Monday, March 30, 2015

Get your documents shredded at Mentor Public Library

Have sensitive documents like tax forms or medical records that you want to get rid of?

Bring them to the library.

Mentor Public Library is partnering with Xpress Shredding for its fifth annual Shred Day in which you can have your documents shredded for free.

Shred Day will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, April 18, in the library’s auxiliary parking lot on the corner of Mentor Avenue and Sharonlee Drive.

The service is free and open to everyone. You can drop off as many five document-storage boxes or bags of paper.

And you don’t have to worry about your sensitive documents being stolen instead of shredded. Everything will be loaded into locked bins on a secure truck, which will be attended at all times by Xpress Shredding staff. Then the truck will be taken to the company’s secure shredding facility.

The documents will then be shredded and the shredded paper recycled.

Shred Day will be held rain or shine. Xpress staff will even help patrons remove their boxes or bags from their cars for them.

Friday, March 27, 2015

10 interesting facts about Clara Barton, the founder of the American Red Cross

Clara Barton, founder of the American Red Cross
In honor of Women's History Month, Carol Starre-Kmiecik visited the Mentor Library to talk about the life of Clara Barton, battlefield nurse and founder of the American Red Cross, while in character as Clara.

Here are just 10 things we learned from her talk:
  1. We know her as Clara Barton, but her full name is Clarissa Harlowe Barton. She was named after a character from the novel Clarissa or the History of a Young Lady, which her aunt was reading when Clara was born in 1821.
  2. Clara grew up on a farm in Oxford, Mass. When she was six, she saw an ox slaughtered for food and was a vegetarian from thereon.
  3. When she was eight years old, a phrenologist—one who surmises a person's psychology using the shape of their patient's head—predicted that Clara would "always be good and helping people." (It was also a phrenologist that later recommended she become a teacher to overcome her shyness.)
  4. When she was 11, her brother, David fell from the roof of their family barn. Clara was tasked with caring for and feeding him. She also leeched him twice a day for two years. It was not until a visiting doctor told them to stop leeching him that David recovered. This was Clara's first exposure to tending for the wounded.
  5. Clara became a teacher at the age of 16. Later, when she was 30, she opened a free school in Bordentown, New Jersey, where there had only been subscription schools before. Under her lead, the school's attendance grew to more than 600; but its board still hired a man (with less experience than Clara) instead of her as principal (and paid him more than her.) She left the school soon thereafter.
  6. Afterward, she got a job as a clerk in the U.S. Patent Office. In fact, she may well have been the first full-time female employee of the federal government. As you may have guessed, some of her male coworkers treated her poorly—even going so far as to spit tobacco in her skirt.
  7. When the Civil War began, she worked as a battlefield nurse. One of the soldiers to whom she tended told her, "This is the second time you saved my life." He then explained that she had been his teacher in New Jersey. Clara risked her own life by being on the battlefield. Once, a bullet went through her sleeve and killed the soldier behind her.
  8. Clara was first introduced to the International Red Cross when she visited Switzerland while recovering from a nervous breakdown after the war. When she recommended joining the Red Cross to President Rutherford B. Hayes, he disapproved. However, when she suggested starting an American Red Cross to his antecessor, President Chester Arthur, he loved it. Clara was named its first president in 1881.
  9. When Clara moved the American Red Cross headquarters from Washington D.C. to Glen Echo, Maryland, she would often make the volunteers lunch using food grown in the office's garden.
  10. Clara lived to be 91. Her last words: "Let me go."
For more information on Clara Barton, check out a book or two from our collection.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Mentor Library helping community grow with seed library

Mentor Public Library is helping seed the community with its new seed library, which launches April 1.

Gardeners—from the greenest sprouts to experienced green thumbs—can borrow heirloom and organic seeds from Mentor Library for free.

Here’s how it works. Anyone with a MPL card in good standing can check out seeds from the library for their own garden. The library’s collection already includes more than 100 varieties of seed, including herbs, flowers, vegetables and fruit.

People can check out as many as 15 types of seed per year.

With the seed library, people check out the seeds from MPL’s collection, grow them into plants, save some of the seed and then, finally, return those seeds from the propagated plant.

Mentor Library is also hosting a series of botanical programs in April to get people thinking green.

At 2 p.m. on Wednesday, April 1, at MPL’s Main Branch, the Master Gardeners will give a primer on how to properly wake a garden. They will discuss cleanup, composting, pruning, fertilizing, soil testing, mole problems and impatient gardeners.

Then, at 6:30 p.m. on the same day at the Main Branch, Maria Zampini—the author of Gardenpedia: An A-to-Z Guide to Gardening Terms—will offer fun and helpful tips on how to be a successful gardener. After her talk, she will also sell and sign copies of her book.

Next, at 6 p.m. on Thursday, April 16, the cofounders of the Cleveland Seed Bank—Marilyn McHugh and Chris Kennedy—will talk about seed preservation at MPL’s Main Branch. They will offer their expertise on how to both save and preserve heirloom seeds.

All these talks are free and open to the public. To sign up for them, either call (440) 255-8811 ext. 215 or register on the library’s online event calendar.

Mentor Library is also accepting donations of heirloom and organic seeds for its seed library. If anyone wishes to donate, they can call Senior Services Manager Darlene Workman at (440) 255-8811 or email her at

Monday, March 23, 2015

St. Patrick's Party at Mentor Library!

Maddie makes a colorful Fruit loops rainbow during our St. Patrick's Day party.
We threw a St. Patrick's Day party for kids at our Lake Branch on Tuesday. We made pinwheels, shamrock wands and cereal rainbows.

But, instead of just talking about it, how about we get straight to the cute photos...
Evy and the other kids also made shamrock wands and pinwheels.
Avery places the Fruit Loops along his glue lines.
Rheay carefully places the Fruit Loops in her rainbow. (It probably would have been more seasonally appropriate to use Lucky Charms.)
For more photos, check out Mentor Library's Facebook page. For more programs for kids and adults, check out our event calendar.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Studio MPL & the Art of the Imaginary Friend

Jayce's imaginary friend is named Louis. She created him using randomly selected attributes.
Jayce's imaginary friend is named Louis. She created him using randomly selected attributes.

Studio MPL—Mentor Library’s art club for kids—flexed their artistic muscles by drawing their own imaginary friends on Monday, March 16.

The young artists drew inspiration from The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend by Dan Santat, which MPL children’s associate Lisa Layton read to them. The 2015 Caldecott Award-winning book tells the story of a young who creates an imaginary friend.

“The story has so much depth and meaning,” Ms. Lisa said. “So we peeled back the layers of the story through the artwork. At first, the kids see a blobby character. With a second look at the illustrations, it becomes clear that Beekle is a sheet of paper. The story is a metaphor about how an author and illustrator come together to create a story.”
Mira's imaginary friend, Max, has a blue head, pumpkin body and big smile.
The kids then created their own imaginary friends. These new friends had fur, claws, top hats, pumpkin bodies and many more fantastical details.

“Cool moment, because the kids wanted to talk about them,” Ms. Lisa said. “Their imaginary friends were so vibrant and important to them.”

Finally, the kids worked in groups to create a second imaginary friend. They suggested different attributes: purple eyes, a fur coat, likes to sing, and so on. Then, the kids randomly picked from the compiled attributes and used them to draw imaginary friends.

Layton explained that the exercise serves two purposes: one, it encourages artists to work together (like a writer and illustrator) and, two, the random suggestions can serve as a cure for artist's block.
Rosa and Taryn work together to create imaginary friends.
Studio MPL meets on the third Monday of each month. If your kid likes art—any kind of art—they can join the fun!

Next month’s session will be April 20 at our Main Branch. You can register for it here.

For more photos from our Studio MPL session, check out our Facebook page. For more information on programs and events for children, teens and adults at Mentor Public Library, visit our online event calendar.
Rose makes a rainbow background for her imaginary friend.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

MPL Talks: The women who defied gravity

For International Women's Month, Connie Luhta of the International Women Air & Space Museum visited our Main Branch to talk about the female pioneers of aviation.

If you missed her talk earlier, you can now see it in its entirety here.

For more information on programs at Mentor Library, visit our online event calendar. To learn more about the International Women Air & Space Museum, visit

Monday, March 16, 2015

Play Alice Munro Bingo

Want to play a little game the next your reading Nobel Laureate and international treasure Alice Munro?

Break out one of our bingo cards and see what recurring themes appear in her short stories (or her novel, Lives of Girls and Women.)

Does somebody drown? Is there a turkey farm? A hotel restaurant? Does someone cheat on their spouse?

Keep track and win a No-Prize (and the joy of reading Munro.)

Click here for 10 Alice Munro bingo cards that you can pick up for your most erudite dinner party. (Oooh, dinner party. That should be a square!)
Of course we had to make Canada the Free Space.