Language Learning Collection

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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!

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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.

Take a survey and help the Michigan Electronic Library

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Have a few minutes? If so, consider helping the Michigan Electronic Library (MeL) by taking this survey. In an effort to continue improving MeL resources, including the popular MeLCat state-wide catalog, the Library of Michigan is conducting a study on the Michigan eLibrary to make sure libraries and Michigan residents get the most benefit from the program. The survey takes only a few minutes to complete...and you may be surprised to discover what's available for free through MeL.

New Moon in World Languages

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Did you know AADL has copies of Stephanie Meyer's New Moon in multiple languages? You can find them in Vietnamese, Chinese, Korean, Spanish and French. Read the book before the film comes out November 20!

Gorgeous Korean Manhwa Trilogy


Manhwa is the general term for for comics and print cartoons in Korea. If you're looking for a lushly drawn, and accessible graphic novel to try for the first time, or if you're a seasoned reader looking for something new be sure to try the "Color" trilogy by Dong Hwa Kim. The trilogy starts with The Color of Water and chronicles the lives of a single mother and her daughter in rural Korea in a moving and evocative look at love as seen through the eyes of one feeling it for the first time and another who longs to savor it once more. The story continues with The Color of Earth and concludes with The Color of Heaven. Beautiful illustrations, mother and daughter bonding and romance will capture your heart. The trilogy is published by First Second the premier publishing house for quality, literate graphic novels.

Secrets of the Library: Art Prints

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Every so often, we'll feature some "Secrets of the Library," resources available here at AADL that you may not know about. Today's secret: Art Prints! Did you know that we have hundreds of framed Art Prints from a wide variety of artists for you to borrow to redecorate your home or office? You can take Art Prints home for eight weeks. The best way to see what we have is to check out our inventory on the second or third floors of the Downtown branch, but you can also browse the catalog 'By Format' if you know the title of a specific work. Even some of the pieces on our walls are available for checkout!

Important Catalog News!

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There’s a new way to find foreign language materials at AADL. Let’s start by calling them World Languages. If you are looking for materials in Arabic, you would go to Advanced Search and click on call number & enter World-Ara. There's a new collection, too: Youth Lang-Learn. Wait! There’s more! The Basic Reading and ESL collections are now called Language Learning or Lang-Learn for short. You can even look for Lang-Learn Fiction with Reading Levels for adults. We look forward to searches becoming easier for you and everyone as we tweak our catalog and roll out a new one.

Art Prints Can Change Your Outlook

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We have hundreds of framed Art Prints for you to borrow to redecorate your home or office. Browse the catalog 'By Format' if you know the title of a print or take a look on the second or third floors to see what we have available. Many of the pieces on our Downtown Walls are available to borrow! It's a refreshing and FREE way to embellish your space & add verve to your view for a couple months!

DVD Genre Spotlight: Film Noir

Literally meaning 'black film', film noir is a niche genre of mostly 1940s-1950s Hollywood movies typified by their antihero male protagonists and mercurial femme fatales. Absent are the Capra-esque feel good tales of hope; rather, these films center on murderous plots and deceptive individuals acting out of self-interest and roiling in dirty money. Seedy characters derived from pulp magazines thrive in the urban underbelly settings, and private eyes like Philip Marlowe toe the line between the cops and the gangsters.

Classic performances from this genre include Humphrey Bogart's turn as Marlowe in The Big Sleep, and Orson Welles as the titular character in Sir Carol Reed's magnum opus, The Third Man. The AADL now has a DVD section devoted entirely to film noir for more great browsing choices at all of our locations.

The Michigan Theater is showcasing a film noir every Monday in April, with Sunset Boulevard, The Maltese Falcon, Body Heat, and Chinatown, but if you can't make these screenings the AADL owns copies of all of these films.

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