Poets & Patriots: A Tuneful History of the United States Through The Tale of Francis Scott Key’s Most Famous Song

Monday August 17, 2015: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

This event will be recorded

The story of “The Star-Spangled Banner” is the story of the United States itself. The melody was famously set to new words by amateur poet and lawyer Francis Scott Key after the Battle of Baltimore in 1814.

Since the “dawn’s early light” on that now emblemmatic day, the song has grown and changed in ways largely forgotten today. This lecture and discussion by U-M Associate Professor of Musicology and American Culture Mark Clague will explore the history of the U.S. national anthem as a witness to the story of the nation itself.

This event is held in conjunction with the Downtown Library exhibit: Banner Moments: The National Anthem In American Life, which is on display in the Multi-Purpose Room through August. Celebrating the bicentennial of the U.S. National Anthem, this exhibit illustrates through interpretive panels, historical documents and photographs, the cultural 200-year history of “The Star-Spangled Banner” (1814–2014). The tale that emerges demonstrates the power of music and poetry to spark the social imagination and thus create a sense of shared community.

Mark Clague is a native of Ann Arbor and longtime fan of the Ann Arbor District Library. He serves as Associate Professor of Musicology and American Cutlure at the University of Michigan and is editor-in-chief of the George and Ira Gershwin Critical Edition and director of the University’s Gershwin Initiative.

Banner Moments: The National Anthem in American Life

Now through August 30, 2015 -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room Exhibit

Celebrating the bicentennial of the U.S. National Anthem, this exhibit illustrates through interpretive panels, historical documents and photographs, the cultural 200-year history of “The Star-Spangled Banner” (1814–2014). The tale that emerges demonstrates the power of music and poetry to spark the social imagination and thus create a sense of shared community.

The year 2014 marked the 200th birthday of “The Star-Spangled Banner,” the national anthem of the United States of America. Inspired by the successful defense of Baltimore, Maryland from British attack on September 13 & 14, 1814, lawyer and amateur poet Francis Scott Key penned his now famous lyric. Rather than extraordinary, Key’s creative impulse was typical of early America’s broadside ballad tradition in which new words were written to fit well known tunes. The result, however, was far from everyday—Key could not have predicted that his song would survive the moment, yet become his nation’s singular anthem.

Follow the “The Star-Spangled Banner” from the moments leading up to September 14, 1814 through the present day and explore the social history of our national song.

Polio: A Look Back At America’s Most Successful Public Health Crusade

Sunday April 12, 2015: 3:00 pm to 4:30 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

This event will be recorded

The U-M Center for the History of Medicine presents the 14th Annual Horace W. Davenport Lecture in the Medical Humanities featuring David Oshinsky, Ph.D., Director of the Division of Medical Humanities, NYU School of Medicine, Professor of History, New York University and Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Polio: An American Story.

After a brief introduction by University of Michigan President Mark Schlissel, Dr. Oshinsky will reflect on the 60th anniversary of the polio vaccine, approved for widespread public use in April 1955.

David Oshinsky’s book Polio: An American Story won the Pulitzer Prize for History, among other awards, and influenced Bill Gates to make polio eradication the top priority of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Other works include A Conspiracy So Immense: The World of Joe McCarthy, which was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year; and Worse Than Slavery, winner of the Robert F. Kennedy Book Award for distinguished contribution to human rights.

Professor Oshinsky’s reviews and essays appear regularly in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and other international publications.

History Mysteries with Mystery Authors Carrie Bebris, Susanna Calkins, Anna Lee Hube, and Sam Thomas

Saturday August 8, 2015: 2:00 pm to 3:30 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

This event will be recorded

Mystery buffs! Do not miss this event featuring a panel of award-winning historical mystery authors, each with a brand new mystery book that has just been released!

Robin Agnew of Aunt Agatha’s Mystery Bookshop moderates this afternoon event, which will include book signings. Books will be for sale courtesy of Aunt Agatha’s Mystery Bookshop. There will also be ample opportunity for audience questions.

Panelists include:
• Award-winning author Carrie Bebris, author of the critically acclaimed Mr. and Mrs. Darcy mystery series (the further adventures of Jane Austin’s most beloved characters) is also a life member and regional coordinator of the Jane Austen Society of North America. Her seventh book in the Jane Austin-based series, The Suspicion At Sanditon, finds Fitzwilliam and Elizabeth Darcy have moved to Sanditon, the setting of Jane Austen’s final work. They have barely settled into their lodgings when they receive an unexpected dinner invitation from Lady Denham, one of the town’s most prominent residents. Thirteen guests assemble at Sanditon House—but their hostess never appears. The Darcys, like most of their fellow attendees, speculate that one of her ladyship’s would-be heirs has grown impatient … but then the guests start to vanish one by one.

• Susanna Calkins is the author of the award-winning Lucy Campion novels, which are set in 17th century London, a time period that gives Calkins the ability to write about both the plague and the Great Fire. Her main character, Lucy, began the series as a chambermaid, but in this third novel The Masque of a Murderer, Lucy is working as a bookseller's apprentice, selling broadsides with her fellow apprentice on the streets of London. On a freezing winter afternoon in 1667, she accompanies the magistrate's daughter, Sarah, to the home of a severely injured Quaker man to record his dying words, a common practice of the time. The Quaker, having been trampled by a horse and cart the night before, has only a few hours to live and Lucy is unprepared for what he reveals to her — that someone deliberately pushed him into the path of the horse, because of a mysterious secret he had uncovered.

• Anna Lee Huber is the award-winning and national bestselling author of the Lady Darby Mystery series, set in Scotland in the 1830’s. In A Study In Death, the fourth riveting mystery in the series, Lady Kiera Darby is commissioned to paint the portrait of Lady Drummond, but is saddened when she recognizes the pain in the baroness’s eyes. Lord Drummond is a brute, and his brusque treatment of his wife forces Kiera to think of the torment caused by her own late husband. When she finds Lady Drummond prostrate on the floor, the physician is called and Lord Drummond appears satisfied to rule her death natural. However, Kiera is convinced that poison is the culprit and intends to discover the truth behind the baroness’s death, no matter who stands in her way.

• Historian and teacher Sam Thomas is the author of the Bridget Hodgson series, set in 17th century York. All of the mysteries in the series focus on Bridget's work as a midwife. His latest novel, The Witch Hunter’s Tale, finds the Puritans scouring the British countryside for witches with often heartbreaking consequences. As women and children sicken and die, midwife Bridget Hodgson is pulled against her will into a full-scale witch-hunt that threatens to devour all in its path, guilty and innocent alike. As the trials begin, and the noose begins to tighten around her neck, Bridget must answer the question: How far will she go to protect the people she loves?

Do not miss this opportunity to meet these acclaimed authors and discover their passion for history and for mysteries!

Show & Tell for Grown-Ups

Tuesday May 5, 2015: 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm -- Malletts Creek Branch: Program Room

This event will be recorded

We all remember Show & Tell - bringing a treasured possession to school and telling our friends why we love it so much. As adults, we have many more treasures today.

Show & Tell events for adults are sweeping the nation, with recent publicity of the trend in the Wall Street Journal. Described as The Moth Radio Hour meets Antiques Roadshow, these events focus on connecting people through their personal histories.

Bring a treasured object, new or old, to this Show & Tell session for adults. An old photo or letter, family heirloom, vacation memorabilia, an ancient artifact, a work of art - it’s the story behind the piece that matters. No performing; this is amateur storytelling at its best.

Each participant will have five minutes to tell the story behind the object. Anyone is welcome! We will create a short video of you telling your item's story and post it to the aadl.org website.

Attendees are also welcome to just watch and enjoy.The local organizers for this event are members of the Association of Personal Historians and are promoting Show & Tells in May to celebrate Personal History Month.

The History of the Minifigure With Jonathan Bender, author of “LEGO: A Love Story”

Wednesday July 15, 2015: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

This event is intended for adults, teens, and youth grades 4 and up.
This event will be recorded

Jonathan Bender, author of LEGO: A Love Story will present the history of the LEGO Minifigure, from the first ones in Denmark to all the varieties available today. You can bring your own minifigures for an opportunity to trade them with other attendees!

This event will also include a hands-on building component, creating minifigure worlds.

Four Perfect Pebbles: A Talk with Holocaust Survivor and Author Marion Blumenthal Lazan

Thursday February 12, 2015: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm -- Downtown Library: 4th Floor Meeting Room

This event is intended for adults, teens and youth (grade 4 and up)

Author Marion Blumenthal Lazan will share her message of understanding and tolerance through recounting her experience as a young girl interned by the Nazis during WWII. Born in Germany, Lazan and her family were attempting to escape through Holland when the country fell to the Nazis. Her family spent more than six years imprisoned in various refugee and labor camps, including Bergen-Belsen. Shortly after their release, her father died of typhus contracted while in the camp. Three years later, at age 13, Lazan emigrated to the United States with her mother and sister, ready to start a new life in Illinois.

Lazan is the author of Four Perfect Pebbles, a memoir for young people about her family's struggle to survive the horrors of the Nazis. Copies of her book will be available for sale and signing.

Laura Ingalls Wilder and Her Place in the World

Monday March 23, 2015: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

This event is intended for adults and teens grades 6 and up
This event will be recorded

Interest in Laura Ingalls Wilder is at a peak – especially with the recent publication of her autobiography Pioneer Girl: The Annotated Autobiography.

At this special AADL evening, explore the world of Laura Ingalls Wilder, whose experiences traveling and homesteading with her pioneer family spawned her series of popular children's books. Author and Wilder scholar William Anderson and University of Michigan History professor Michelle McClellan lead us on a journey through Laura's life and tell the story of how the places she lived have now taken on a life of their own.

Wilder's legacy extends far beyond her Little House series; millions know her from the 1970s television show based on her books, and the locations she wrote about, including Kansas, Minnesota, South Dakota, and Missouri, have become tourist destinations for her devoted fans.

Film & Discussion: ‘Never a Bystander‘

Monday April 20, 2015: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

This event is intended for adults and teens grade 6 and up.

"Never a Bystander" is a documentary made by Ann Arbor filmmaker Evelyn Neuhaus, about Holocaust survivor Dr. Irene Butter. At age 14, Irene, along with her family, endured deplorable conditions during internment in two concentration camps in Nazi Germany. "Never a Bystander" tells Irene's story, and shares her message of optimism and courage in the face of injustice. We will screen the 30-minute film, then Irene will give a talk about her work and experiences educating and uplifting audiences with her story.

Images of America: Downtown Ann Arbor

Wednesday December 17, 2014: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

Author Patti Smith will share stories and a slideshow of images from her new book, Images of America: Downtown Ann Arbor, which was released in early November. The book looks at the remarkable people and businesses who have helped build our town. Its images show a town with mud streets, wooden sidewalks, liveries, tanneries and telegraph offices. It also features businesspeople, merchants, and citizens who lived and worked in our downtown. Described as a "love letter to a beloved city", Images of America: Downtown Ann Arbor provides a look at the past and the people who helped to make Ann Arbor what it is today.

Author Patti Smith wanted to move to Ann Arbor since she was five years old, and is very grateful to live near downtown. She teaches special education and has recently finished writing a YA book. In addition to local history, Patti enjoys storytelling, social media, boxing, writing, and brewing beer. She lives in the Kerrytown area with her fiance, Ken, and their two cats.

Books will be available for sale and signing.

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