” Dan Savage, author of several books and creator of the Savage Love column and podcast, spoke at the annual ALA conference in New Orleans last Friday. Savage praised libraries for providing critical access to information and resources for all people, even (and especially) when that information is controversial. He recalled his own days as a teenager when he would go to the Chicago Public Library to find answers to the questions he had about his developing sexuality. Savage stated that libraries are often the only resource troubled kids have to look for the answers to questions that they don’t trust their parents or peers with.

Access to information is a very personal subject to Dan Savage, who created the It Gets Better Project, an internet-based project with the goal of reaching out to depressed and suicidal LGBT youth. The project was designed to reach isolated young people who are dealing with bullying, abuse, hostile parents, or oppressive communities, all because of their (real or perceived) sexual identities. Thousands of grown-up LGBT people, celebrities, and organizations have contributed supportive videos to the project, all with the message that life is going to get better for these kids. Savage has also released a collection of essays in a book, It Gets Better, with contributing authors such as David Sedaris, Tim Gunn, Ellen Degeneres, Suze Orman, President Barack Obama, and tons more. Check out the book or BOCD at AADL, or visit the It Gets Better Project’s website at www.itgetsbetter.org.

June 25th--Act of Grace: A Conversation with Karen Simpson and Robbie Ransom

On Saturday, June 25th authors Karen Simpson and Robbie Ransom will discuss their new book Act of Grace from 5:00 to 6:30 PM at the University of Michigan's North Quad, room 2435. Act of Grace explores the story of Grace Johnson, an African American from Michigan who saves the life of a Klan member named Jonathan Gilmore--and the controversy which follows. Simpson and Ransom are both Michigan residents and graduates of Eastern Michigan University well known for their work in gender and cultural studies. The discussion is free and open to the public, and is presented by the Author’s Forum, a collaboration between the U-M Institute for the Humanities, University Library, Great Lakes Literary Arts Center, and the Ann Arbor Book Festival. Don't miss the discussion on this amazing story of forgiveness!

For the official UM Library event posting, click here.

Triangle Waist Factory Fire of 1911

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Today (March 25) marks the 100-year anniversary of the deadly Triangle Waist Factory Fire in New York City which claimed 146 lives, mostly of young immigrant workers; and to this day, ranks as one of the worst disasters in labor history.

Located in the Asch Building, at northern corner of Washington Square,The Triangle Waist Company was in many ways a typical sweatshop - low wages, excessively long hours, and unsanitary and dangerous working conditions. Check out the story at the Cornell University, School of Industrial and Labor Relations archival and research resources that include eyewitness accounts, victim list, and photo images.

Over the years, the fire has been the subject for documentary filmmakers, historians and novelists. Best among them is award-winning author Katharine Weber's Triangle* * (2007).

Esther Gottesfeld is the last living survivor of the fire where 150 workers died in the sweatshop inferno. Even though she has told her story countless time, her death at the age of 106 leaves unanswered many questions about what happened that fateful day - the day she lost her sister and her fiance, the day her life changed forever.

Esther's granddaughter, Rebecca, and George, her partner, a prizewinning composer, seek to unravel the facts of the matter, while at the same time Ruth Zion, a zealous Triangle fire historian, bores in on them with her own mole-like agenda.

"As in a symphony, the true story of what happened at the Triangle factory is declared in the first notes - yet it is fully revealed only when we've heard it all the way through to its find chords."

* * = Starred reviews

Generations United?

American society is getting older. As people live longer and families become smaller, relationships among the generations are going through big adjustments. In the depressed economy older people are working longer, which affects young people looking for jobs right out of college. Older adults, living longer healthier lives, want to do more with that precious bequest of time. UM Psychology Professor Toni Antonucci will help us understand these powerful processes at the Downtown Library on Wed., March 23 with her talk “Social Relations: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.” She may even mention social media along with the other recent agents of change.

Professor Toni Antonucci | Wednesday, March 23 | 7-8:30 pm | Downtown Library MPR

Nonprofits: NEW helping boards make a difference

Check out five (5!) workshops being offered this winter and spring by Nonprofit Enterprise at Work (NEW). On March 9, there is "Board Member Training: Serving on a Nonprofit Board," followed March 17 by "Your Board Members as Ambassadors and Fundraisers." Later in March will be "Nonprofit Training: Building Your Board" and "Spring Into Service: A Board Matching Event for Nonprofit Organizations." Finally in early April, a workshop is scheduled on "Starting Off Right: Board Member Orientation." Details are here. Don't forget AADL also has a collection of nonprofit resources on the second floor of the downtown library.

Author's Forum: The Protest Psychosis

A conversation with Jonathan Metzl, Derek Griffith and Gregory Dalack -- all of the U-M faculty -- is coming up Wednesday Jan. 19 at 5:30 pm in Hatcher Graduate Library, Library Gallery. This Author's Forum is called "The Protest Psychosis: How Schizophrenia Became a Black Disease." In his book The Protest Psychosis, author Metzl writes about how schizophrenia became the diagnostic term overwhelmingly applied to African American men at the Ionia State Hospital and how that mirrored national trends linking civil rights, blackness, and mental illness.

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