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

New Energy Meter Now Available For Checkout

If you’ve ever tried our existing energy meter and thought to yourself “It's pretty great, but I wish it could do more” then now you’re in luck. The newly available 10-outlet emeter is ready to handle all your power. Try hooking up your TV, brand new Blu-ray player (‘tis the season) and surround sound system to calculate exactly how much it costs to watch vintage Conan in HD. Or, hook up your microwave, electric kettle, coffee pot, toaster oven, juicer and refrigerator to measure the true cost of a healthy breakfast. Alternatively, hook up your children’s video game system and determine the price of not turning off the game when you’re done playing, then deduct that amount from their allowance – the possibilities are endless!

The 10-outlet emeter is packed with features. It monitors voltage, line frequency, KWH and current leakage. You can tell how much power you’re drawing and how much you’re losing while the built in surge protector keeps your gadgets safe. It even tells you if your outlet isn’t properly grounded. Place your hold today and let us know what you think.

New Collection: Fandex Family Field Guides

Looking for entertaining yet educational activities for family car trips, snowy days stuck inside, or something to read on the bus? Check out a Fandex Family Field Guide from your neighborhood branch library. These full color, die-cut cards are great for upper elementary and middle schoolers for learning about a wide range of topics, such as Presidents, Mythology, Dinosaurs, Painters, and plenty more.

For example, the Presidents Fandex presents a chronological field guide to all 44 of America's chief executives. "Which President made the Louisiana Purchase? Which President won a Nobel Peace Prize? Which President also served as chief justice of the Supreme Court? Who was in office during the Teapot Dome scandal, and who endured the childhood nickname "Useless"? From the historic Founding Fathers (three of whom died on the Fourth of July) to the 19th-century forgettables (Fillmore, Tyler, Pierce, et al.) to our current leadership, Presidents lets you finally get it straight."

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.

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