I Remember When: a 1974 video series made during Ann Arbor's sesquicentennial celebrations

Just in time for Ann Arbor’s 190th anniversary, AADL is pleased to release - for the first time! - I Remember When, a seven-part video series made during the city's sesquicentennial celebrations in 1974 "to tell the story of the important events that have happened in Ann Arbor's 150-year-old history."

In the first show, host Ted Trost says, "...the entire series will be recorded on videotape so that future generations of Ann Arborites may see and hear what it was like, way back when in 1974 - the year Ann Arbor celebrated her sesquicentennial.” And today, 40 years later, all seven episodes are available at aadl.org/irw for streaming and downloading!

Following an overview in the first show, each episode focuses on a specific topic - from city politics, the business community and religion, to entertainment, music and theater, and Ann Arbor’s Greek and German communities - and features interviews with several prominent citizens from that era. Together these films provide a snapshot of our city at a unique time and place in its history.

I Remember When was sponsored by the (at that time) Ann Arbor Public Library, in conjunction with the Ann Arbor Sesquicentennial Commission, and produced by students in the University of Michigan’s Speech Department.

Play the Theremin!

It is the only musical instrument that you play without touching it. Invented in 1920 by Leon Theremin, the Theremin's distinctive "otherworldly" electronic sound infuses such famous movie soundtracks as the original The Day the Earth Stood Still and Alfred Hitchcock's Spellbound. (A cousin of the Theremin, the Electro-Theremin creates "that sound" on The Beach Boys' Good Vibrations.) And if you watched the most recent season of the FX show American Horror Story: Coven, one of the witches on the show, Myrtle, played by the formidable and fantastic, Frances Conroy, played the Theramin on the show a few times. Wonder if you can play the instrument yourself? AADL is now offering a Moog Etherwave Theremin for checkout as part of the Music Tools collection, complete with User's Guide and the "Mastering the Theremin" DVD. Music Tools can be checked out for a week, are not renewable and not requestable. You can find them on the shelves next to the Downtown Library Circulation Desk.

Learn more about Leon Theremin's unusual life in the documentary Theremin: An Electronic Odyssey and explore other electronic instruments in the Music Tools collection such as the Stylophone and the Monotron.

Now Available Through AADL: 250+ Downloadable & Streaming Albums from Ghostly International & Spectral Sound

For over a dozen years, record label Ghostly International has made Ann Arbor its home. Haven't heard of them? The Ann's piece highlighting them as a "hidden gem" will help get you up to speed.

Founded in 1999 in a dorm room by a then-UM student, Sam Valenti IV, the label has grown steadily in scope and size. Beginning with talented locally-based artists such as Matthew Dear and Dabrye, the Ghostly crew has expanded over the last decade-plus to include illustrious alumni and around a dozen currently active artists, including Shigeto, ADULT., and Tycho. A spin-off/related label -- Spectral Sound -- also emerged, and 100+ of their albums are also included in this special AADL collection.

As its roster of musical artists has grown, Ghostly has also maintained a careful, deliberate approach to the visual elements of each release (and to the aesthetic of the label as a whole), evident by their attention to cover design and frequent partnerships with companies that are beyond the imagination (aim) of many more traditional labels.

AADL is thrilled to partner with Ghostly to offer DRM-free downloads and streaming of 150+ Ghostly and 100+ Spectral Sound albums to all AADL cardholders. All you need is to have an AADL library card. Then, login with your linked AADL online account, and all of these tracks are yours for the listening!

A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away, a star exploded and you can see it today!

As reported yesterday, astronomers have detected what appears to be a Type 1a supernova - an exploding white dwarf - in nearby galaxy M82, the closest to us in 40 years. Supernova 2014J, as it's been named, is a little hard to see in small scopes right now, but it's predicted to grow significantly brighter over the next two weeks before it fades away - easy enough to spot in the library's 4.5-inch telescope and even binoculars.

M82, also known as the "Cigar Galaxy" because of its shape, is part of a popular galaxy pair (M81-M82) in a relatively dim region of the constellation Ursa Major, about a fist's width above the bowl of the Big Dipper in the northeastern sky. It's visible by 7:00 or 8:00 p.m. in our region and will be visible throughout the night.

Sky & Telescope has some additional information and star maps to help you find Galaxy M82.

Sample the Book Clubs to Go collection

Is your Book Club stuck on what to read next? AADL's Book Clubs to Go collection offers discussion kits containing ten copies of the book, summary information, title reviews, author bios, suggested discussion questions, and more. The collection includes classics such as The Scarlet Letter and Pride and Prejudice; memorable 20th century novels like The Grapes of Wrath, To Kill a Mockingbird, and The Color Purple, novels made into recent acclaimed films such as The Silver Linings Playbook, Life of Pi, and The Help (some of which contain a DVD of the film as well); current gems like The Buddha in the Attic (2012 PEN/Faullkner Award Winner), A Visit from the Goon Squad (2011 Pulitzer Award Winner for Fiction), and Swamplandia! (2012 Pulitzer Fiction Finalist), plus works by current acclaimed authors Richard Ford, Anne Tyler, Michael Chabon, Gabriel Garcia Marquez and more. There's also a Kids' Book Clubs to Go!

The Book Clubs to Go Page offers discussion tips and more book club resources. And you can add a comment suggesting additions to the collection.

You Can Borrow Art Prints

Tired of your current decor? Got an open space on your wall? AADL has been lending reproductions, local posters, and original works of art for over thirty years. Each print is professionally framed and comes with a carrying case at check-out. Choose from da Vinci, van Gogh, Picasso, Cassatt, Rothko, Rivera, O'Keeffe and Lichtenstein. From impressionists to surrealists. From poster prints to photo prints. From the abstract to the real. From the fifteenth century to the twenty-first century. Or browse the entire collection where you can sort alphabetically by title, alphabetically by artist or by "all-time most popular."

Art prints can be checked out for eight weeks and you can borrow up to three at one time. Visit the second and third floors of the Downtown Library to see what's in. If the print you want is checked out, you can request it just like you can with books or DVDs.

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.

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