A Winner Among Us

Of the 1,582 entries at this year's ARTPRIZE (see blog), 10 winners were voted in and among them is Ann Arbor artist Lynda Cole.

Taking 3rd place, her 3-D kinetic sculpture entitled Rain consists of 7600 squares of silver leaf on polyester film, and is suspended by aluminum monofilament within a 10 ft. cube of space and move with ambient air currents.

This photo at left represents one module. The Art Prize entry comprised of 25 modules. To see all of them, go to the artist's website or blog.

As our commitment to showcase and support local artists, The Ann Arbor District Library is proud to include two of Lynda Cole's work in our circulating art print collection , entitled Winter and Explore. Now you too, could live with great art.

Old News Launch This Friday at AADL

Old News Launch | Friday, October 21 | 7 pm | Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

Join us this Friday as AADL unveils Old News, a new, online product devoted to the digitization of newspapers from Ann Arbor's past. Old News features articles and images from Ann Arbor newspapers including selections from the clippings and photo files of the Ann Arbor News, as well as 18 years of issues of Ann Arbor's 19th century newspapers.

Old News opens with thousands of articles and images from Ann Arbor and the surrounding areas and is just a beginning to be added to as time goes by. In addition to the ever-growing collection of materials from the Ann Arbor News documenting the 20th century in Ann Arbor, Old News provides online access to decades of newspapers from the 19th century as well. Browse or search through full issues of the Ann Arbor Argus, Ann Arbor Courier, Ann Arbor Argus-Democrat, Signal of Liberty, and Michigan Liberty Press. Explore over 100,000 articles from 1880-1900 to learn about where Ann Arbor was 125 years ago.

This event includes a discussion of the importance of historic newspapers and digitization from Frank Boles, Director of the Clarke Historical Library at Central Michigan University; an introduction/demo to Old News by AADL staff; and post-presentation refreshments.

New Book Clubs to Go

Thank you for all the nice comments about our Book Clubs to Go, and the title suggestions. Rest assured that we are listening....

Just in time for another season of book clubs after the summer break, we will be rolling out 8 new titles this week. (The new totes we ordered finally came in after a long delay. Your patience is greatly appreciated).

The Help. Perennial bestseller and now a major motion picture. (No, there is no DVD in the tote but we will put one in when it is released).

Cutting For Stone The story of twin brothers orphaned at birth, bound together by a preternatural connection and a shared fascination with medicine, but torn apart by their passion for the same woman.

Waiting Lin Kong, a dedicated doctor is torn by his love for two women: one who belongs to the New China of the Cultural Revolution, the other to the ancient traditions of his family's village. Winner of National Book Award and the PEN/Faulkner Award.

The Surrendered A brilliant, haunting, heartbreaking story about how love and war unalterably change the lives of those they touch.

The Art of Racing in the Rain A tale in which Enzo, a loyal family dog, tells the story of his human family, how they nearly fell apart, and what he did to bring them back together.

A Fierce Radiance Set in the early days of penicillin, this ambitious medical thriller combines history, commercial rivalry, espionage and thwarted love.

Lark & Termite Set in rural West Virginia Lark and Termite follows an inquisitive 17-year-old girl; her younger, developmentally challenged brother; and their aunt, the hardworking woman who raised them, through a single, eventful week in 1959.

Snow A spellbinding tale of disparate yearnings – for love, art, power, and God – set in a remote Turkish town cut off from the rest of the world by a snow storm. By a Nobel laureate.

We will be bringing out new titles intermittently. Watch out for them.

Poor Richard's Almanack

Poor Richard's AlmanackPoor Richard's Almanack

Almanacs generally contain a calendar of the days, weeks and months of the year, astronomical and climatological information, as well as suggestions for farmers throughout the seasons. Rising and setting times for the sun and the moon, moon phases, planetary information, tide schedules, holidays, and even medicinial remedies are typically included in an almanac as well. Perhaps you are familiar with The Old Farmer’s Almanac? It is still published every year!

Under his pseudonym “Poor Richard” or “Richard Saunders”, Ben Franklin published Poor Richard’s Almanack annually from 1732 until 1757. Since almanacs were very popular in colonial times, Ben Franklin felt it was his duty to educate the public. In fact, it was common for the almanac to often be the only publication a person ever purchased. Poor Richard’s Almanack sold as many as 10,000 issues per year. Most notably, Poor Richard’s Almanack is memorable for Ben Franklin’s aphorisms and proverbs emphasizing frugality, good sense and hard work. You can view some scanned pages from original Poor Richard’s Alamanacs here.

“Take counsel in wine, but resolve afterwards in water.”
“Beware of little expenses: a small leak will sink a great ship.”
“Be always ashamed to catch thyself idle.”
-Benjamin Franklin

Taking a Trip? Take a Map!

Did you know AADL has a collection of maps? Maps are removed from travel books so they do not get lost. These maps are put in file folders arranged by geographic location. Other maps are added to the files to create a comprehensive collection. We have maps for most every state and country!

Thinking about a trip to Europe? The Europe map file includes a Eurorail map, so you can expertly navigate the trains!! Do you enjoy lighthouses? The Maine file includes a map of all the lighthouses in the state. For major cities such as Paris and Chicago, AADL carries the streetwise laminated maps, both slim and durable!

Not taking a vacation soon? There are still plenty of reasons to check out a map! Perhaps you are a teacher needing a map of outer space or the Pacific ocean or a researcher looking for a map of the former Soviet Union, we have all of these maps and more! Maybe you are moving across the state, we have plenty of Michigan maps, so you can scope out your new location!

The maps are not requestable, so come downtown and enjoy looking through the files! You can check maps out for 4 weeks and return them to any location.

Subtraction in Action!

Lakeshore Learning Material's Subtraction Machine is a new addition to our line-up of fun and educational toys for children's use during their visit to the Ann Arbor District Library! The subtraction machine gives kids a hands-on way to practice their math skills with immediate feedback on their answers. The toy features a grid of 81 subtraction problems; when you press on the equation button, the answer pops up! The equations reinforce whole-number, single-digit subtraction. The library provides a variety of toys and manipulatives at each location. These tools aren't just fun, they help young people learn.

For more ideas about having math experiences with young people you might visit PBS Kids, Online Schools which has compiled a list of math resources, or this site which is dedicated to math games.Subtraction ToySubtraction Toy

An Intimate look inside one of the oldest estates in Barton Hills

Brushwood_frontBrushwood_front

Jean Spero, granddaughter of former Detroit Edison president, Alex Dow (1862-1942), recently sent us several photographs of her childhood home in Ann Arbor. Known as "Brushwood," this country estate was one of the first homes to be built on the rolling slopes above Barton Dam, which eventually became Barton Hills. Local historian Grace Shackman covers the origins of this area in her article, "The Buried History of Barton Hills."

Spero's childhood memories color her personal tour of Brushwood. For example, here's one about the Brushwood Library, her grandfather's favorite hideaway:

"There were two walls filled with books, a special radio, a fireplace, two desks, one his and one for the secretaries who often came out for a week or so to work with him....they were very sweet and two became especially good friends of mine. As a teen when Grandfather wasn't there I would use that room to 'entertain' my friends by listening to the radio in front of a roaring fire...wonderful atmosphere. As a little one I read all I could get my hands on, including the Encyclopedia Britannica which was thoughtfully put on a lower shelf! The collection was very diverse, lots of folklore, philosophy or religious tomes of every sort of religion, history, plus, of course, current novels, etc. I have two of the books, Willa Cather's My Antonia and a huge coffee table-sized book on Scottish tartans...." (J. Spero)

Language Learning Collection

Language LearningLanguage Learning

Whether you are starting to learn another language, brushing up on one, or need some help with your English, the Ann Arbor District Library’s Language Learning collection is here to help. With materials for adults and children and over 60 languages to choose from, you will be sure to find a variety of materials to assist in your learning experience. The adult Language Learning collection at Downtown is located on the 3rd floor while the youth materials are in the Youth department, 1st floor; at other branches the Language Learning collection is located within the non-fiction 400 call # range. See below for how to search in the catalog for this collection.

More Energy Meters Available!

energy meterenergy meter

Are you curious about how much energy your appliances are using? You can borrow one of our 19 Energy Meters to find out. The City of Ann Arbor has given AADL 7 meters for our patrons to use. You can borrow these kits for 4 weeks or longer if there are no holds on them. Need to research new appliances? Nothing beats Consumer Reports for unbiased information about products on the market. Even better: You can access this info from home with your aadl log in by going to our Research Page and clicking on Magazine articles!

A bicentennial plus one

Today, January 4, is the birthday of Louis Braille, the inventor of the braille alphabet. Braille found that with a series of six raised dots, he could form coded patterns that became the letters of the alphabet, recognizable by touch. Born in Coupvray, France in 1809, Braille was blinded in one eye in an accident and later developed an infection in the other, leading to total blindness. Faced with opposition to his system, Braille unfortunately did not see Braille used extensively until after his death from tuberculosis in 1852.

Not only is it Braille's birthday but 2009 also marked the bicentennial of his birth. Check out the website for information on the history of Braille and suggested activities for young people. You may also be interested in reading a provocative article in this Sunday's, January 3, New York Times Magazine titled "Listening to Braille" which discusses the pros and cons of braille compared to audio transmission of information. The author raises interesting questions about literacy for the blind and how it may be adversely affected by new technologies. The Library still has a number of books in Braille as well as extensive services for the blind through the Library for the Blind and Physically Disabled.

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