Help for women in transition

A valuable local resource is The Center for the Continuing Education for Women. Not just for University of Michigan students and staff, the Center provides classes, counseling and panel discussions on a range of topics including balancing work and other demands, re-entering the workforce, and resume and interviewing skills. Their lecture series features women who have overcome obstacles to become successful like activist, Ai-Jen Poo who drafted a bill of rights for domestic workers. On Friday, March 5, CEW will host their annual career conference which is open to the public. There is a registration fee. For more information, call 734-764-6005.

The Library has a great selection of books for women making career decisions or just starting out after college. One that's been published recently is The Anti 9 to 5 Guide: Practical Career Advice for Women Who Think Outside the Cube. It's full of straightforward strategies for making it on your own and has a "snappy," upbeat tone. Note: CEW serves men as well.

Come learn about a new technique for your health and well-being

On Wednesday, September 9th at 7 pm at the Pittsfield Branch, we will host a program lead by local resident Michelle Obrecht about the Alexander Technique, a set of practices for improving health and well-being. I had never heard of the technique, so I asked Michelle to provide a description, and she wrote:

"The Alexander Technique is a 100-year old process of postural re-education designed to promote self-awareness and enhance well-being. Most of us are completely unaware of the many unconscious habits we have that result in spinal compression and restricted breathing. Alexander Technique provides a specific formula that helps us shed self-defeating postural habits and replace them with habits of elongation and expansion. Most people think of posture as something rigid and held; on the contrary, Alexander work teaches that good posture is simply an attunement with the balance that nature has
intrinsically provided us."

When I asked her what equipment she will need, she said "I'll just need a straight-backed chair."

It sounds interesting and like something we can do in our own homes. Come check it out!

826Michigan books for you

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The library owns a few books put out by 826Michigan (the fabulous local non-profit that offers tutoring and workshops, and supports writing endeavors for kids age 6-18.) They have many books that are samples and collections of students’ work, highlighting the best and brightest of writing talent that will knock your socks off. True Stories and Tall Tales culminates a year’s worth of work at Ypsilanti’s Childs Elementary School and features histories, fantasies, and other such silliness written by the students, while lead by 826Michigan volunteers.

Another book written by 826Michigan students, and other 826 chapters across the country, is Thanks and Have Fun Running the Country: Kids' Letters to President Obama. Which is essentially just that: a collection of letters written by kids and addressed to President Obama. Some are funny, some are heartfelt, all are worth reading.

If you’re looking for more works put out by 826, or some McSweeney’s titles, or want to hear more about what they do there, check out the shelves at the Liberty Street Robot Repair and Supply Shop at 115 E. Liberty.

826michigan Summer Workshops

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Registration for 826michigan's summer workshops is now open! Workshops are on a variety of subjects, including screenwriting, correspondence, poetry, puppetry, and more! There's even drop-in writing time for all ages. 826michigan's workshops are very popular- they fill up quickly so be sure to get your registration in early. Workshops are age specific, and each student can register for two workshops in the summer. Write on!

Interested in a Habitat Home?

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You may qualify for home ownership through Habitat for Humanity of Huron Valley! In order to qualify you must be able to demonstrate a need for simple, decent housing, the ability to pay, and a willingness to partner with Habitat for Humanity. If you are interested in owning your own home but are unable to qualify for a conventional mortgage, and you live in Washtenaw County and have steady income, contact Habitat for Humanity of Huron Valley at 734-677-1558 ext. 104. Opportunities are also available for volunteers!

News from the Ypsilanti Historical Society

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Join us at the Ypsilanti District Library (5577 Whittaker Rd, Ypsilanti, MI) on Saturday, January 10, at 11:00 a.m. for the unveiling of an online archive of the Ypsilanti Historical Society's newsletter, Ypsilanti Gleanings. This event will include a demonstration of the site and a presentation on Ypsilanti history by Al Rudisill, President of the Ypsilanti Historical Society.

AATA Introduces a New Route

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The Ride (a.k.a. the Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti bus system) has introduced a new route just in time for the holidays. On December 1, AATA began service on Route 17; Amtrak-Depot St. This route starts and ends at Blake Transit Center and offers service to City Hall, Community High School, Kerrytown, and the Amtrak station on Depot St. For people like myself, who are planning to take the Amtrak train out of the city for the holidays and who have light baggage, this route offers convenient access to the train station for $1 (or less) per trip. For more details on Route 17 and other services of The Ride, visit their website or call at (734) 996-0400.

Homebound With Nothing To Read?

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Being stuck at home because of bad weather can be frustrating. Think of how frustrating it would be to be homebound due to a long term illness or an injury with nothing to read, no CDs to listen to and not one DVD to watch. Did you know that the Friends of the Ann Arbor District Library will deliver and pickup library materials to library card holders who are homebound for these reasons? A volunteer from the Friends of AADL will work with the homebound individual to select as well as deliver and pick up library materials. If you or someone you know is homebound and would like homebound delivery, then call 327-4220 for more information.

Get Your Dave Eggers On

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Dave Eggers was a Pulitzer Prize finalist for his first book, A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius. The book is a memoir with “a few exaggerations.” Being a fan of memoirs with heart and humor, I was instantly sold on this book. It follows the story of Eggers as he is dealing with the death of both parents within the same month, becoming a parent to his younger brother and then moving across country- all at the age of 21. Chicago born Eggers (writer, editor, publisher) is known for being the founder of Might magazine, McSweeney’s and 826 Valencia. (There are now six chapters of 826 National, including a fabulous writing center in Ann Arbor.) He has since written other novels as well, including, What is the What and You Shall Know Our Velocity.

Many Happy Returns

Want to learn how to e-file your own income tax returns? The Women’s Center of Southeastern Michigan's tax program Many Happy Returns provides this opportunity with the assistance of trained volunteers. Sessions are on Saturdays and Wednesdays through April 12th. There is a suggested donation to participate. Call 973-6779 for more information.

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