Monday, March 22, 2010

Ann Arbor Public Library offers Books…And So Much More

A perfect afternoon when I was young entailed hours and hours pursuing the book aisles at the Ann Arbor District Library. I read my way through the entire Nancy Drew series, Boxcar Kids, and checked out every book on holiday plays the library had. My fascination with the library didn’t end when I grew up. A corner of a room in my house is dedicated to stacks of books I have checked out and are in my queue to read. Books have the ability to teach us, amuse us, enlighten, and stimulate our imaginations. Books on CD are a great traveling companion for long car rides, or for listening to while jogging or doing chores around the house.

Ann Arbor’s libraries are just as magical now as they were many years ago. Our city boasts a world-class library system offering a myriad of books, magazines, DVDs, and books on CD, and is a great place to find quality entertainment on a budget. The Ann Arbor Public Library system is one of the many cultural attractions that make our city a great place to live, work and play. The library system’s five locations throughout the city make it easy to get to from Ann Arbor homes throughout the city. The library even offers a delivery program to bring books to homebound residents.

The library offers tours to acquaint users with the library system. Employees also offer class tours to school groups, and the Mallets Creek location offers “green” tours, showcasing the environmentally-friendly building. In addition to reading and listening materials, the libraries also offer a myriad of special events. Baby playgroups, preschool story times, computer classes, English as a Second Language classes, concerts, and special speakers are among the many events that are offered to every age group. Events are listed on the library’s website, which also offers an online catalogue of their resources available for check-out.

One of the unique offerings the Ann Arbor library system offers is their “Art Prints” program, which allows you to check out a piece of art work for eight weeks at a time. The library has hundreds of reproductions and original pieces that are available for borrowing. This art is a great option to use when staging your Ann Arbor home for sale, or for decorating your home each season. You can browse through the artwork on their online catalog or view it in person at the downtown library.

Other unique things the library offers are “Book Clubs to Go”- a complete kit to use with your book club that includes copies of the book, a DVD, and a folder with summaries and discussion questions. Another popular resource are the energy meters, which measure the amount of energy used by household appliances. The library also offers Museum Adventure Passes. Through a partnership between Greater Detroit Macy’s, the Library of Michigan Foundation, Detroit metro area libraries and the Cultural Alliance of Southeastern Michigan, the library offers passes for Detroit area museums that allow free admittance to the pass-holder. More information on the Museum Adventure Pass program can be found at

The library offers study rooms at several of their locations, and high school and university students can often be seen poring over their books at these quiet locations. All of the libraries are wired for wireless internet, and public internet access is also offered on computers at the libraries. Job-seekers are offered online help on the library’s webpage for those looking to improve their skills, look for a job, or start a small business.

Ann Arbor’s library system is a gem in Ann Arbor. Spend an hour…or a few…and discover the personalized service, extensive reading collection, and special events that make our library system yet another great reason to live in Ann Arbor.

Image courtesy Flickr: anthonylibrarian

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