February is Black History Month

Signal of LibertySignal of LibertyThe best way to celebrate and honor Black History Month is to delve into history. What better place to do that than the Library?

This February, AADL has several events and resources to help you mark Black History Month by honoring those who came before, their traditions, and our hopes for the future.
EVENTS:
April Ryan, a 30-year journalism veteran, the White House correspondent for American Urban Radio Networks, and the only black female reporter covering urban issues from the White House has just released a new book, The Presidency in Black and White: My Up-Close View of Three Presidents and Race in America, a behind-the-scenes look at the inner workings of race relations as it relates to the White House. She will be at the Downtown Library on Monday, February 16 at 7 pm to discuss the book, her career, the three presidents she’s covered, and her experiences.

The Sankofa Ensemble takes their name from a word that means “to retrieve the goodness from the past”. They will teach us about the traditions of Ghanaian and West African music and play authentic instruments from Ghana. Families will especially enjoy being able to get up and dance to the music, and learning more about traditional African dancing. The Sankofa Ensemble will perform on Saturday, February 21 at 2 pm in the Downtown Library’s Multi-Purpose Room.

The last very special Black History Month event features the relatives of a prominent Civil Rights figure: Rosa Parks. Sheila McCauley Keys is Rosa Parks’ niece, and she and her siblings grew up very closely with their aunt when she moved to Detroit. They have recently released a new book of memories of their aunt, Our Auntie Rosa: the Family of Rosa Parks Remembers Her Life and Lessons, and Sheila will visit the Downtown Library on Tuesday, February 24 at 7 pm. She will talk about her new book and her Auntie Rosa, and she will take questions from the audience.

PRIMARY SOURCES:
Of course, libraries are fantastic resources for more than just events. Here at AADL, we have the African American Cultural & Historical Museum of Washtenaw County’s Living Oral History Videos. These are recorded interviews with local African-Americans discussing what they witnessed and experienced and their perspectives relating to race, gender, education, equality, faith, housing, employment, community building activities, and social infrastructure in our area. These amazing videos show what a historical resource our own people are, and make learning about history as easy as a conversation with your grandparents.

Newspapers are also great historical resources. AADL has digitized copies of local abolitionist newspaper Signal of Liberty which was started in April 1841 and published almost every week from an office on Broadway Street in Ann Arbor. Issues featured local and national news, anti-slavery poems, interviews with emancipated slaves, minutes from anti-slavery meetings, and stories by abolitionists about helping people escape from slavery. Reading these articles helps us to understand issues surrounding slavery, why people opposed this dark part of our past, and how ordinary people participated in the fight for freedom.

Whatever part of history you are interested in, your library is a resource for research, learning, and commemorating.

Affordable Housing Options for Seniors and People with Disabilities

Washtenaw Association for Community Advocacy and Partners in Personal Assistance are offering free workshops each month related to the needs of senior citizens and people with disabilities. On Tuesday, January 20, the workshop “Affordable Housing Options for Seniors and People with Disabilities” will be offered at 6:30pm at Washtenaw Community College’s Gunder Myran building, Room 316. Representatives from the following organizations will discuss their programs and services, and outline options for people who seek service-enriched housing: Housing Access Washtenaw County (HAWC); Housing Bureau for Seniors; Ann Arbor Housing Commission; Avalon Housing; and Fair Housing Center. Since seating is limited to approximately 40 persons per workshop, reservations are recommended by calling PPA, (734) 214-3890 or Washtenaw ACA, (734) 662-1256.

Trick or Treat Down the River!

Trick-or-treat Down the River is coming up Sunday, Oct. 19 from noon to 5 pm at Gallup Park, 3000 Fuller Road. The event is sponsored by .Ann Arbor Parks and Recreation. By canoe or kayak, boaters will see creatures along the river handing out treats. Cost is $18 per boat. Children must be at least 1 year old to be in a boat. Bring a bag for candy, and feel free to wear a costume.

City Of Ann Arbor 2015 Sustainable Ann Arbor Forum: Responsible Resource Use

Thursday April 9, 2015: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

This event will be recorded

Join the conversation about sustainability in Ann Arbor as the City and the Ann Arbor District Library host their annual Sustainable Ann Arbor series.

The final event in the series centers on Responsible Resource Use, including an overview of waste, compost, and recycling across the community. The series includes four events (ending with this session in April), each focusing on a different element of sustainability from Ann Arbor’s sustainability framework.

A think tank of local stakeholders including representatives from community organizations, City of Ann Arbor staff, and Washtenaw County staff will join the public to discuss local sustainability efforts and challenges in our community. The program will include a series of short presentations followed by a question and answer session. Speakers for the Responsible Resource Use discussion include:

• Aaron Burman, Senior Engineer, Resource Recycling Systems
• Robert Kellar, Communications Specialist, City of Ann Arbor
• Keith Soster, Director of Student Engagement, University of Michigan Dining
• Bryan Weinert, Policy Advisor & Zero Waste Advocate, Recycle Ann Arbor

City Of Ann Arbor 2015 Sustainable Ann Arbor Forum: Sustainable Systems

Thursday March 12, 2015: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

This event will be recorded

Join the conversation about sustainability in Ann Arbor as the City and the Ann Arbor District Library host their annual Sustainable Ann Arbor series.The series includes four events, each focusing on a different element of sustainability from Ann Arbor’s sustainability framework.

The third event in the series centers on Sustainable Systems, including an overview of city wet weather projects and community-led solutions to increased precipitation.

A think tank of local stakeholders including representatives from community organizations, City of Ann Arbor staff, and Washtenaw County staff will join the public to discuss local sustainability efforts and challenges in our community. Each program will include a series of short presentations followed by a question and answer session. The forums offer an opportunity to learn more about sustainability in the community and tips for actions that residents can take to live more sustainably.

• Nathan Ayers, Director, Chiwara Permaculture and Partner, UM Permaculture Initiative
• Susan Bryan, Rain Garden Coordinator, Washtenaw County Water Resources Commissioner's Office
• Shannan Gibb-Randall, Principal, In-Site Design Studio
• Jen Lawson, Water Quality Manager, City of Ann Arbor
• Laura Rubin, Executive Director, Huron River Watershed Council

Summer Food and Fun: Cobblestone Farm Market

If you’re looking for something fun and healthy to do this summer, check out Cobblestone Farm Market, open Tuesdays 4-7 pm. To see the events calendar, click here. The market is in Buhr Park, 2751 Packard Road, off Packard near where Packard meets Eisenhower.

Spring GED Preparation Classes

Ann Arbor Public Schools Adult Education is offering an opportunity for students to prepare for the new 2014 GED Test. GED preparation classes will be held on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6 to 8 pm from May 29th to June 26 at Ann Arbor Tech High School. Registration for classes is May 27 and 28 from 4 to 6 pm at Ann Arbor Tech High School in room 210. These classes are available for presently enrolled GED students as well as newly registered students. There are no class or testing fees. If you have questions, please call (734)997-1250.

If you're working to get your GED, be sure to check out AADL's Homework Help page. There are many resources available to help you on your way!

Databases for the History Buff

A click on the aadl.org Research tab at the top of the page will introduce you to a wealth of databases covering such subjects as Car Repair, Literature, and Investing.

For those with a history interest, the databases are especially rich.

Start at the History and Biography Page and go from there. You'll find local history aadl.org-hosted sites like Ann Arbor Observer: Then & Now, Freeing John Sinclair, and Old News. An exploration of Other Sites reveals a yield so diverse, you can find, within minutes, the legend of the Birth of Hatshepsut, National Security discussions between Henry Kissinger and President Gerald Ford, a transcript of the 1783 Treaty of Paris ending the Revolutionary War, and the actual scanned pages of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle from May 24, 1883 touting the Opening of the Brooklyn Bridge (click on "View" and then "View Item in PDF" to get the full article) along with the May 31, 1883 edition recording the subsequent, deadly Panic on the Bridge and much more.

The Newspaper section allows you to browse historical editions of the Ann Arbor News, New York Times, Wall Street Journal and others. If you know what you're looking for, you can easily track down such unusual items as the Washington Post's 1933 Obituary of Mrs. George A. Custer.

Let your love of history go wild and see what you can find.

Arborwiki Edit Night At Arbor Brewing

Wednesday April 23, 2014: 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm -- Arbor Brewing - 114 East Washington

What's ArborWiki? ArborWiki is the community generated source for details on everything from birthday deals to local history to the lowdown on local playgrounds.

Since it's a "civic wiki" it's created, edited and maintained by locals. Who are those locals? That could mean you! If you have an interest in any aspect of the Arbor/Ypsi area - parks, history, local happenings - you might be a perfect ArborWiki contributor or editor.

Come hang out and grab a frosty beverage at Arbor Brewing (114 East Washington in Ann Arbor), meet some of the current crew of editors, and hop in to edit or create entries about your community. Bring your laptop or use one one of ours!

Arborwiki Edit Night

Wednesday March 26, 2014: 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm -- Downtown Library: aadlfreespace

This event is intended for adults and teens grade 9 and up

What’s ArborWiki? It’s the community generated source for details on everything from birthday deals to local history to the lowdown on volunteer opportunities for youth and teens. Since it’s a “civic wiki” it’s created, edited and maintained by locals. That could mean you!

If you have an interest in any aspect of the Arbor/Ypsi area—parks, history, local happenings—you might be a perfect ArborWiki contributor or editor. Meet some of the current crew of editors and hop in to edit/create entries about your community. Bring your laptop or use one of ours!

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