Ann Arbor District Library
Wikipedia Media Commons /

After nearly 22 years with the Ann Arbor District Library, director Josie Parker announced that she is retiring next February.

WEMU's Lisa Barry talks with Parker about her decision as she looks back at several decades working in the Ann Arbor District Library system and what she sees moving forward.

Carlos Franklin
United Way of Washtenaw County /

The Black Stone Bookstore and Cultural Center in Ypsilanti has a mission: To unite all people, regardless of race, religion, or politics, and to highlight the works of authors of color. Bookstore co-owner Carlos Franklin joined WEMU's David Fair to discuss his love of literature and his journey as a Black, small business owner during social unrest and a pandemic. 

Ypsilanti District Library
Ypsilanti District Library /

The Ypsilanti District Library will finally break ground on a new Superior Township branch, and the public is invited to the groundbreaking ceremony Wednesday, April 7th.  Lisa Barry talks with Sam Killian of the library system about how this new facility has been a long time in the making and how the community will benefit.


Amazon /

There has been a spike in interest, and sales, for Dr. Seuss' discontinued books.  WEMU's Heather Irvine checks in with the Ann Arbor District Library on their Seuss titles.

Kallista Walker
Doug Coombe / Concentrate Media

Inspired by the thought "A community that reads together grows together," Kallista Walker created "Our Community Reads."  She has recorded a number of community leaders reading stories with the goal of replacing all the negative and traumatic stories that Black and Brown children see growing up.  Lisa Barry talks with Kallista and Sarah Rigg of "On The Ground-Ypsi" about the community initiative. 

Ypsilanti District Library

The Ypsilanti District Library has expanded its curbside pickup service during COVID-19.  

Ann Arbor District Library

The Ann Arbor District Library’s downtown branch has reopened, two weeks after one of its employees tested positive for COVID-19.  

Hollander's /

The Ann Arbor area community was saddened to hear last January that the Hollander's paper goods store in the Kerrytown area of the city planned to close the following June.  Then, the pandemic hit, and the store was shut down early, and owners Tom and Cindy Hollander didn't really get a chance to say goodbye to the community or feel the necessary, emotional closure after being in business for nearly 30 years.

So, they talk with WEMU's Lisa Barry about what that was like, where they are now, and to thank the community for nearly 30 years of memories and business.

Ann Arbor District Library

The Ann Arbor District Library is now offering contactless lobby pickup service.

It's been nearly three months since Ann Arbor's Literati Bookstore closed its doors, due to concerns over our current global health crisis.  WEMU's Lisa Barry talks with store owner Mike Gustafson about how they've adjusted and what they have done with their popular "public typewriter" during this time we have been urged to stay home and most busineses were closed to in-person customers.

Ann Arbor District Library
Ann Arbor District Library /

Did you know you can still check out books online from the Ann Arbor District Library?  WEMU's Lisa Barry talks with library director Josie Parker about the many offerings the library has created, including its own YouTube TV station to stay connected with area residents.

Cindy and Tom Hollander

Change is constant, especially in retail.  After more than 30 years, Hollander’s, known for its beautiful paper, gifts, and paper and bookmaking workshops, is moving to an online format in June when it closes its Kerrytown shop.  Cindy and Tom Hollander join The Arts Alliance’s Deb Polich and WEMU’s David Fair to talk about the next page in the book of Hollander’s on this edition of “creative.impact.”

Ann Arbor District Library
Ann Arbor District Library /

On our next segment of “Beyond Books” with the Ann Arbor District Library, WEMU’s Lisa Barry talks with Rich Retyi about a special February event they are having called “Blind Date With A Book."

Benegemah Press /

B.G. Bradley has lived in Michigan's Upper Peninsula his entire life.  He has authored a series of books set in the northern part of the state and will soon be publishing a book of poetry, which includes a poem for every day of the year.  He spoke with WEMU's Lisa Barry about his writing and the inspiration he gathers living in the northern part of the state with its rough weather and natural beauty.

Mo Rocca
Mobituaries /

CBS Sunday Morning correspondent, Wait Wait Don't Tell Me panelist, podcaster, and author Mo Rocca talks in-studio with WEMU's Lisa Barry about his new book, "Mobituaries: Great Lives Worth Reliving."  

Fifth Avenue Press
Ann Arbor District Library /

This time on “Beyond Books,” focusing on what’s happening at the Ann Arbor District Library, WEMU’s Lisa Barry talks to Rich Retyi from the library about a service they provide to help people publish their own books!  

#OTGYpsi: 'YpsiWrites' Program Mentors Writers Of All Ages And Professions

Oct 30, 2019
Doug Coombe / Concentrate Media

It can be hard to put your thoughts on paper, whether it's writing a good cover letter to go with your resume, or getting started on that novel you put off for years.  This inspired representatives from Eastern Michigan University, 826Michigan, and the Ypsilanti District Library to form an alliance known as "YpsiWrites," which offers instruction and guidance to up-and-coming writers.  Catherine Calabro Cavin from 826Michigan and Jodi Krahnke from the Ypsilanti District Library talk about this amazing program in this week's "On the Ground-Ypsi," hosted by WEMU's Patrick Campion and Concentrate Media's Sarah Rigg.

Ann Arbor District Library
Ann Arbor District Library /

Your local public library has so much more than just books.  That's why we bring you "Beyond Books," a monthly conversation with the Ann Arbor District Library about all the activities and services they offer.

89.1 WEMU's Lisa Barry talks with Library Communications and Marketing Manager Rich Retyi and Erin Helmrich about the library's book publishing program, and Rich talks about all the different activities the library has for the local community.

Climate Change Dystopia

Dec 28, 2018
Universal Pictures

Scientific reports about climate change tell us major challenges are not only likely but will happen sooner than we thought.   Meanwhile, apocalyptic books and movies are all the rage.  In this segment, we explore the current popularity of the dystopian genre. 

Lisa Barry

Ever notice something that looks like a standalone mailbox located in front of a business or community organizations around town?  Ever wondered what's inside?

89.1 WEMU'S Lisa Barry explains they're mini neighborhood book exchanges, hidden in plain sight around Washtenaw County.

David Fair / 89.1 WEMU

You may not know it but, when it comes to publishing,  Washtenaw County is one of the biggest and most impactful communities in the country.  A prime example is Thomson-Shore, Inc. in Dexter.  In this week's "creative:impact," WEMU's David Fair and Deb Polich of The Arts Alliance catch up with the President of the creative publishing house, Kevin Spall.