Park & Read Passes Have Arrived!

Grand Haven State ParkGrand Haven State Park

Now's your chance to get a free one-day pass into any Michigan State Park or recreation area with a Park & Read Pass from AADL this summer! How does it work?

  • A limited number of passes are available at each AADL branch. Passes are available on a first come, first serve basis and can not be reserved. Only one pass may be checked out to a single library card holder at one time. Each pass is good for the free entrance and parking of one car (bring the whole family if they'll fit!) at a State Park or recreation area.
  • When checking out a pass, you'll be given a printed admission card and brochure by the Circulation desk. This admission card is your pass and is turned in at the park on arrival. You don't have to return anything to the library! Passes must be used within seven days of checkout, and can only be used once.
  • For a list of parks and areas you can visit, click here!
  • Park & Read Passes are available this year until October 1st, 2011. Get your pass today and enjoy summer in Michigan at the park!

    Exhibition: Modernism at Risk/Michigan Matters

    The exhibition Modernism at Risk/Michigan Matters continues through April 20 in the Taubman College Liberty Annex, 305 W. Liberty St. This exhibition was organized by the University of Michigan Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning and the World Monuments Fund. The initiative is aimed at addressing threats facing great works of modern architecture around the world.

    What's a Gator-Raiser, You Ask?

    American Red CrossAmerican Red Cross

    The Red Cross provides Gatorade, water, food and other services for both firefighters and victims in times of emergency. The Washtenaw County Red Cross needs you to join them at Busch’s Fresh Food Market to help with local Disaster Relief from 9:00 AM-2:00 PM on March 12, 2011, at their 3rd annual Gator-Raiser. Please consider donating electrolyte-replenishing beverages this week-end!

    AXIS Coffeehouse Presents...Sandy Ryder!

    image by Francis, Flickr.comimage by Francis, Flickr.com
    This Friday's AXIS Coffeehouse will be a very special one, featuring none other than the Wild Swan Theater's Sandy Ryder. Ms. Ryder will be in the Malletts Creek program room to give all and sundry tips on poetry as performance. We're going to have a lot of fun! The question is, will you be here having fun too?

    For more on poetry as performance, try these:
    Wham!, a guide to performance poetry for young people.
    The Poetry Lounge: The Power of Performance, a DVD demonstrating poetry performance techniques.
    The Spoken Word Revolution, a collection of performance poetry, with a CD so you can listen to the poems!

    Malletts Creek | 6:30-8:00 p.m. | Friday, March 11

    Grief Support

    Are you or someone you know experiencing the grief of loss? The Saint Joseph Mercy Health System is offering a six part Grief Support Series over the next five months. This program offers a supportive environment for those dealing with the loss of a loved one. The first session of the Grief Recovery Series will be held today from 6:30-8 pm at the Washtenaw Medical Arts Building. These sessions are offered free to the public and do require registration. You can register by calling the Saint Joseph Mercy Hospital at either (734) 327-3409 or (734) 712-2920. For further support in a time of loss the AADL offers several books and dvd’s for your use.

    Fun New Guide to Ann Arbor

    Ann Arbor has made it onto Design Sponge, the popular online design blog. One of Design Sponge’s popular features are the city guides that offer lists and images of hot spots in cities all over the world. The latest city guide is a guide to Ann Arbor. Of course, it’s not an inclusive list to all the great places to go in Ann Arbor, but it features some great stuff, was written by a local, and features artwork by a local. Pretty neat! What stops in our fine city would you add to the list?
    DesignSpongeDesignSponge

    Budgeting 101

    cashcash

    The Michigan State University Extension is holding a Budgeting 101 workshop on September 22 from 6:30pm and 8:00pm in the Washtenaw County Learning Resource Center. Participants will learn about money management, financial planning, and family budgeting. Anyone can register by September 20 by calling 734-222-3943.

    Dexter, Chelsea, Manchester and Saline: Then & Now

    Dexter villageDexter village

    Thanks to local historian Grace Shackman, we've recently added to Ann Arbor Observer: Then & Now dozens of past articles from the Community Observer tracking the histories of our neighboring communities Dexter, Chelsea, Manchester and Saline. Some articles, including one about the origins of area libraries, another on the county's one-room schoolhouses, and a third detailing Christmases past cover the history of the subject in all four locations. You can also read many feature-length articles about the architectural landmarks, businesses and people that characterize the towns, from the Chelsea Private Hospital and the Dexter Underpass to the Manchester Mill and Saline Valley Farms. Grace has also written about the smaller villages of Dixboro and Delhi.

    Small Business Loans

    MoneyMoney

    A major problem facing small business owners today is the difficulty in arranging credit and bank loans to finance ongoing operations. Many financial institutions have been reluctant to lend money at a reasonable rate, if at all.

    One retailer, Sam's Club, realizing this situation was impacting their business customer's ability to buy at their stores, has gotten creative. About half of the store's members are small business owners and they account for more than half the revenue at the retailer. As a result of surveying their customer's needs, they will soon start marketing S.B.A. loans of $5,000 to $25,000 for members nationwide. The company that is managing the loans is giving Sam's members a $100 discount on the application fee, and lower interest rates, because of how much business it expects through the arrangement. You can learn about how it works at Sam's Club S.B.A. Program.

    The Ann Arbor District Library has many resources designed to help small business owners.

    To find potential new business use Reference USA to get detailed information on over 15 million businesses including company size and sales information, stock information, and management biographies. To discover new ways of doing business and up-to-date management techniques use General Business File to find millions of articles on business and finance for analyzing company performance, industry events, and the latest in management, economics, and politics.

    Legal Guide for Starting & Running a Small Business, Deduct It!: Lower Your Small Business Taxes, The 7 Irrefutable Rules Of Small Business Growth and The Small Business Start-up Kit are just a small sample of the many books we have devoted to helping the small business owner.

    Brush Up on Bicycle Safety!

    Ride RightRide RightJoseph Kane's Famous First Facts, a wonderfully informative and interesting resource, notes that it was on this day in 1896 that the first reported automobile accident causing injury in the United States occurred. This first injury accident was an automobile-bicycle collision resulting in a fractured leg, and represents a cautionary event that's still relevant 114 years later.

    Keeping cyclists safe is everybody's responsibility. Even way back then, the law relied on cyclists to be visible in traffic and to pedestrians, and to outfit their bikes appropriately for the conditions. According to an article in an 1899 edition of the New York Times, that city's own squad of bicycle policemen had made 65 arrests by 10pm on June 4th, most of which were for cyclists riding without a light and bell.

    To help cyclists of all ages try to avoid the various road and traffic hazards, the AADL offers many helpful resources.

    Try this search to get you started on bike safety materials for young and beginning riders. There is also a Safety Town run jointly by the Ann Arbor Police Department and the Ann Arbor Public Schools Community Education & Recreation Department. Safety Town was founded in my hometown of Mansfield, Ohio in 1937 by a traffic commissioner and a kindergarten teacher, and "includes pedestrian safety, bike safety, stranger safety, drug awareness, fire safety, school bus safety, outdoor safety and seat belt safety." I remember having an absolute blast riding my tricycle around the miniature town (with Mansfield landmark buildings and working stop light!), obeying all the rules of the road I'd just learned. If the program is anything like it was back then, I can strongly recommend it for any young person.

    Even we old(er) cyclists need to keep reminding ourselves how to stay safe. Here are a few books that might help us stay upright and moving forward. Parts of David Hough's Proficient Motorcycling are actually very relevant to bicyclists (and anyone in traffic). I haven't read anything anywhere that's had a better effect on my understanding of visibility, sight lines, and awareness.

    For a little perspective, Kane reports that almost exactly three years after that first accident, a bicycle officer made the first ever arrest of a driver for speeding. The driver was traveling at the "breakneck speed" of 12mph on NYC's Lexington Ave.

    Oh, and did I mention that speedster back in 1899 was an electric car?

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