At the Art Table: Shapescapes!

At the art table in the downtown youth department we're featuring playable art! This time it's Shapescapes. Shapescapes are amazing, colorful and sturdy shapes that are interlocking. They can be put together in a myriad of ways to form a variety of neat sculptures! Children will enjoy putting them together, taking them apart, and creating something all new with the same pieces. Check it out and start shapescaping!

Join us for Kundalini Yoga on Saturday morning!

This Saturday, February 7th, at the Downtown AADL location from 10-11:30AM, local yoga instructor Victoria Duranona will lead a kundalini yoga class geared towards reducing stress and improving sleep. Victoria will teach participants how to become aware of stressors and how they influence communication, relationships, and performance. She will then lead yoga and meditation exercises intended to help release stress.

"Kundalini" is a term that refers to a "spiritual energy or life force located at the base of the spine." Kundalini yoga aims to activate this force through yogic breathing exercises.

This event is intended for teens and adults. It is advised to bring a bottle of water, not eat for two hours before you come, and dress comfortably. Also, please bring your own mat.

Drop in for Valentine's Day die-cutting crafts now through February 20 at the Downtown Library!

Visit the Downtown library anytime through February 20 to create your own Valentine's Day papercrafts. This is your chance to get your hands on the same die-cutting machines that you can borrow from our new Art Tools collection while making some cool decorations and cards that you get to take home!

Die-cutting works by placing the material to be cut, like paper, felt or craft metal on top of a die that contains safety foam and a razor sharp blade. You then run it through a roller press which gently presses the material to be cut down through the foam and onto the razor sharp blade, allowing you to produce some very intricate designs. We're supplying construction paper & glue, but If you want to get super fancy or make something in large quantities you are also welcome to bring in your own decorative paper and supplies. Hollander's is just a quick walk down 4th Ave!

Look for the Art Tools craft table near the first floor Information Desk at the Downtown library.

Parent’s Corner: Reading

The Parent Shelf is located in the downtown youth area, and on this shelf you’ll find a variety of parent-child related books on a multitude of topics- including everything from homework to potty training to time-outs to bullying. These books are available for checkout and can be found in the catalog when searching “parent shelf.”

There are some great books in the collection that focus on books and reading, including choosing what to read and how to help encourage children to read. To get you going, check out these titles:

Silly Books to Read Aloud

Reading in the wild: The book Whisperer's Keys to Cultivating Llifelong Reading Habits

Diversity in Youth Literature: Opening Doors Through Reading

Book love: Developing Depth, Stamina, and Passion in Adolescent Readers

For additional resources on kids and reading , check out this longer list of parent shelf titles.

Winter Wonderland at the Tot Table

Too cold to roll in the snow outside? Come to the downtown tot table to celebrate winter and play with furry friends and snow people in colorful hats and mittens! They have a tiny skating rink, just like ours. They have a snow covered tree, like the lovely ones we see all over town. Can fox and bear and mouse all fit in the Mitten? Come and see!Snowy Tot TableSnowy Tot Table

At the Art Table: Dinosaurs!

Roar! The next time you’re in the youth department downtown visit the art table and see what we’re making. This time around we have out dinosaur stencils and primary colors! Test those fine motor skills by outlining dinosaurs. Make a blue T-Rex. Make a yellow stegosaurus.

For more inspiration, check out some books on how to draw dinosaurs.

Drop-in For Wintry Art Tools Crafts At The Downtown Library

Visit the Downtown library anytime through early January to create your own winter papercrafts. We're supplying the same die-cutting machines that you can borrow from our new Art Tools collection, along with every winter-themed die we could get our hands on including snowmen, penguins, snowflakes, ornaments, sleighs, greeting cards, paper villages, embossing folders & more.

Die-cutting works by placing the material to be cut or embossed, like paper, cardstock or craft metal on top of a die that contains safety foam and a blade, which you run through a roller press to cut or emboss your design. We're supplying scrap paper for you to try it out, but If you want to get super fancy or make something in large quantities then you're welcome to bring in your own decorative paper and supplies. Hollander's is just a quick walk down 4th Ave!

Look for the Art Tools craft table near the desk on the 1st floor at the Downtown library.

Game On!

Looking for something to do in your spare time? The wind, snow and frigid temperatures make it challenging to enjoy the outdoors this time of year, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun! The AADL has more than just books to keep you and the family entertained.

If you’re looking to get out of the house, there are two great events coming up for you! Saturday,November 22, there is a Family Board Game Bash at 2:00 at the Pittsfield Branch. The following Saturday, December 6th, you can join us at Traverwood to Learn To Play Mahjongg with a local enthusiast to help you learn along the way.

Maybe you want to keep it cozy at home? Check out the Unusual Stuff in our catalog- maybe you’d like to go big and play Giant Dominoes or Giant Checkers? Or, get your warm weather game on point and borrow a Portable Disc Golf Basket. Whatever your fancy, game on friends!

New at the Art Table!

The next time you visit the youth area at the downtown branch, check out the CUBEBOTS! That’s right, CUBEBOTS are ready to be manipulated and played with. We also have out bright colored CUBES that can also be twisted into different shapes. CUBE CRAZY!

The CUBEBOT was designed by David Weeks and inspired by the Japanese Shinto Kumi-ki puzzles, these wooden sculptures are a non-traditional take on the toy robot by joining ancient Japanese traditions with modern toys. CUBEBOT can achieve many poses and folds again into a perfect cube. And as for the colorful CUBES - there’s no puzzle to solve. Move the CUBE pieces in many directions to form a colorful structure that you would enjoy playing with. It's playable art!

Tiny Expo: Ann Arbor's biggest little indie arts & craft fair — Downtown, December 13th!

Ann Arbor's biggest little indie arts & craft fair is back! After a few years of hopping around to different locales, Tiny Expo will land at the Downtown AADL this December 13th, 11am—5:30pm!

Just what IS Tiny Expo? It's a fun local, and handmade shopping experience that began with a small group of artists in 2010. As the initial group of creative folks banded together to hold a fun, informal little fair, expo-goers responded, and the show grew just a teeny bit each year. Finding a location that could fit everyone was a perennial challenge, though, and so Tiny Expo jumped around town — from Kerrytown to Felch Street and back again.

This year, the Downtown Library will host Tiny Expo's marvelous collection of local indie artists and crafters, including a few audience favorites from past Tiny Expo editions! We'll be announcing the final artist roster in mid November, but if you or an artist you know might be a good fit, you can apply here to be a part of things!

So, get excited, get ready, and mark your calendar — for the biggest little indie arts and craft fair, this December!

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