What would we do without them?

Did you know that on April 10, 1849, Walter Hunt, also the inventor of the sewing machine, patented the safety pin? Thinking it wasn't worth much, he sold the patent for $400. What would we do about torn hems and missing buttons without them?

For some interesting reading on objects we take for granted, information on patents and some wacky inventions, try these titles from our collection:

The Evolution of Useful Things by Henry Petroski
Inventor's Guide to Trademarks and Patents by Craig Fellenstein and
Big Bento Book of Unuseless Japanese Inventions by Kenji Kawakami.

Believe It's Spring!

For a few brief moments, we thought spring was here. That's not the case now, but we must believe that it will be here very shortly. After all, the Ann Arbor Public Schools are on Spring Break next week.

Spring means flowers. Let's make some. If you are at least 3 years old or older, come to the Northeast Branch on Tuesday, April 10th, any time between 2:00 and 4:00 p.m.
We'll be making flowers, many kinds of flowers. All materials will be provided. Just bring your creative ideas.

Learn to Play the Guitar for Free Online!

Are you interested in learning to play guitar but you don't have the time or money to take lessons? Why not try taking a few video lessons? Several guitar teachers have posted a series of instructional videos on to YouTube. Check out this article on NPR for more information. And if you are interested in further resources check out the library's DVDs and books on learning to play guitar.

More on poetry...

To follow up on the previous blog on poetry, the Academy of American Poets is the sponsoring organization for National Poetry Month. Their website features search capabilities on both poets and poems. So if you want to retreive a favorite poem, there's a good chance you'll find it here. Also included is a daily poem and a chance to sign up for a "Poem-A-Day" which is e-mailed to you every day during April. To sign up for a poem every day of the year, go to the Poetry Daily site. The Library also has a Poetry Daily of the same name if you'd like to see, in print form, what was selected for your or another's birthday.

John Himmelfarb, Chicago Artist

John HimmelfarbJohn Himmelfarb

Harvard educated, Chicago artist John Himmelfarb will give an artist talk on Saturday, April 7, 4 p.m. at the River Gallery (120 S. Main Street, Chelsea, Michigan) in conjunction with his one-man show (through May 19th).

Son of Samuel and Eleanor Himmelfarb, both accomplished painters, John Himmelfarb’s work has appeared in numerous galleries nationally and internationally, and has installed public works at such places as Boston Logan Airport and Chicago Transport Authority.

This exhibition will include paintings, drawings, prints, cast bronze sculpture, urns, and a tapestry of a canvas, hand woven in Peru. For more information, contact the Gallery at 734.433.0826.

Team Moon

Most people have seen the historic footage of Neil Armstrong's first step on the moon (July 20, 1969) and are familiar with the crew of Apollo 11:Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins. But not many have heard of Eleanor Foracker who was a seamstress for ILC Dover, the company that made the spacesuits, or Richard Ellis who tested the suits. Neil “Fox” Mason worked the Parkes Radio Telescope in Australia, Kirby Hinson worked on the parachute recovery systems, and Joe Gavin was vice president of Grumman Aerospace Corporation. Thousands of people worked long, hard hours and most never received recognition even though they also played a vital role in one of the greatest projects of the 20th century. Meet some of them in Team Moon: How 400,000 People Landed Apollo 11 on the Moon by Catherine Thimmesh.

A long journey home

On March 23, 1806, Lewis and Clark began their journey back from the Pacific coast to the East to report on their expedition. The winter had been brutally cold and wet. They had traveled about 4,000 miles from St. Louis and had been gone almost two years.

Lewis and Clark thought they could avoid the trip back over land by getting on a merchant ship but there were none to be found. And so, without much food or supplies, they began the trek back. In six months, they arrived in St. Louis.

Sancho's Scene: Community Events that Wander off the Path

Gear up for spring at Downtown Home and Garden this Saturday with owner Mark Hodesh, who’ll be digging up the dirt on lawn care from 10am to 2pm. Nostalgic for winter already? Head over to the Ann Arbor Ice Cube and get your shiver back at the annual Melody on Ice. The show will feature local skaters of all ages performing a variety of acts—from traditional figure skating to synchronized teams, crazy stunts and more. Afterwards, pop into the neighboring Pittsfield Branch to snuggle up with a book and some tasty vending machine hot chocolate.

Women on the move

March is Women's History Month, a time to celebrate the past accomplishments of American women and those who continue to work for women's rights. March 22 is the anniversary of two significant events for women. On that day in 1972, the Senate passed the 27th amendment, prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sex. Known as the Equal Rights Amendment, the law was then sent to the states for ratification. Even with an extension from Congress, the ERA failed to pass, short of three votes.

Searching for foreign language books

The best way to see what is available in our foreign language collection is by call number. Searching by call number allows you to differentiate between adult and youth books. When at the Catalog page, select "More search options", then select "call number". If you enter the general call number, a list of the holdings for that language will be displayed. Of course, you can also search by title, author and subject ("name of language" language materials).

The call numbers for the adult foreign language books are FLC + the first three letters of the name of the language. The only exception is Japanese which is "FLC JPN".

For example: Chinese = FLC CHI, Arabic = FLC ARA, Spanish = FLC SPA

The call numbers for children's foreign language books are Youth FLC + the first three letters of the name of the language. Again, the only exception is "Youth FLC JPN".

For example: Telugu = Youth FLC TEL, Hebrew = Youth FLC HEB, Urdu = Youth FLC URD

Syndicate content