Pronunciator– c’est tres bon for travel prep

My better half and I have been enjoying ourselves preparing for a trip to Quebec City and Montreal, our first visit to either city, and our first foray into any French-speaking terrain.

We both took a year of French in college, but that was a while ago. OK, quite a while ago. OK, sometime between the Roman conquest of Gaul and Napolean’s march on Russia. So in addition to borrowing a couple of dependable guidebooks to peruse (Lonely Planet’s Montreal & Quebec City and Frommer’s Montreal and Quebec City,) we’ve been poking around in Pronunciator, an impressive all-in-one language learning database offered by CADL.pronunciator

Pronunciator offers learners lots of easy-to-use tools so they can go about their quest in a variety of complementary ways. We started with “postcards,” which shows you nice photos and simple words and phrases you’re likely to need or encounter, pronouncing them for you. “Drills” asks you questions in the language you’re studying and gives you multiple choice answers. There are tons of other tools, including quizzes, vocabulary practice, an essential phrasebook and more. Another approach is to try the 8 week travel prep course – we’ve been fooling around with that, too.

Another important feature available in a variety of ways through Pronunciator: learners speak into their devices so the software can analyze their pronunciation and tell them how closely it matches that of the native speaker recorded there.

Putting first things first, I’ve been working especially hard on parlez lentemont, s’il vous plait (please speak slowly) and déjeuner (lunch). My wife has been working on Arrete la voiture! Vous êtes un fou du Volant! (Stop the car! You’re a crazy driver!)

Hmm. I’m thinking to preserve marital harmony we’ll be taking le train.

-Paul C., Head Librarian at CADL Stockbridge

American Girl Doll Makes Her Way to Aurelius

You may have read an article about a New York City Library that acquired an American Girl doll and allowed her to be borrowed by patrons free of charge. A generous patron from Williamston donated an American Girl doll to CADL to be used in this same way.

“Josefina Montoya”—and a book about her—were added to our collection in 2013. They have been making their way around our branches ever since, spending 3-4 months at each one. No library card or formal checkout is required and there is no charge. All we ask is that they be returned to that same branch.

Aurelius Library Head Jennifer DeGroat poses with the American Girl doll that is part of the library’s collection, for families to borrow and take home.

Aurelius Library Head Jennifer DeGroat poses with the American Girl doll that is part of the library’s collection, for families to borrow and take home.

We are excited to announce that Josefina has arrived at Aurelius! She has already visited the homes of several local families and is currently ready to be taken home and played with by someone new. Though no holds can be placed on her, you may certainly borrow her if she is here when you visit.

To find out more about the Josefina character, a nine-year-old New Mexican girl living in 1824, check out one of these American Girl titles written by Valerie Tripp. You’ll find them, and many more American Girl titles, at


  • Meet Josefina, An American Girl
  • Thanks to Josefina
  • Josefina, 1824
  • Again, Josefina!
  • Happy Birthday Josefina

Capital Area District Libraries’ Aurelius branch is located at 1939 Aurelius Road in Mason. For information about our hours, services or events, call 517-628-3743 or visit

-Jennifer D., Head Librarian at CADL Aurelius

Love, Heartache & Great Scenery—Find Your Valentine DVD here

Valentine’s Day is coming up, and you could brave the weather, the crowds, and the overpriced food, or you could stop by your local Capital Area District Libraries branch, pick up a few romantic movies, and have your own little film fest at home.

We have epic romances like “Doctor Zhivago,” “Gone with the Wind” and “The English Patient.” We’ve got the makings of an 80s movie marathon with “Pretty in Pink,” “Splash” and “Say Anything.” Or what about an It’s Great To Be Single Celebration, with “It’s Complicated,” “Auntie Mame” and “Waitress”?

A great Valentine movie marathon starts at Capital Area District Libraries, where hundreds of romantic (or quirky!) titles are available.

A great Valentine movie marathon starts at Capital Area District Libraries, where hundreds of romantic (or quirky!) titles are available.

We’ve also got all sorts of unconventional love stories: “The Purple Rose of Cairo,” “Only Lovers Left Alive,” and “Lars and the Real Girl.” You could tour the world with “Before Sunrise,” “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” and “Chocolat.” It’s hard to go wrong with classics like “Bringing Up Baby,” “The Palm Beach Story,” and “Sabrina”, or musicals like “Singin’ in the Rain,” “Once” and “Grease.” Wallow in misery with “Love Story,” “The Way We Were” and “Splendor in the Grass.” Lighten the mood with animated fare like “Lady and the Tramp,” “Tangled” and “WALL-E”.

Someone to watch these movies with is optional but snacks are not, so while you’re at the library you can also grab a copy of “Salty Snacks” by Cynthia Nims or “Classic Snacks Made from Scratch” by Casey Barber. By the time your movie (and snack) marathon is over, all the Valentine candy will be 50% off.

Find these titles and many more at

Capital Area District Libraries’ Haslett branch is located at 1590 Franklin Street in Haslett. For information about our hours, services or events, call 517-339-2324 or visit

-Ann C., Head Librarian at CADL Haslett

Welcoming a New Face at CADL Holt-Delhi

A new year brings a new face to the library. I’m the new head librarian here at the Holt-Delhi branch. Jolee Hamlin is still with Capital Area District Libraries in a new capacity as Associate Director of Public Service.

I’m originally from the Detroit area but started my library career in a southwest Kansas community and stayed there for seven years. It was a dry desert climate. Most recently I was in Skagit County, Washington, helping establish a new library district amid the stunning North Cascades and lots of rain.  I’m thrilled to be back in Michigan yet don’t recall it being this cold!

Paulina Poplawska, new head at Capital Area District Libraries’ Holt-Delhi branch, looks forward to meeting members of the community.

Paulina Poplawska, new head at Capital Area District Libraries’ Holt-Delhi branch, looks forward to meeting members of the community.

Almost a month into my time here at Holt and it’s nice to be working with such a wonderful staff and a great and involved community. I’m excited to be a part of CADL and look forward to meeting a lot of you this year.

We have many exciting events in the works this winter and spring. A few examples:

  • Dr. John Partridge with a presentation about cheese
  • Sean Doerr, the photographer of “Lost Detroit: Stories Behind the Motor City’s Majestic Ruins”
  • Ami Weaver, an award-winning local author of romance novels will be here in February
  • Jean Alicia Elster with a Black History Month program for all ages, based on her award-winning book, “The Colored Car”
  • Several gardening programs in the spring

Come in soon to say hello and to pick up an events guide, or visit for details.

Capital Area District Libraries’ Holt-Delhi branch is located at 2078 Aurelius Road in Holt. For information about our hours, services or events, call 517-694-9351 or visit

Paulina P., Head Librarian at CADL Holt-Delhi

Daily Deliveries Keep Collection Current

One of the exciting aspects to working in the public library is seeing how the library collection is constantly changing. Some misconceptions about libraries containing old dusty books still exist, and that image doesn’t reflect the current state of the collection at the Mason Library, or any of the other 12 branches of Capital Area District Libraries.

We receive a daily delivery of new titles in a variety of genres and formats for users of all ages. This changeover of library offerings is not limited to our print collection—our e-book, e-audiobook, and digital magazine collections also continue to grow. In fact, CADL has made a commitment to growing the e-book collection significantly in 2015 to provide a wider selection of materials and to reduce wait times for popular

Check out our digital downloads page at for more information. If you don’t already have a CADL card, you can get a temporary one just by signing up at

If you haven’t been in for a while you may find that we’re not the library of “yesteryear.” We encourage you to come check us out. You may be surprised at what you find.

Capital Area District Libraries’ Mason branch is located at 145 W. Ash Street in Mason. For information about our hours, services or events, call 517-676-9088 or visit

-Cheryl L., Head Librarian at CADL Mason

“Burnt Toast” is a Delicious Read

Are you interested in reading about people in Michigan? I just read a book by Kathleen Flinn called Burnt Toast Makes You Sing Good: A Memoir of Food and Love from an American Midwest Family. Flinn was born in Davison, near Flint, but graduated from Le Cordon Bleu in Paris. Her book is a family history with recipes.

For example, she tells the story of how her parents met and married, then moved with three small children to California in the mid-50’s to work in a brother’s pizza restaurant. They ended up opening an Italian restaurant of their own in San Francisco, and eventually moved back to Michigan to farm. There are hunting and fishing stories, cooking stories, and a funny story about the author’s older brother streaking through the Davison High School play. thCAYZTJOU

I found Burnt Toast to be an enjoyable read from cover to cover. I was also pleased to see that it’s on the Library of Michigan’s list of Michigan Notable Books this year. I can’t wait to try out some of the family recipes, which include Grandpa Charles’s chili powder and Della’s homemade noodles. Check out your own copy at You might also enjoy visiting Flinn’s website at

Just a reminder that Friends of the Webberville Library sponsor an ongoing book sale called The Book Cubby, located in the first blue book case at the front of the library. Hardcover books are $1.00 and paperbacks are 50¢, with proceeds supporting the library. Stop in soon to pick up some bargains!

Capital Area District Libraries’ Webberville branch is located at 115 S. Main Street in Webberville. For information about our hours, services or events, call 517-521-3643 or visit

Peg M., Head Librarian at CADL Webberville

Share Laughs During National Humor Month

April is National Humor Month, so go ahead and laugh at the library. It’s good for you! Studies show that laughter reduces stress, relaxes the whole body and helps you recharge.

CADL has lots of books to choose from that can tickle your funny bone and enhance your quality of life. Here are some of my favorite hilarious titles:

  • Cake Wrecks: When Professional Cakes Go Hilariously Wrong by Jen Yates. The photos and captions submitted by fearless bakers      are a recipe for the benefits of belly laughing.
  • Disquiet, Please! More Humor Writing from The New Yorker edited by David Remnick and Henry Finder. If you think laughter is the best medicine, read two of these essays and call me in the morning.
  • The Mysterious Howling by Maryrose Wood is the first of four titles in the clever Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place series.  Listen to these books on CD in order. Katherine Kellgren’s take on the voices of the prim Victorian governess and her charges—three children raised by wolves—will  have the whole family ‘howling’ for more.
  • The Unbearable Lightness of Scones by Alexander McCall Smith is the fifth entry in the 44 Scotland Street series. Robert Ian Mackenzie’s understated narration of this witty book on CD evokes uncontrollable laughter. Yep, that’s me at the stoplight. Maybe we      shouldn’t listen to this one while driving.






Check out these titles and many more at your CADL branch or visit our catalog. Happy Humor Month!

– Ann C., Head Librarian at CADL Haslett