Black and Blue: a Timeless Lesson

Join us at the Downtown library for AADL's screening of "Black and Blue" on Wednesday January 18th from 7:00-8:30 PM. This is the story of the 1934 game between Michigan and Georgia Tech. When the Yellow Jackets agreed to play the Wolverines in Ann Arbor that season, they insisted on one condition – Willis Ward, the lone African-American player on the U of M team, had to sit out the game. Ward's teammates - especially Gerald Ford, Ward's roommate and a UM lineman - were outraged when U-M officials agreed to the demand. The incident galvanized UM students and the Ann Arbor community, which held loud and vocal protests against the decision.

Willis was later inducted into the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame. Read the article from the May 22, 1981 issue of the Ann Arbor News.

Chesstastic is Happening

Whether you want to practice up for the Thurston Chess Tournament on January 21, or you just want to simply enjoy a couple games of Chess, head over to the Traverwood branch on Sunday, January 15, 1-4pm.
Board games will be available.
Power up your chess strategies with, Starting Chess if you're a beginner, or check out Chess Tactics for Champions if you're more experienced. All levels are welcome!

Don't miss the ARCADE MASTER CHAMPIONSHIPS: coming this Friday!

If you've been Downtown this season for any of AADL-GT Gaming Events then you probably already know about the Arcade Master Series . But if you haven't, don't worry, there is still a chance to participate! The Arcade Master Series is an Old-school Hi-Score Contest (think "The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters") and each month we have had a different game. In August we took Ms. Pac-man out for a run. September had us battling space sprites in Galaga. Tapper in October taught us an important lesson about spending too much time at the bar. November was Frogger's 30th Anniversary, and with it came our first use of MAME in tournament play. This month is super special with Robotron.

To commemorate the big finish for this first-ever series, AADL and the UM Computer & Video Game Archive present the ARCADE MASTER CHAMPIONSHIPS, featuring LIVE MUSIC, OLD GAMES, and BIG PRIZES!

So how can you take part and fight for your chance to be crowned Arcade Master? not to mention win the grand prize: win an iPad2 with iCade mini arcade cabinet! Read on.

Watching DVDs Over the Holidays?

How about doing us a big favor, as well as a favor for many of our patrons who benefit from watching films with Descriptive Video Service? Check the language settings at the beginning of the DVD menu to see if there is a described narration track, or see if it says "Described Narration" on the label. Then, add a comment to this blog indicating the name of the DVD & I will add it if it's not already on this list. Described narration can be on both youth & adult DVDs. More and more films are being produced with this feature. Some of these DVDs are now available by mail to our WLBPD patrons, too!

Holiday Meals for Community Members

Hope Clinic, located at 518 Harriet St. in Ypsilanti, will be serving free hot meals from 4-5pm on all of the following days: Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve, and New Year’s Day.

Faith in Action and Our Savior Lutheran Church are sponsoring a Community Christmas Day Dinner at 1515 S. Main St. (next door to the McDonald's) in Chelsea. Dinner begins at 1pm and is open to anyone who would like to attend. To get on the headcount list, call 734-475-3305. Salads, desserts, and volunteers needed.

The Best of 2011

If you see this limited edition rickshaw around town, it is likely some fabulous person checked it off on my list, Ho! Ho! Ho! (Those who know me would get a big kick out of this).

If your gift-giving tend to be more sensible and yet thoughtful, you could get some great ideas from the New York Times Gift Guides, regardless of your budget.

I particularly rely on the The New York Times 100 Notable Books of the year for the bookish ones on my list.

For the visual readers young and old, you cannot go wrong with any of the Best Illustrated Books. Or perhaps one of the 65 Best Books of 2011, chosen by School Library Journal from the more than 6000 books reviewed this year might bring a smile and a big hug?

Impeccable in their selections, the editors of the Library Journal have a few suggestions to share as well, especially for the nonfiction readers on your list. Don't miss the Librarian's Best, and the Best Genre Fiction of the year.

Ah! What about those hard-to-please teenagers? Try LJ's Best Graphic Novels and Best YA literature that might even please the sophisticated ones among them.

Kirkus Reviews - The World's Toughest Book Critics, picked their 2011 Best Fiction, Best Nonfiction, Best Books for Teens, and Best Books for Children. Close to my heart are the Best Debut Fiction.

Worth mentioning is Epicurious' pick of the Best Cookbooks for the foodies and cooks in your life.

Those poor guys deserve a break from the usual sweater, gloves and ties, why not let Esquire Magazine do the thinking for you? You can always blame them!

Greatest Inventions for the Physically Impaired

This list of Greatest Inventions for Physically Impaired people came to our attention from Best Online Colleges.com. Is there anything you would add or remove? With technology changing so quickly, it would be great to elicit input from you, our patrons! Their website is worth a gander if you are looking for on-line higher education programs, too.

December's Books to Film

Steven Spielberg directs the animated film adaptation of The Adventures of TINTIN. This first of a planned triogy is base on a very popular comic book series created in 1929 by a Belgian artist who called himself Hergé. Clever and ever-curious, TINTIN is a reporter-turned-detective whose pursuit of villains, criminals, treasure and the occasional artifact takes him all over the world, along with a colorful cast of friends. Hergé based his stories on real-world events and cultures - from space exploration to Arab oil wars.

Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close is adapted from Jonathan Safran Foer's critically acclaimed novel in which 9 year-old Oskar Schell embarks on an urgent, secret mission that will take him through the five boroughs of New York in order to find the lock that matches a mysterious key that belonged to his father, who died in the World Trade Center on the morning of September 11. This seemingly impossible task will bring Oskar into contact with survivors of all sorts on an exhilarating, affecting, often hilarious, and ultimately healing journey.

I was perfectly happy with the original film adaptation of Stieg Larsson's The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, the first in his Millennium Trilogy. But I could be persuaded to take in the American remake coming this month with some irresistible big names (Daniel Craig, Christopher Plummer) and a sizzling newcomer (Rooney Mara).

Benjamin Mee's memoir is adapted in the feature film We Bought a Zoo. Benjamin Mee, a former newspaper columnist, known for his humorous "Do It Yourself" column in the UK’s Guardian Weekend moved his family to an unlikely new home: a dilapidated zoo in the English countryside. Mee had a dream to refurbish the zoo and run it as a family business. Nothing was easy, given the family’s lack of experience as zookeepers, and what follows is a magical exploration of the mysteries of the animal kingdom, the power of family, and the triumph of hope over tragedy.

White Christmas Sing-a-Long

Do you like old movies? Do you sing along with musicals in your living room? Well, if you have been bitten by the holiday spirit bug, and answered “yes” to the previous two questions, then the Michigan Theater has the event for you! On Sunday, November 27th, at 4:00 p.m., the Michigan Theater will have the event, “Irving Berlin’s Sing-a-Long White Christmas.” Yes, you can sing along with Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney, and Vera-Ellen in the pernially popular 1954 musical, “White Christmas,” with music by Irving Berlin. Lyrics will be provided on the big screen, and good bags will be provided too! If you were wondering what to do after the turkey and Black Friday shopping madness, you have found your answer.

Cost is $15 for adults
$12 for children, students (with i.d.), seniors, and U.S. veterans
$10 for Michigan Theater Members

Celebrate The Baltics!

Join us for the Baltics Family Cultural Celebration on November 20 at 2:00 pm at the Downtown Library! We’ll get to hear Baltic music, listen to a Latvian folk tale, learn the Estonian Frog Rite Dance, see a real Latvian in a genuine Dancer’s Costume, and do Latvian, Estonian, and Lithuanian crafts! We’ll even be lucky enough to have a taste of Jāņu siers, a delicacy from the region. Learn all about Baltic culture at this fun event!

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