Check out a Telescope!

Did you know the library has telescopes for checkout? If this news tickles your astronomer's fancy, take a look at the Quick Start Comic to see how it works. And check out some viewing tips to see what's in the skies in our area. You can put your name on the Hold list for a two week checkout or, if you can't wait for your name to come up, you may find one in Up For Grabs, a first-come first-served collection with a one week checkout, available at all branches.

And if you missed Comet ISON, don't despair! If ISON survives its pass by the sun on November 28, it'll be back around the other side in December. Look for it near the sun just before sunrise.

Helen Thomas, longtime White House journalist, has died

White House news correspondent, Helen Thomas, is dead at 92. Ms. Thomas will always be noteworthy in American journalism for having shattered the glass ceiling as the foremost White House correspondent of her generation. An iconic and prickly writer of conscience, she was always willing to speak her mind and was at her best when she once growled, Listen up, Mr. President. In 2009, we brought Ms. Thomas to Ann Arbor for a special event at the Michigan Theater cosponsored by Michigan Radio. We also had the good fortune to interview Ms. Thomas. We have both the video and interview available for streaming and downloading.

New Collections And New Ways To Borrow!

Today we present two new collections: Science Tools and Home Tools!

aadl.org/sciencetools
aadl.org/hometools

Science Tools help you explore the world around you in fun and creative ways. Get an up close look and discover secret details invisible to the human eye with a powerful stereomicroscope, or go mobile in the field with a digital pocket microscope and see what you can turn up under logs and in puddles; devise experiments with a variety of handheld meters for measuring ultraviolet light, electromagnetic fields, sound, radio frequency microwaves and environmental quality; and gaze into the cosmos with a Dobsonian telescope. Many new Science Tools will debut this summer, so watch the link above for updates!

Home tools are things that come in handy around the house. We’re starting with some uncommon tools that you might not have lying about, like an indoor air quality meter, a thermal leak detector and an infrared thermometer to accompany our existing energy meters.

But that’s not all! Today you also get a brand new way to borrow materials from AADL: Up For Grabs. Think of Up For Grabs as free Zoom Lends, where we set aside a few of our most popular items to be available for walk-in checkouts. Up For Grabs items are non-requestable and non-renewable, though you can still place requests on their non-Up For Grabs counterparts. They currently circulate for 1 week and are available on a first come first serve basis. Up For Grabs items have a special sticker so that you can find them on the shelf, and their own call number so that you can find them in the catalog. We’re starting out with some telescopes, stereomicroscopes and digital pocket microscopes, so if you’re deterred by long request lists or rental charges then keep an eye out for Up For Grabs!

Tools can be found on the Stuff Shelf, take a look!

We hope you enjoy your new tools and borrowing options, and let us know what you think.

New at your Library: Kids Book Clubs to Go!

As the school year winds down, you may be looking for ways to keep your young thoughtful readers engaged over the summer. Why not check out one of our new Kids Book Clubs To Go bags?

The Library provides 12 copies of the featured book, one copy of a movie DVD (if available), and a resource guide that includes information about the book, author biography, book reviews, discussion questions, suggested read-alikes, and book group tips.

There are 21 different book titles to choose from. Each Kids Book Clubs to Go kit circulates for six weeks and may be renewed if there are no outstanding requests. Kits are checked out to one library cardholder representing the book club and can be requested through the online catalog or by calling Material Requests and Renewals at (734) 327-4219.

Inside|Out's Rogue Paintings Around Town

I was walking down Liberty St. yesterday, and as I passed the alley next to Kilwin’s Chocolate Shoppe, I stopped dead in my tracks. There was a painting on the alley wall. I took a closer look and read that it was ‘Judith and Her Maidservant with the Head of Holofernes,’ by Artemisia Gentileschi. It was put there by the Detroit Institute of Arts.

The DIA placed this painting and six others in places around Ann Arbor as part of their Inside|Out program. Now in its fourth year, the Inside|Out program brings reproductions of masterpieces in DIA’s collection to more than a dozen cities in the metro Detroit area. You can find maps of all these impromptu outdoor galleries at the Inside|Out program’s web page.

If seeing these paintings inspires you to learn more about art and artists, take a look at AADL’s art print collection. You can take home a fully framed painting and make your own home a gallery. Also, check out AADL’s collection of huge, beautiful art books. You can take home the entire collected works of your favorite artist!

New Book Clubs to Go Kits

AADL has some new Book Clubs to Go kits that are now available. Book Clubs To Go (BCTG) is a service of the AADL that provides local book clubs with the convenience of complete kits for book discussions. Included in each BCTG are 10 copies of the featured book for discussion (or 10 each of two related titles), 1 copy of movie DVD if available, a resource folder containing the following: summary information and reviews of the title(s); author biography; a list of suggested discussion questions and read-alikes; tips for book groups; and evaluation forms so you can let us know what you think of the service.

Three of the new kits are:

Rules of Civility by Amor Towles is a "dramatic historical novel" that takes place in 1938 New York City following the lives of 25 year old Katy and Evelyn.

Girls in White Dresses by Jennifer Close "is the story of three New York City girlfriends trapped in a seemingly never-ending loop of bridal showers and weddings as nearly all their friends take the plunge."

South of Superior by Michigan author Ellen Airgood follows Madeline from Chicago to the Upper Peninsula where she learns life lessons and begins to repair her relationships.

November's New Book Clubs to Go

We have 5 new sets of Book Clubs to Go for your book clubs. Again, we tried to strike a balance between the classics, the literary, the popular, and the award winners - fiction and nonfiction.

A Death in the Family is the 1958 Pulitzer Prize–winning novel by James Agee who reconstructs through the lens of fiction the real-life car accident that claimed his father when James was not yet six years old.

Half Broke Horses, called a true-life novel (read the New York Times review) by Jeannette Walls who brings us the story of her grandmother Lily Casey Smith, a no-nonsense, resourceful, hard working woman who survived tornadoes, droughts, floods, the Great Depression, and the most heartbreaking personal tragedy.

Ava Bigtree has lived her entire life at Swamplandia!, a gator-wrestling theme park in the Florida Everglades. But when her mother the headliner dies, the family is plunged into chaos and it is left up to Ava to save them all. Karen Russell's Swamplandia is a seriously fun read to share.

The Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother by Amy Chua is a story about a mother, two daughters, and two dogs. It was supposed to be a story of how Chinese parents are better at raising kids than Western ones. But instead, it's about a bitter clash of cultures, a fleeting taste of glory, and how you can be humbled by a thirteen-year-old.

In The Tiger's Wife , Natalia, a young doctor, is compelled to unravel the mysterious circumstances surrounding her beloved grandfather’s recent death. Searching for clues, she turns to his worn copy of The Jungle Book and the stories he told her of his encounters over the years with “the deathless man.” But most extraordinary of all is the story her grandfather never told her—the legend of the tiger’s wife. Winner of the 2011 Orange Prize for debut novelist Tea Obreht.

Solar Eclipse Today (Only Visible in Australia)

The only total solar eclipse of 2012 will begin around 3:35pm EST today, November 13, and it will last all of two whole minutes, so try not to blink. Unfortunately, it will only be visible live from certain areas of Queensland, Australia and some empty parts of the Pacific Ocean. The good news is that you can watch the solar eclipse live online via streaming sites, including Cairns Eclipse 2012 on USTREAM, which will begin streaming around 2:00 pm.

More resources on eclipses are available here from the AADL, and don't miss one of the newest additions to our collection, the Orion Starblast 4.5 Astro Reflector Dobsonian Telescope, which checks out for two weeks at a time.

Celebrate Astronomy Day at Peach Mountain!

Saturday, October 20 | 7:00 - midnight | Peach Mountain, Dexter, Michigan

Saturday, October 20, is Astronomy Day! and AADL is partnering with the University Lowbrow Astronomers for a public viewing starting after sunset at Peach Mountain, a dark sky area roughly 16 miles northwest of Ann Arbor off North Territorial Rd. in Stinchfield Woods.

You'll be treated to views through large-aperture telescopes, including the 24-inch McMath telescope located on site. Guidelines, maps, directions and parking information are available. Open houses will be cancelled if conditions are unusually cold or if it's cloudy. If you're unsure, check back here for an update at 4:00 p.m. October 20.

50th Anniversary of the Port Huron Statement

Tom Hayden at Ann Arbor fundraiser, 1985Tom Hayden at Ann Arbor fundraiser, 1985

2012 marks the 50th anniversary of the now-legendary Port Huron Statement, a manifesto written by “Students for a Democratic Society” (SDS) at a retreat on Lake Huron in 1962. From October 31 - November 2, the University of Michigan is hosting A New Insurgency: The Port Huron Statement in Its Time and Ours, a free 3-day public conference exploring the significance of the Port Huron Statement and its social, political and cultural consequences for the New Left of the 1960s - from anti-war movements to civil rights and women’s liberation movements. We’ve pulled together articles from our Oldnews archive about the Students for a Democratic Society, featuring SDS co-founders Tom Hayden and Alan Haber and reflections from other New Left activists over the intervening years.

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