Make Your Own Tutu!

Would you like to make and own your very own tutu? Join us for a Tutu Making Workshop at 2pm on June 28th, in the Multipurpose Room at the Downtown Library! We’ll have all the materials you need to make your very own no-sew tutu out of tulle and ribbon of various colors.

Here are some books to get you started:
T is for Tutu: A Ballet Alphabet
Just Grace and her Terrible Tutu
Tallulah’s Tutu
Fancy Nancy and the Mermaid Ballet

And some DVDs of my favorite ballets!
Swan Lake, with an all male cast
Swan Lake, by the American Ballet Theater
Ballet for Boys

This event is for kids grades K through 12.

3D Printing with All Hands Active: 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm Saturday June 16, 2012 -- Downtown Library

3D Printing has been featured on CNN, the Colbert Report, and in Time Magazine, and now this technology is coming to the AADL! Learn about how these machines turn computer sketches into objects, watch one work, and practice making and customizing designs.

Led by Ann Arbor's All Hands Active, this workshop will introduce participants to this quickly developing technology. We’ll see how a 3D Printer works to create objects before your eyes, and even experiment with designing some objects using the freely available Google Sketchup. Participants will be able to submit simple designs to be printed and picked up at a later date.

This event will be held in the Training Center on the third floor of the Downtown Library and is intended for all ages.

Downtown Library 2012: 2nd Community Forum Update

The second community forum to discuss the future of the downtown library was held Tuesday, June 12 from 7:00 -8:45 PM in the Multipurpose Room at the Downtown Library. We appreciate those who have chosen to spend time talking with us about 21st century library service at the forums held on June 9 and June 12. The third forum will be held Wednesday, June 20, from 7:00 - 8:45 PM in the 4th Floor Meeting Room of the Downtown Library.

I am including the agenda and the content of our information boards, along with this video of the discussion in this message. This update also includes a video tour of some of the non-public areas of the downtown library. Tours will also be available to those attending the forum on June 20, however, the tour is not accessible.

For those of you unable to attend, please don't hesitate to send your comments, questions or concerns to or comment on this post.


Recording of June 12th Downtown Library Forum

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Start planning & building your entry for the 7th Annual LEGO Contest!

2011 LEGO Contest2011 LEGO Contest
If it's summer it's LEGO Contest time! One of our largest and most anticipated events is scheduled for Thursday, August 2, at the Kensington Court Hotel, 610 Hilton Blvd., (near Briarwood Mall). Last year we had over 200 entries and we can be sure there will even more this year!. Preschoolers, Kid, Teens and Adults are invited to participate. New this year: PEOPLE'S CHOICE! Attendees of the contest may vote for one project in each age category. People's Choice winners will receive a special LEGO trophy. For all the details read the complete rules and guidelines, and then start building!

Downtown Library 2012: First Community Forum Update

The first community forum to discuss the future of the Downtown Library was held Saturday, June 9 in the Multipurpose Room of the Downtown Library. We appreciate those who have chosen to spend time talking with us about 21st century library service at these events.

I am including the agenda and the content of our information boards, along with this video of the discussion in this message.

For those of you unable to attend, please don't hesitate to send your comments, questions or concerns to or comment on this post.


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Scientific Illustration Drawing Lab: Saturday June 9, 2012: 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm -- Downtown Library

Ever wonder who does the illustrations you see in Gray's Atlas of Anatomy, top science magazines such as National Geographic, Scientific American and Nature; and at New York’s American Museum of Natural History, the Los Angeles Museum of Natural History and at zoos, aquaria and botanical gardens such as the National Zoo and the Kew Botanical Gardens?

Join us this Saturday, June 9th at our downtown location for a visit from Megan E. Foldenauer, a certified medical illustrator from Wayne State University.

Megan will demonstrate her incredible artistic gift and skill and then you can practice your own illustration skills with all specimens and art supplies provided.

Lifestyling with Diabetes

Diabetes is a common problem in older adults. By the age of 75, approximately 20% of the population is afflicted with this illness. Jennifer Merritt-Hackel, a nurse practitioner and certified diabetes educator at UM Geriatrics Center Clinics, will discuss how to practice a low-risk lifestyle to promote optimum health for individuals with diabetes and those who wish to prevent it. You will have a chance to ask questions and evaluate your own risk for getting diabetes.

Tuesday, June 5, 7-8:30 pm | Downtown Library | Lower Level Multi-Purpose Room

Downtown Library 2012

The Ann Arbor District Library Board is hosting three community forums in June to discuss the future of the Downtown Library. In March of this year, the Library Board commissioned an EPIC-MRA telephone survey, and based on the results of the survey, the Board is considering the options on how to provide 21st century services in a building originally built in 1958 and renovated twice. The last of two renovations was completed in 1991. The AADL library system has received 1.7 million visits a year for several years and the Downtown Library alone receives over 600,000 visits each year. The library in Ann Arbor is, and will be, about books for a long time to come, but more importantly, it is about people. How will people use a library going forward, what will people need, and what type of building can provide for that need and those demands?

Currently, the capacity of the Downtown Library is constraining the services we can offer. If the level of service and the array of program offerings currently enjoyed by the thousands of people using the library are to continue to grow into the future, these building constraints need to be considered and addressed.

Please join us for one of three community forums to learn what we know about our current situation, and to tell us what you think about the future of the Downtown Library in Ann Arbor. All three meetings will be held in the lower level multi-purpose room in the Downtown Library.

June 9, Saturday from 10:00 AM to Noon
June 12, Tuesday from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
June 20, Wednesday from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM

If you are not able to join us at one of these community forums, questions and comments can be sent to All questions and answers will be posted on this blog.


Author Caitlin Horrocks Discusses her Work and Announces the Winners of the 20th Annual Teen Short Story Contest

Winning the Teen Short Story contest in 1997, Caitlin Horrocks will be back as a guest speaker at this 20th Year Celebration of teen writers. Caitlin's stories have appeared in Best American Short Stories 2011, and The PEN/O.Henry Prize Stories 2009, among others. Released in June 2011, This Is Not Your City a debut collection of short stories received praise, ". . .impressively sharp" and "appealingly rugged-hearted" (New York Times)

350 submissions were received this year from teens in grades 6th through 12th. All finalists have been notified and will be honored at an Awards Ceremony on Saturday, May 12, 1:30-3:00 pm in the downtown library's, Multi-Purpose Room. The top three winners will receive $250 for 1st Place, $150 for 2nd Place, and $100 for 3rd Place in three grade categories. All finalists will receive certificates honoring their achievement. Stories were judges by an impressive team of authors for teens.
We applaud all the teen writers for their creativity and talent!

Introducing Judge #6 for the Teen Short Story Writing Contest

Bluefish is the fourth teen novel for Pat Schmatz. This latest book received a starred review from Horn Book Magazine, Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, and School Library Journal. In Bluefish, everything changes for thirteen-year-old Travis, a new student who is trying to hide his illiteracy, when he meets a sassy classmate with her own secrets and a remarkable teacher. Pat currently lives in rural Wisconsin.

She is also a Judge for this year's It's All Write Teen short story writing contest. The panel of 10 judges will look at the finalists in three grade categories of 6-7-8 (Middle School), 9-10 (High School) and 11-12 (High School) and select the winners who will be announced at an Awards Ceremony on May 12, 2012.

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