Instead of paying full price for movies on Blu-ray or music on CD, you can pick up a very fine selection of VHS video and audio cassettes at the Ann Arbor Downtown Kiwanis sale. This event happens weekly on Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. til noon. There is also a fine selection of VCRs and cassette decks upstairs in the electronics section.
As part of the Ann Arbor District Library's Fifth Avenue Press, there is a new series of Emerging Writers workshops to be hosted on the third Thursdays of the month. Here's the annouccement of the first one.
Fifth Avenue Press is a promising development from AADL.
In an effort to support the local writing community and promote the production of original content, the library is looking for completed manuscripts for potential publication through our press. The library will provide editing, proofreading, and other assistance to the author and will ultimately publish selected finished works with on-demand print publishing as an option. The author will retain the copyright and all potential earnings for their work.
Emerging Writers: Writing & Review Meetup
Thursday February 18, 2016: 7:00 pm to 8:45 pm -- Traverwood Branch: Program Room
This event is intended for adults and teens grade 6 and up.
Come with questions, a work in progress, or an empty notebook. All writers are welcome in this casual, supportive environment. Authors Bethany Neal and Alex Kourvo will be on hand to answer questions and give encouragement. This is an excellent opportunity to meet your fellow Ann Arbor writers as well as get feedback from published authors. This is a monthly meet-up that welcomes all writers to ask questions, connect with other writers, or simply have a dedicated time and place to work on their projects.
I picked up a copy of Isaac Asimov's "Foundation's Edge" at a Little Free Library in Ann Arbor, and figured that I would trade up for what I really wanted - Asimov's classic "I robot", a series of short stories about the evolution of robot consciousness.
I remember reading Asimov in middle school and high school, and reflecting on the Three Laws of Robotics and how they are imperfectly applied in today's age of artificial intelligences and virtual assistants.
A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
A robot must obey orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.
If you have an Ann Arbor District Library card, I, robot is available for reserve (and you'll get your copy after i'm done reading it). Otherwise my recommendation is to order from Literati in Ann Arbor, or globally from Amazon. A copy is a perfect gift for your personal assistant!
New this year is QR codes on game code posters, so if you have the right app you can snap photos of game codes and redeem them quickly. Let me see if I can't rig up something here to demonstrate that.
QR codes on Code Signs! If you have a smartphone, get a QR code reader, because we've actually found something QR codes are good for! You can still type in the codes too, it's just a shortcut.
Also new this year is that several members of library staff have their own game codes, which they will happily give you upon request (or better yet they'll volunteer that they have them.) I've done 2 at 500 points each so far!
EveryLibrary is a newly formed political action committee formed to promote libraries, with the specific goal of promoting votes for the millages that support libraries. From their web site:
In each campaign, EveryLibrary will engage with the local library community to determine our best level and type of involvement. We work best for you when we work with you. Help make sure every type of library is supported at the ballot box.
The Ann Arbor District Library has a measure on the November 2012 ballot to vote in a millage to build a new downtown library building. I think it would be a great project and I'm wholeheartedly supporting it.
The main pro-library campaign site is OurNewLibrary.com which lays out the costs of the new structure ($65 million to be paid for over 30 years) and the cost to the taxpayer (0.56 mills).
One of the big issues with the current library is just how underequipped it is to host functions and events. I squeezed Library Camp into the building in 2006, and it was a stretch even to get 40 or so people into the usable parts of the building for small group meetings. Downtown meeting space is scarce already - see the Arborwiki "Places to have a meeting" page to see just how hard it is to find a spot to gather a group together in a public space.
Library architecture has changed a lot since the 1950s, when the first part of the downtown AADL building was built. There have been two additions to the original building since then, but nothing to replace the aging mechanical systems.
Look for more here as the vote date gets closer. The campaign has yard signs -- people can email firstname.lastname@example.org to request one.
UPDATED with yard sign information and a graphic from the yard sign art.
The Ann Arbor District Library has a super-cool new music tools collection, and so I checked out a Korg Monotron Delay from the library today and was making frog and cricket and space-age noises tonight. They check out for a week. Fun!
At the moment, there are "no copies available and 130 requests on 7 copies" - if the library is true to form, that means they will be getting a few more to circulate. The catalog record includes a quick start comic with instructions, from Anne and Jerzy Drozd.
Here's a compilation of "ask a librarian" services in 12 of 50 states, and as many countries as I could find. Whenever possible, these will have a (verified) note by them, signifying that I was able to ask and receive an answer to a reference question.
This is a work in progress.
Library of CongressAsk A Librarian (Library of Congress). Organized by reading room; several have chat based help available, others are via email or phone. "The primary mission of the Library of Congress is to serve Members of the Congress and thereafter, the needs of the government, other libraries, and members of the public. The Library's staff will respond to reference and information requests in accordance with this mission."
Michigan. University of Michigan Ask A Librarian. "Ask a Librarian is tailored to the research needs of UM students, staff and faculty, but any one can inquire about specific UM library resources and services. You can connect to a librarian by IM, email, phone or in person, and now, via text message." Call [+1-734-764-9373] for general reference and reference referrals, or text to +1 734 531 9275.
Michigan. Michigan State University Ask A Librarian. Call 1.800.500.1554 or 517.353.8700. A Reference Librarian is available by phone during hours when the Main Library Reference Desk is open. Reference also available by text message and by chat 24/7.
Oregon. L-Net. Statewide cooperative online reference by chat, text, email; uses KnowItNow.org. An L-Net weblog for staff shows the behind the scenes detail of managing the service.
Washington. Ask a Librarian - Washington State Library. "We are here to answer your questions about Washington state government, history, culture, the federal government, and genealogy. We have an extensive collection of Washington newspapers, state publications, federal publications, and other sources for information." Answers delivered by email; obituaries may take as many as 6 weeks.
Thanks to Julie Weatherbee, Michelle G, Lou Rosenfeld, Eli Neiburger, John Blyberg, Peter Morville, Jessamyn West, Billy Barron, Sam, Caleb and many others for help in putting this list together.
Telephone numbers will be marked up as specified in RFC 3966, if I can manage it.