Documentary Film: Going Blind


Documentary film director and journalist Joe Lovett has glaucoma, a disease that robs 4.5 million people of their vision world wide. Over the years, Joe has lost a significant amount of vision and in his concern about how to deal with more vision loss, he has started to talk with people who have already lost theirs; people who have lost their sight through blinding diseases like diabetic retinopathy and macular degeneration, others through infection and accidents. Going Blind interweaves Joe’s story, his mission to do what he can to slow down the course of his disease through medication and surgeries, with the stories of others whom he looks to for guidance in a darkening world. This film will be of interest to anyone concerned about vision loss.

Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room | Tuesday, Dec. 14 | 7-8:30 pm

UMS Book Discussion for Teachers: Free Play: Improvisation in Life and Art

Free Play is directed toward people in any field who want to call up and strengthen their own creative powers. Author, Stephen Nachmanovitch teaches and performs internationally as an improvisational violinist, and has taught master classes and workshops in improvisation at Juilliard and many other conservatories and universities. In the UMS 'Reading Culture' Book Clubs for educators, participants explore and express opinions about stimulating books and learn strategies for leading classroom book discussions. Participants will discover strategies for improvisation that celebrate the power of mistakes and help students trust their own inherent abilities.

Registration is required for this event, which takes place Monday, December 6, 4:30-7:30, in the Downtown Library Multi-Purpose Room. (The first 30 registrants receive a free copy of the book!) To register, call the University Musical Society at 734-615-0122 or email

Roots Musicians & Singers at the Library

We’re hosting an exciting music festival at the Downtown Library on Tues., Dec. 7, 7-8:30 pm. Five musicians who give lessons at Herb David Guitar Studio in Ann Arbor will play short sets of music ranging through folk, rock and jazz. Playing for you will be Al Davenport, Carl Michel, Sean Rogers, Helene Rottenberg and Eric Wickenheiser. Stop by and join the fun graciously provided by our musical neighbors from the corner of Liberty and S. Fifth Ave.

Meet Children's author & illustrator, Mark Crilley!

For many children meeting the author of a favorite book can be a life-changing experience! Mark Crilley, the author of the recent comic book release, Brody's Ghost Vol. 1, will be doing a special visit at the Ann Arbor District Library on Sunday November, 21 from 2:00-3:30 PM at the Downtown Library.

Mark Crilley was raised in Detroit and attended Kalamazoo College where he met children's book writer/illustrator (and 2001 Caldecott award winner) David Small. David’s example inspired Mark to pursue writing and illustrating professionally. Mark’s first series of books featured, “Akiko” The first in the series, "Akiko on the Planet Smoo", was published in 2000; the tenth, "Akiko and the Missing Misp", hit stores in 2008. Mark also wrote the Billy Clikk books and the four-volume manga series "Miki Falls.” Miki Falls has been optioned for film development by Paramount Pictures and Brad Pitt's Plan B production company. Volume two of his newest series, Brody’s Ghost, will be released in January of 2011.

Join us for a high-energy, educational, hilarious and interactive afternoon. From telling stories and drawing characters attendees will be inspired by Mark’s creativity, talent and enthusiasm! The Vault of Midnight will be selling Mark’s books and Mark will sign these (and any personal copies that fans bring with) after his talk.

Film & Discussion: An Untold Triumph

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Even though they endured a racist pre-war climate and weren't even considered U.S. citizens, Filipinos in America rallied to join the American war effort after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. In 1942, an executive order was signed which allowed Filipinos to join the U.S. Army and form a volunteer all-Filipino unit. These troops proved to be an indispensable force in freeing the Philippines from the Japanese, and ultimately, in winning World War II.
This award winning film documents and honors the 7,000 men of the 1st and 2nd Filipino Infantry Regiments of the U.S. Army who fought in WWII. Narrated by Lou Diamond Phillips, An Untold Triumph imparts personal accounts of the soldiers' contributions and sacrifices during the war.
This film is cosponsored by the UM Community Scholars Program. Discussions will be led by the MCSP faculty and students, and by guest speakers. Please join us Thursday, November 11, 6:30-8:30 pm at the Downtown library, multi-purpose room.

Family Guy's Alex Borstein & Cherry Cheva

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Cherry Cheva (full name: Cherry Chevapravatdumrong) is originally from Ann Arbor, and a graduate from Huron High School. She is the author of two novels, She's So Money and DupliKate. She is currently a writer/producer on Family Guy and will be joined by Alex Borstein, the star of MADtv (Ms. Swan) and the voice of Lois on 'Family Guy' Together they will offer an inside look at one of the most popular and creative shows on television.

Author Susan Messer "Grand River and Joy"


With good reason the University of Michigan's Honors Program in the College of Literature and Science selected Grand River and Joy as its required reading book this past summer for incoming Honors students.

Join us downtown at 7pm Thursday, November 4th as Susan Messer discusses her latest book, a finely written novel about events surrounding the riots in Detroit during the late 1960s. The story encapsulates important volatile issues like race, class and economic inequality that remain relevant in today's world.

If you would like to explore the topic further, try Violence in the Model City by Sidney Fine
and The Detroit Riot of 1967 by Hubert Locke.

Family Guy's Alex Borstein and Cherry Cheva !!

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Alex Borstein, the voice of Lois on the Fox TV show Family Guy and the former star of MADtv (Ms. Swan) returns to the Library to discuss Family Guy and her screenwriting career. Joining her is Ann Arbor's own Cherry Cheva, now a writer/producer on Family Guy and the author of teen novels, She's So Money and Duplikate. Do not miss this opportunity to get an inside look at one of the most popular and creative shows on TV. Family Guy has been nominated for many awards, including eleven Primetime Emmy Awards, of which it won three. In 2009, it was nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Comedy Series, the first time an animated series was nominated for the award since The Flintstones in 1961.

Monday, November 8, 7-9 pm, Downtown Library, Multi-Purpose Room, Grades 9-Adult

Author Scott Westerfeld at AADL

The Ann Arbor District Library will be hosting author Scott Westerfeld on Friday, October 29, at the Downtown Library at 7:00 PM. Mr. Westerfeld will be on tour promoting the recent release of Behemoth, the sequel to his book Leviathan.

Leviathan is a living airship in this steampunk World War I story. The young prince of the Austrian-Hungarian Empire gets caught up in a battle between the German steam-powered machines and the Darwinists’ beast-like creatures. As in every war, there is military action, as well as the human side of the story. The young prince must figure out who he can trust and which side he’s on. Along the way he meets Dereyn, a girl who has disguised herself as a boy and is serving on the airship.

Based on real World War I events, the action in "Leviathan" goes cover-to-cover and leaves readers wanting more. Now there is "Behemoth", and the exciting story continues. Both titles have illustrations by Keith Thompson that help the reader picture this imaginative war story. Both books will be on sale at the event, courtesy of Borders, and the author will be available for signing.

Family Cultural Celebration of Poland

Join us for the Family Cultural Celebration of Poland on November 7 at 2:00 pm at the Downtown Library for dancing with the Syrena Dance Ensemble, a sweet taste of makowiec, and a Smok, the Cracow Dragon craft. Guitarist Piotr Dworak will round out this fun event with more music and dancing!

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