April Events at Ypsilanti District Library

The Ypsilanti District Library has a number of events scheduled for April. During the spring they will be honoring the Greatest Generation (aka the World War II generation) with the Our Lives, Our Stories: America’s Greatest Generation exhibit in the Community Room at the Whittaker Branch. The exhibit will run from April 6-May 25. The library has provided the following information about the exhibit:

This national touring exhibit explores the life arc of America’s Greatest Generation — their lives from birth to old age, told in their own words. Born in the 1910s and ’20s, this generation was shaped by their experiences during the Great Depression and World War II, creating both the Baby Boom and the postwar economic surge. Features include personal anecdotes and photomural text panels, a variety of household objects and toys, military and homefront items from World War II, clothing, books, baby boom artifacts, and travel and tourism items. The exhibit boats five audio-visual components.

This exhibition has been made possible through NEH on the Road, a special initiative of the National Endowment for the Humanities. It is brought to you by Mid-America Arts Alliance. Our Lives, Our Stories: America’s Greatest Generation was organized by the Minnesota History Center/Minnesota Historical Society, St. Paul, MN.

Programming for Spring 2014 will tie in with this exhibit, celebrating American history from the 1920s-1960s. We will have concurrent exhibits in the youth department to bring a kids’ perspective to this district-wide theme.

My daughter has a lot of interest in this time period. My husband is always watching WWII specials on the History Channel, but her interest really peaked when she started learning about the American Girl Historical Dolls. She fell in love with Molly who lived in 1944/1945 during World War II. My daughter read all of the books and has watched the Molly movie many times. She even saved her own money to purchase her Molly doll (now discontinued). In 2012, she even dressed as Molly for Halloween.


From April 6 through May 25, there will be Pen Pal Mailboxes located at the Whittaker Rd and Superior branches. Kids can use the supplied stationery to wire a penpal letter and then draw a return letter from the mailbox.

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During Spring Break (April 7-11), they will be showing classic family movies from the 1930s and 1940s. Movies are:

The movies will be shown at 2p at the Michigan Branch. In addition to the movies, there will also be a snack. On Thursday, April 10, the Movie moves to the Whittaker Branch for a combination of Movie/Canned Food Drive. During World War II, children who collected scrap metal were rewarded with a free movie ticket. Bring in a non-perishable food donation to see a free movie and have a free snack (no need for 20 lbs),

Other Spring Break activities are also inspired by the World War II era. Charm bracelets gained popularity post-war when soldiers returned with small trinkets from Europe or the Pacific islands. Kids can make their own charm bracelets at the Superior Branch on Tuesday, April 8 from noon-2p.

Comic Book Day will be held on Tuesday, April 8 from 2-4p at the Whittaker Branch. Kids ages 6 and up will learn about comic book illustrations and can create their own comic book coasters as well as their own hero/villain.

The Michigan Avenue branch will wrap up Spring Break Week on Saturday, April 12 at 3:30p with a Classic Board Game Party. They will have many favorite toys & games form the ‘30s and ‘40s that we still play today….Sorry!, Clue, Candy Land, Chutes and Ladders Board Game, and more. While my daughter has outgrown Candyland and Chutes & Ladders, she recently asked to play Sorry. She has been playing it a lot at school this winter when they had a lot of indoor recesses.

The fun doesn’t end with the end of spring break. On Wednesday, April 23 from 7-9, youth (ages 7+) through adults can come Make a 1940s Hat at Nobody Wears Awesome Hats Anymore. Following a short presentation, there will be materials and instructions to make your own hat. The event is at the Whittaker Branch.

They will be celebration National Poetry Month with “Poem in Your Pocket Day” all day on Thursday, April 24. Library guests can stop at the service desk for a copy of a favorite poem to carry all day.

Hear and Now: Merging Trend & Tradition through Music and the Spoken Word will be held at the Garage at the Whittaker Rd Branch at 7p on Thursday, April 24. This all ages celebration of National Poetry Month will showcase regional talent followed by an open mic night.

There will be a National Puppet Day Craft/Performance at the Whittaker Branch on Saturday, April 26 from 2-4p. Enjoy both a performance and making a simple rod puppet.

The Michigan Branch will also host Spring Break Activities for teens. Except for Tuesday, each activity starts at 2p.Activities include:

  • Monday, April 7 – Make FIMO clay beads and string onto a necklace
  • Tuesday, April 8 – Field trip to Baron’s Glassworks for a glass blowing demonstration and to make a glass tile. Arrive by 1p. Please register in advance (734-482-4110×1390). A parent-signed waiver is required.
  • Wednesday, April 9 – A 1940s inspired Dance Competition with a modern spin (Just Dance on the Wii)
  • Thursday, April 10 – Use a laptop and tagxedo.com to make a self-portrait
  • Friday, April 11 – Watch a Movie

On Friday, April 11 teens can Make a Meme T-Shirt at the Whittaker Branch from 2-4p. The library will supply the t-shirts, transfer paper, and iron. Registration is required. This is for ages 13+.

After Spring Break, the Michigan Branch will hold a Teen Literature Day celebration on Saturday, April 19 at 4p. Book club members will share about their favorite stories from African-American authors.

Teens can Learn Puppetry from local puppeteer Brian Steimel on Monday, April 28 at 6:30p at the Michigan Branch. He will teach teens to make a hand puppet and teens can create their own puppet at the Creativity Lab.

April will wrap up with Self-Defense with Tremaine at the Michigan Branch on Wednesday, April 30 at 7p. Tremaine Holt, a aiki-jitsu instructor will demonstrate martial arts and teach basic self-defense skills. The event costs $30.

The Ypsilanti District Library locations are:

  • Whittaker Branch: 5577 Whittaker Road, Ypsilanti MI 48197
  • Michigan Branch: 229 W. Michigan Ave, Ypsilanti MI 48197
  • Superior Branch: 8795 MacArthur Blvd, Ypsilanti MI 48197
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Ann Arbor with Kids is your go-to source for Ann Arbor Family Fun. It got its start in an activity list that I was compiling for the playgroup I ran at our church. When my daughter started preschool, the other moms were thrilled to hear about my list. I decided to take the list public in 2009.

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