World Hobbit Day Celebration!

Saturday, September 21 | 2:00-3:30pm | DTN-MPR | All Ages

September 22 is the birthday of Frodo and Bilbo, hobbits from J.R.R. Tolkein’s famous fantasies The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. World Hobbit Day has been celebrated by fans all over the world since 1978, and this year AADL is getting in on the game, and we’re celebrating a day early.

Join us for a wonderful celebration of these fantastic books and movies. (The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug is in theaters on December 13th!) In our Shire-for-a-day there will be Hobbit-themed games such as a Lord of the Ring toss, craft projects such as dragons and beards, and special snacks such as lembas bread.

Feel free to dress up as your favorite Middle Earth character to get into the spirit of things! (Note: Even hobbits have to wear shoes while in the library.)

Write Michigan Short Story Contest

The second annual Write Michigan Short Story Contest just began one week ago on September 3! All ages are encouraged to enter their stories of 3000 words or less in one of the following categories: Youth (up to 11 years old), Teen (12-17 years old) or Adult (18 or older with a $10 entry fee). Writers have three months to enter, with November 30 as the final submission date. A few of the judges for the contest include Liesel Litzenburger, Lori Nelson Spielman, Ruth McNally Barshaw, Deborah Diesen, and Laurie Keller.

To find out more information about submitting a story, click here.

Want even more opportunities to write and express yourself? Keep an eye out for three of AADL’s exciting writing programs: National Novel Writing Month (November 2013), It’s All Write Short Story Contest for teens (January 2014), and the Youth Short Story Program (March 2014) for grades 3-5!

An Illustrated Treasury of Scottish Folk and Fairy Tales

An Illustrated Treasury of Scottish Folk and Fairy Tales is a beautifully magical masterpiece written by Theresa Breslin and illustrated by Kate Leiper. The pair work seamlessly together as Breslin weaves one wonderful story after another and Leiper brings the tales to life with gorgeous, colorful pictures.

The stories that Breslin chooses to tell are captivating. Many of the them exist in other cultures but Breslin tells their Scottish versions. For example, the popular tale of Cinderella is very similar to the story told about the girl in the rashie coat. If this book existed when I was a child, I think it would have quickly became the one I begged my parents to read to me at night.

Be prepared to lose yourself in the illustrations. Leiper succeeds in drawing the reader into the story with the images that she creates. Even if you are not interested in the stories alone, you may be convinced to read one after seeing the accompanying pictures.

If you are interested in more tales from Scotland, check out the other books that AADL owns here.

There's Still Time to Find AADL's Geocache

The Summer Game may be over, but you can still look for AADL’s Summer Game Geocache!

Our geocache will remain in place through the end of September, so if you didn’t have a chance to find it over the summer, there’s still time. Plus… you can snag some awesome AADL swag. We’ve just hidden a number of AADL mini flashlights in our cache (not even available from the Summer Game Shop).

So what is geocaching? If you haven't heard of it before, you should know that geocaching is a real-life treasure hunting game. Players can log onto the geocaching website to find the coordinates of caches (small containers usually containing a logbook and inexpensive "treasures"). They can then locate the caches with a GPS or GPS-enabled device. You can find out more about geocaching at Geocaching 101 or from the geocaching books in our collection. You can also find out more by visiting our original geocaching blog post, where we answer lots of FAQs and include a handout for new geocachers.

Wildlife at Pittsfield Branch

Now that the summer season is winding down it's a good time to look for wildlife outside the back windows at the Pittsfield Branch. The Pittsfield Branch is built partly on stilts above the Malletts Creek. The Reading Room at the rear or one of the study rooms offer a perfect vantage point to observe the birds and multiple turtles that can be seen in the summer and fall. Turtles hibernate in the winter so soon they will be burrowing under the soil in the water for the cold season, but for now they can be seen on any sunny day basking themselves on the rocks. There are also multiple bird houses on the wetlands so be sure to stop and gaze out the windows on your next visit to the Pittsfield Branch!

Dawn Farm Jamboree!

Head on down to Dawn Farm's Fantastic 40th Anniversary Jamboree on Sunday, September 8th, 2013 from 1:00 pm to 6:00 pm! Admission and all activities are FREE! This is a great family activity with hayrides, pony rides, and a children’s tent, too. Visit the working farm or bid on unique items in both silent and live auctions. Funds raised from the auctions will help support critical addiction services for individuals who need help and lack resources. For more information, or if you would like to volunteer at the event, call 734-485-8725.

Ready or not, it's time to head back to school!

Just in time, jump.aadl.org is here for parents looking for everything that AADL has to offer kids of all ages. Recommended reading lists, the details on the best upcoming events, homework help, and even guidance on planning your visit to AADL -- jump.aadl.org has it all.

JUMP's is divided into four basic sections:

Recommended Stuff helps you find some of the best books, materials and kits by age or grade, reading level, and topic. Library staff have also compiled handy lists of award winners and favorites.

Plan Your Visit is a section that guides you through the various features in our five locations, gives you links to explore to all sorts of library collections, events and exhibits, and provides tailored information for visiting with various age children and patrons with special needs.

Storytime and Events is your spot for a master list of all of our programs for parents and children.

Homework Help offers direct links to online resources for research and reports, as well as Brainfuse's on-demand/online homework help and information on other in-person fee-free tutoring offered at the Library and in the community.

Whether you're a seasoned library user or new to town, jump.aadl.org gives you the scoop on what's happening for kids at the Library. Take a peek, start exploring, and let us know what you think!

National Sewing Month

September is National Sewing Month! Sewing is a wonderful art form that spans generations and brings people together. How many of us learned to sew from our mother or grandmother? How many have taught our own children to sew? It’s an amazing gift to pass down, and a great skill to learn. Even if you just plan on sewing on buttons that fall off! Because guess what? You’re sewing. To participate in a month-long celebration of sewing, AADL has books to get you started on new projects, or get you motivated on ones that have been collecting dust in your craft corner. It’s time to bust out the machine and get to it. Here’s a few new favorites in the AADL collection:

Best of Stitch: Bags to sew

Sewing for boys: 24 projects to create a handmade wardrobe

We love to sew: 28 pretty things to make: jewelry, headbands, softies, t-shirts, pillows, bags & more

The library has SEW MANY great craft books to get you inspired and sewing away. With a wide range of projects from purses to dress, for many different skill levels, the books have you covered with great images and tutorials.

Learning with School House Rock!

If you grew up watching Saturday morning cartoons in the ‘70s or ‘80s it is quite likely you can recite the words to the Preamble to the United States Constitution by singing it. In fact, you probably learned a lot of cool things from the ABC short films Schoolhouse Rock! These animated ditties covered math, history, science and grammar in ways that made learning fun. The award winning program came straight out of the advertising world of Madison Avenue. When advertising executive David McCall discovered his son could not remember the multiplication tables, but knew all of the lyrics to the latest rock songs, his advertising mind took over and the wildly popular program was born. (Sadly, in 1999 McCall and his wife tragically lost their lives while on a mission in Albania aiding Kosovar refugees.) The AADL has a nice collection of Schoolhouse Rock DVDs that can be used both in the home and the classroom. Many of the DVDs have bonus features that include sing-along songs, interactive pop quizzes to help reinforce key concepts and downloadable educator’s guides with web links. Wherever you choose to enjoy the series, prepare to have fun learning with the catchy tunes that taught millions of children that Knowledge is Power!

Winners of the 8th Annual LEGO contest! Congrats to all of them!

Once again our annual LEGO contest was hotly anticipated and the entries were bigger and better! All ages from Preschoolers through Adults participated in the event. There were a total of 188 entries and the contest was held on Thursday, August 8 at the Kensington Court Hotel. There were six age categories and winners were chosen within each age group. The top three finishers and the People's Choice winners received custom LEGO trophies. The top three finishers also got medals and gift cards to Target. Please congratulate the winners! Photos of the winning entries will be added to this post on to our gallery soon.To see the contest guidelines and start planning for next summer click here.

Preschool Winners:

1st Place - Lucas Long
Runner-Up - Iris Brabbs
Honorable Mention - Steve Samuel
People's Choice - Lucas Long

Best Motorized Project - Vicky Kotsis
Best Architectural/Engineering Project - Becca Van Lent
Coolest Robot = Sanchia Gupta
Best Vehicle - Scarlett Williams
Most Creative - Eliza Farr
Most Sophisticated - Sarra El-Tawil
Best Local Interest - Kevin Chen
AADL LEGO Master Builder - Owen TenBroeck

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