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

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."

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