Return of the Caterpillars at Malletts Creek Branch.


Come visit the spawn of Cecropia! The descendants of last year's Cecropia caterpillars have returned from the Leslie Science & Nature Center. Not only that, but they've migrated from Traverwood to the Malletts Creek Branch, and will be spending the Summer Game season with us. Currently two moths have emerged from their cocoons. However, since the moths only live about a week, you'll need to act fast if you want to be sure of seeing them. While there are no guarantees when dealing with live animals, we're hoping that the moths will lay eggs, which will then hatch into teeny tiny caterpillars in another couple of weeks. We'll update this post when interesting developments occur. Make sure and look for the Summer Game code to earn 100 points for visiting the Moths.

It's now - or never!

transittransit

Tuesday, June 5 | 4:30 - 9:00 | Traverwood Branch & Leslie Park

If you're old enough to read this, then June 5 is your last chance to see one of the most rare predictable celestial events - and the astronomical highlight of 2012 - the Transit of Venus. It's only happened four times in the past 234 years and the next Transit is 105 years from now in December 2117.

The Transit of Venus - when the planet is visible as a black dot crossing the disk of the sun - will last 6.5 hours in total, and we'll catch three of those in Michigan, from 6:04 p.m. until sunset at 9:08 p.m. And since you can't look at the sun directly (please don't!), the Library will be giving out FREE SOLAR SHADES for safe viewing at AADL's Traverwood branch following a brief talk by the University Lowbrow Astronomers at 4:30.

Since the diameter of Venus is near the limit of the eye's capability, we also recommend you follow us after the talk to one of several locations where local astronomy groups will be stationed with telescopes properly fitted with solar filters for magnified viewing:

The Lowbrows will have telescopes at Leslie Park (map), and the corner of Washington and Ashley streets (map). The UM Department of Astronomy will offer public viewing on top of Angell Hall and the Detroit Observatory will have telescopes out on their sidewalk (map). (Note: Viewings will be cancelled if the weather completely obscures the sun, in which case the Library will provide a live video feed of the Transit from sure-to-be cloudless Hawaii in the Traverwood program room.)

EVENT CANCELLED - A Voyage To The Edge Of The Universe

Thursday May 24, 2012 | 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

Due to unforeseen circumstances, author Terence Dickinson will be unable to attend this May event. He regretfully apologizes. The event has been cancelled for May, but will be re-scheduled for Fall 2012. We apologize for any inconvenience.

Looking for a telescope? Try Peach Mountain!

If you're in line for a Library telescope but not all that familiar with the night sky, consider attending one of the public open houses scheduled twice a month at Peach Mountain. Hosted by the University Lowbrow Astronomers, these open houses are a great way to learn what there is to find in the night sky with experienced observers and powerful telescopes. In addition to looking through members' scopes, you can also look through the 24-inch McMath telescope located on site, or simply gaze in awe at the silhouette of the 26-meter radio dish.

Public open houses are scheduled twice a month at Peach Mountain, 16 miles northwest of Ann Arbor, off North Territorial Rd in Stinchfield Woods. Guidelines, parking information, and a map are here. Open houses will be cancelled if conditions are unusually cold or if it's cloudy. If in doubt, call (734) 975-3248 after 4 p.m. the day of the event to determine the status.

The remaining open house dates through this season are: May 19, June 16, June 23, July 14, July 21, August 11, August 18, and September 15.

Fun Friday Night at the U-M Museum of Natural History

The U-M Museum of Natural History is having their Fun Friday Night tomorrow, May 4, 2012. They'll be staying open until 9:00 p.m. to offer dinosaur tours and other activities, including several discounted ($3) planetarium shows - at 5:30, 6:30, 7:30, and 8:30 - that focus on what you can see in the night sky. If you're waiting to check out one of our new circulating telescopes and aren't familiar with the constellations and stargazing in general, this is a great first step toward getting the most out of your telescope when it comes in! The Museum also holds regularly scheduled weekend planetarium shows throughout the year.

The Backyard Astronomer's Guide

If you're waiting to check out one of our new circulating telescopes, consider Step #2 in the 10 Steps to Successful Stargazing, which is to "befriend a book." Few books are more helpful to new stargazers than The Backyard Astronomer's Guide, by Canadian astronomer and best-selling author Terence Dickinson, (which also has a helpful companion website). This is a good place to start learning how to find your way around the night sky. We've also put together a page of tips to get the most out of your stargazing experience in Ann Arbor.

Behold The Night Sky With Our Newest Circulating Collection: Telescopes!

Good news, everyone! A new circulating collection of Dobsonian telescopes is now available. The Orion Starblast 4.5 Astro Reflector Telescope is an incredibly powerful yet fully accessible scientific instrument, recently described by one library patron as "The best telescope I've ever looked through." That is going to be true for most of us, so reserve your place in line now. This scope's particular strong points are viewing the moon, planets, and star clusters. You can keep them for 2 weeks, which is the perfect amount of time for the moon to pass through some interesting phases.

The telescope collection is brought to you through a partnership with the University Lowbrow Astronomers, a secret society of tinkerers, explorers, and radical craftsmen. Check them out too!

Help us launch our new telescope collection!

Friday, April 27, 2012, 8:30 - 10:00 p.m. -- Leslie Science Center

Join us Friday evening at the Leslie Science Center (1831 Traver Rd. map) as we celebrate Astronomy Day with the launch of our new telescope collection! AADL and Leslie Science Center staff, as well as members of our local amateur astronomy club, the University Lowbrow Astronomers, will be on hand to demonstrate the Library's seven modified Orion StarBlast 4.5 reflector telescopes designed for entry level and intermediate astronomy enthusiasts.

We'll start in the Nature House with coffee, hot chocolate, and a short talk and demonstration by Lowbrow president, Charlie Nielsen; then, weather permitting, we'll move to the sidewalk near the Science Center's parking lot for some stargazing. You can also enter a raffle for several copies of Orion's Starry Night Special Edition software and a chance to be first in line to borrow one of the new scopes! (The telescopes will be available for circulation starting Saturday, April 28, just in time for National Astronomy Day!)

Read more about the telescope collection and check back for upcoming astronomy programs this spring and summer!

World Language Books on CD


Did you know that the library has books on CD (or BOCDs) in different languages at the Downtown branch in both Youth and Adult? Languages that we currently have BOCDs for are Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Russian, and Spanish.

All are shelved after the books in the respective language in either the Youth (1st floor) or Adult (3rd floor) World Language Collection. They have the same loan period as regular BOCDs. And, as with many of our other materials, you can place holds and request them for pick up at any of our branches. You can find them in our catalog here or by doing a search by call number for ' bocd world*' for the adult (or click here) and ' youth-bocd world* ' for the youth (or click here).

Check Out Our Large Print Materials!

Reader's Digest large printReader's Digest large print

You think large print is for when you’re old?
Not when you talk to the folks we’ve polled
Large print type’s great for reading outside
It lowers the glare so you’re not glass-eyed

For readers who don’t like to read too much
You can read large type while you do thus and such
16 point font if you have to ask
Is ideal for those who multi-task

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