Play the Theremin!

It is the only musical instrument that you play without touching it. Invented in 1920 by Leon Theremin, the Theremin's distinctive "otherworldly" electronic sound infuses such famous movie soundtracks as the original The Day the Earth Stood Still and Alfred Hitchcock's Spellbound. (A cousin of the Theremin, the Electro-Theremin creates "that sound" on The Beach Boys' Good Vibrations.) And if you watched the most recent season of the FX show American Horror Story: Coven, one of the witches on the show, Myrtle, played by the formidable and fantastic, Frances Conroy, played the Theramin on the show a few times. Wonder if you can play the instrument yourself? AADL is now offering a Moog Etherwave Theremin for checkout as part of the Music Tools collection, complete with User's Guide and the "Mastering the Theremin" DVD. Music Tools can be checked out for a week, are not renewable and not requestable. You can find them on the shelves next to the Downtown Library Circulation Desk.

Learn more about Leon Theremin's unusual life in the documentary Theremin: An Electronic Odyssey and explore other electronic instruments in the Music Tools collection such as the Stylophone and the Monotron.

The 780s - Music Books at AADL

If music occupies a big room in your pleasure palace, then browsing the 780s at Ann Arbor District Library will provide great rewards. Whether you're looking for scores to practice or perform, biographies to explore, or genre histories to absorb, surfing aadl.org or browsing on the third floor at the Downtown Library or in the Youth Dept. will be the mother lode. Titles like French Baroque Music: From Beaujoyeulx to Rameau, How the Beatles Destroyed Rock ‘N’ Roll, Electric Eden: Unearthing Britain's Visionary Music, Cats of Any Color: Jazz, Black and White, Yiddish Folk Songs from the Ruth Rubin Archive, Give My Poor Heart Ease: Voices of the Mississippi Blues, Sabastian: A Book About Bach, The Mikado, or Teach Yourself Guitar, give you just a smattering of the wide selection. So visit aadl soon and find your musical bliss!

Art Table: Self Portraits!

The next time you’re at the Downtown Library, pop into the Youth Department and check out the new art project at the art table.

This time around you’ll be working with paper and pencil to create a self portrait, suitable for framing. Sit at the art table and glance in the mirror at yourself. What are your brightest features? What are the features you want to focus on? Will you make a simple line drawing? Will your art be black and white or full of color? Will you just draw your face? Let's find out!

To see some famous self portraits or get tips on creating your own, check out these children’s books and adult books.

Assistive Technology at AADL

Adults and children with visual or cognitive disabilities can have easy access to information and entertainment through several types of Assistive Technology at Ann Arbor District Library.

From hand-held magnifiers, to text-to-speech software, to Braille printing, AADL has an assortment of accessible technology available during all regular library hours. Not sure how to use this type of technology? Also available, is walk-in training with an experienced instructor! Walk-in assistive technology training is available, at no charge, Tuesdays, 1-6 pm and Wednesdays, 9:30am-2:30pm, in the Assistive Technology Lab on the 2nd floor of the Downtown Library. Call 734-327-4224 for more information, or email wlbpd@aadl.org.

Interested in new technology? Mark your calendars for: "VISIONS 2014: What’s New in Technology for the Blind & Visually Impaired.” VISIONS will take place on Wednesday, May 14, at Washtenaw Community College, Morris Lawrence Building.

Shapes In Art

The next time you’re at the Downtown Library stop by the art table in the Youth Department and work with shapes! We have a variety of wooden shapes that children will enjoy making into different designs. We have some templates out for you to get ideas from.

If you’re inspired to read some picture books about shapes, check these out. And for more shapes in art books check out: Museum Shapes, I Spy Shapes In Art, and Shapes.

We've Got Community!

Playing at the Downtown Library tot table with the garages, cars and traffic signs, provides a great opportunity to talk to your little one about our community, neighborhoods and incredible C.S. Mott Children's Hospital. Watch out for that stop sign!

Meet Jo Anne Normile, Author of "Saving Baby"! 11/13 at 7 PM

Whether you're interested in racing, animal rescue, or horses, be sure to stop by AADL's author event featuring Jo Anne Normile! She will tell us about her new book, "Saving Baby," the true story of a beloved foal and the surprising discoveries to be found in Michigan horse racing. She will also share her inspiring story of how she has worked tirelessly to save the lives of thousands of horses.

We hope to see you there! The event is on Wednesday, November 13 at 7pm in the Downtown Multi-purpose Room.

Art Table: Veterans Day Cards!

Next time you’re at the Downtown branch, stop by the art table in the Youth Department and create a Veterans Day card! We've got the supplies needed to make a SUPER STAR card for a Veteran. All cards collected in time will be delivered to the Ann Arbor VA hospital in time for Veterans Day on November 11.

Bestselling Author Jamie Ford Discusses His New Novel, "Songs of Willow Frost"

Jamie Ford, the New York Times bestselling author of Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, makes his way to AADL on October 21st from 7 to 8:30 pm, to discuss his highly-anticipated sophomore novel, Songs of Willow Frost!

Songs of Willow Frost follows twelve-year-old William Eng, a Chinese-American boy, who, with his friend Charlotte, escapes from a Seattle orphanage determined to find the film star Willow Frost, who he is convinced is really the mother he hasn't seen since her listless body was carried from their apartment five years prior. Deftly shifting between the Great Depression and the 1920s, Songs Of Willow Frost takes readers on a sweeping emotional journey that will resonate with anyone who has ever longed for family and a place to call home. It's a powerful tale of two souls—a boy with dreams for his future and a woman escaping her haunted past—seeking love, hope, and forgiveness.

The event includes a book signing and books will be on sale. Do not miss this evening with the acclaimed writer Jamie Ford!

Vegan Ultramarathoner Matt Frazier Discusses His Book "No Meat Athlete: Run on Plants and Discover Your Fittest, Fastest, Happiest Self"

Vegan ultramarathoner and blogger Matt Frazier will be visiting AADL on Saturday, October 12th at 9:30 a.m. to discuss his new book No Meat Athlete: Run on Plants and Discover Your Fittest, Fastest, Happiest Self, as well as talk about his active, vegan lifestyle. Copies of the book will be for sale, and the event includes a book signing.

This event is cosponsored by VegMichigan, a nonprofit organization promoting awareness of the health, environmental and ethical benefits of a plant-based diet. In conjunction with this event, local business Running Fit (at the corner of 4th Ave and E. Liberty) will be hosting group runs at 7:00 a.m. (for distances over 10 miles) and 7:30 a.m. (for distances under 10 miles). Anyone interested in running is invited to lace up and join them! A vegan breakfast will also be available at The Running Institute (connected next door to Running Fit) from 7:30-9:30 a.m.

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