Friday, August 29, 2014

Free ACT Prep Sessions Available at Mentor Library

Mentor Library is offering free ACT prep courses to teens on Saturdays, Sept. 6 and 13.
Mentor Library is offering free ACT prep courses to teens on Saturdays, Sept. 6 and 13.
Stressed out about the ACTs?

Why wouldn't you be?

It’s one of the cruel truths of young adulthood that you spend four years volunteering, participating in student groups and working hard in class, and then a single standardized test taken on a Saturday morning can completely undermine you.

So standardized test are, in a word, stressful.

But there’s no better remedy for that stress than being well prepared.

The Mentor Public Library is offering two free ACT prep sessions this September. The first session is from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Sept. 6. It will focus on general test preparation and the reading courses. The next session is Sept. 13. Its focus will be the science and math sections of the ACT. You can register for them on our website.

These sessions provide practical experience in terms of the types of questions you’ll see on the ACT, and they also offer strategies for test prep (that, by the way, work on tests besides the ACT.)

All sessions will be led by Dr. John Foster, one of our reference librarians at Mentor Public Library. Foster has a doctorate in history from the University of Washington and has taught at both the high school and college level.

And, yes, all of our sessions are free and open to anyone preparing for the ACT.

If you have any questions on our ACT prep sessions, you can call the library at (440) 255-8811 ext. 215.
Students prepare for their upcoming ACT at Mentor Public Library
Students prepare for their upcoming ACT at Mentor Public Library

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Talk 'The Fault in our Stars' with our new Teen Book Club


Mentor Library's Teen Book Club will meet Saturday, Sept. 6, to talk about The Fault in our Stars.
Mentor Library's Teen Book Club will meet Saturday, Sept. 6, to talk about The Fault in our Stars.
Remember reading for fun?

Not reading something because it might be on the test or because someone told you to—but reading for the thrill of it, the joy, to find out what happens on the next page.

Mentor Public Library started a book club just for teens at our Mentor-on-the-Lake Branch because we want to get back to that fun.

Our next meeting is at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 6. We'll be talking about John Green's The Fault in our Stars. Anyone who's in ninth through 12th grade is welcome to join us.

If you want, you can borrow one of our copies of The Fault in our Stars. Just come by the Lake Branch and check one out.

If you know a teen who likes reading, loves reading or is just looking for some new people to talk about The Fault in our Stars with, tell them about our Teen Book Club.

We meet the first Saturday afternoon of each month at our Mentor-on-the-Lake Branch to talk about books from YA authors like Rainbow Rowell, Ransom Riggs and Terry Pratchett.

When our club meets in October, we'll be talking about Pratchett's Nation. (And, as always, you can check the book out from us beforehand.)

If you have any questions regarding the Teen Book Club, call Mentor Library’s Mentor-on-the-Lake Branch at 440-257-2512.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Volunteers Give Children's Area a Makeover

Alyssa Weese and the other volunteers from Selman gave our Children's Department a fun and brightly colored makeover Friday morning.
Alyssa Weese and the other volunteers from Selman gave our Children's Department a fun and brightly colored makeover Friday morning.
Sue Manning smiled as she looked at the fresh layer of robin's-egg blue paint in the Children's Section of the Mentor Public Library.

"I love it," she said. "My granddaughter is four. I can't wait to bring her up here and say, 'This is what grandma did.'"

Manning is just one of more than a dozen volunteers from Selman & Company, a third-party insurance administrator and marketer, that gave MPL's children's section a makeover Friday morning.

They painted the second floor of our library's main branch in vibrant blues, yellows and greens. And they did it all from the goodness of their hearts.
Gary Sheplavy helps brighten the children's department.
Gary Sheplavy helps brighten the children's department.
Selman volunteers repainted our Children's Department as part of their Annual Volunteer Day, and they helped more than Mentor Public Library. They volunteered at other nonprofits in Northeast Ohio, including Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Greater Cleveland Food Bank, Lake County Board of Developmental Disabilities’ Deepwood Facility, Lake MetroParks and PAWSibilities.

"David Selman (the president of Selman & Co.,) he wants his company to give back," Manning said. "That's how our company is."
Erin Sheplavy stretches to reach the framing around our carousel.
Erin Sheplavy stretches to reach the framing around our carousel.
Manning said she would be back at the library soon—and not just to show off her painting to her granddaughter.

"The library means a lot me," she said. "I'm an avid reader."

Everyone at Mentor Library can't thank the Selman volunteers enough for their kindness, help and consideration. We love the new look in our Children's Area, and we hope the kids and parents love it too!

We also have one more thank you to bestow. Thanks to all of our patrons who were so understanding that our Children's Area was closed Friday morning. Kids and books are a great combination. Kids, books and paint—well, that can get messy.
Blue Mordini smiles as she paints Friday morning.
Blue Mordini smiles as she paints Friday morning.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Reading to the pups

Jacob reads Harry Potter to Kacey during MPL's Paws to Read program Wednesday night.
Jacob reads Harry Potter to Kacey during MPL's Paws to Read program Wednesday night.
We've written about Paws to Read before. We'll write about it again.

After all, we at Mentor Public Library love almost any program that gets children reading—not just reading, but loving it!

And few things get kids more excited about reading—or anything else for that matter—than a warm, snuggly pooch listening to them.
Hey, they aren't reading. Olivia and Caesar have a quick ear-scratching break.
Hey, they aren't reading. Olivia and Caesar have a quick ear-scratching break.
Paws to Read pairs young readers (between the ages of six and 12 years old) with therapy dogs, who listen to the children as they read.

If your child can read independently but doesn’t like to do it in front of other people, you might try signing them up for Paws to Read. The program works well for dog lovers, but it's also helped some kids who are scared of dogs get over their phobia.
Aylish reads Dog Rules to Kody.
Aylish reads Dog Rules to Kody.
The next session is scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 17, at Mentor Library’s Main Branch.

Registration fills up quickly, so contact the children’s department at Mentor Public Library soon if you think you child could benefit from Paws to Read.

There is often a waiting list for the program once registration begins.

For more information on Paws to Read and other children’s programs at Mentor Public Library call (440) 255-8811 ext. 221.
Elizabeth meets Caesar during Paws to Read.
Elizabeth meets Caesar during Paws to Read.
For more photos from Paws to Read, visit Mentor Library’s Facebook page.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Fun at Flash Libraries


Kids could make a craft during our Flash Library at Concord Community Days
Kids could make a craft during our Flash Library at Concord Community Days
Have you seen one of our Flash Libraries yet?

We've popped up everywhere from Civic Center Park to Atlas Cinemas to Mentor Schools this summer. We also had a Flash Library during Concord Community Days last Saturday.

Kids made a craft (boliche, the classic cup-and-ball game,) while grown-ups could check out books and movies from Mentor Library.

We also brought one of our Little Free Libraries to Community Days, so people could look through them and find something to read.
A family checks out the selection in our Little Free Library Saturday.
A family checks out the selection in our Little Free Library Saturday.
If you’re not familiar with our Flash Libraries, they’re similar to Bookmobiles. We come to your neck of the woods with popular movies and books. If you have a library card you can check them out—same as if you were in a brick-and-mortar library. And if you don’t have a library card, well you can get one of those too. (And you really should have a library card.)

We still have more Flash Libraries coming this month. We'll be at the Mentor Senior Center this Friday afternoon during their weekly matinee and at the city of Mentor's Final Friday Farmers Market on Aug. 29 in Civic Center Park.

And you'll find us at Wildwood Cultural Center, James A. Garfield National Historic Site, Penitentiary Glen and more this September.

So always keep have your library card on you, just in case. You'll never know when you can use it.
Nicole (right) and her friend, Rebecca, try to catch the ball in the cup.
Nicole (right) and her friend, Rebecca, try to catch the ball in the cup.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Making Rockets at the Headlands Branch

On Wednesday, we used water, Alka-Seltzer tablets and old film canisters to make some backyard-safe rockets at our Headlands Branch.

This is a fun and simple craft you and your kid can do if you have any Alka-Seltzer tablets left over from making your own lava lamp.

All you need to do is:

1. Get a container that closes airtight. The smaller it is, the easier this experiment will be. We used old film canisters. (They make a satisfying *pop* noise that you can hear repeatedly in our video.) But you could even use a Ziploc bag as long as you close it securely.

2. Put water in the canister.

3. Drop in an Alka-Seltezer tablet.

4. Secure the top onto the canister so it's airtight.

5. Set the canister down and give it some space. The tablet and the water are interacting and creating carbon dioxide. Eventually, it will create too much gas for the container to hold and shoot its top off.

There won't be any fire in this explosion, but it could still hypothetically whack you in the eye; so it would be safest to wear goggles.

By the way, if you put less water in the canister, then it actually causes a bigger pop because it leaves space for more gas. However, you'll have to wait longer for your container to pop.

You can do a similar experiment with a Ziploc bag, warm water, baking soda and vinegar. Put the warm water in the bag first, then three scoops of baking soda wrapped in a tissue, and finally the vinegar. Make sure the bag is sealed completely shut or it will just leak instead of popping.

For more fun experiments and programs at Mentor Library, visit www.mentorpl.org.
Olivia and Bella prep their rockets for launch.
Olivia and Bella prep their rockets for launch.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Mentor Library kids enjoy a little Wordplay

Eric Remchick brainstorms what he would write in a journal.
Eric Remchick brainstorms what he would write in a journal.
Mentor Public Library has a book club for children who love to read, a comics club for fans of sequential art and Studio MPL for kids who love every other kind of art.

But, until recently, it didn’t have a club for burgeoning writers. That’s why Judy Schulz started our Wordplay Creative Writing Club.

“I decided to start this monthly club after working with Lisa Layton on our Studio MPL programs and with Marilyn Weiss on our Comics Club,” Judy said. “The one area we don’t address is writing, but we have had several children who have mentioned that they write stories. I thought that a group like Wordplay could bring together the children who enjoy writing.”
Valerie Akins and Juliana Kless share their stories during Wordplay.
Valerie Akins and Juliana Kless share their stories during Wordplay.
Wordplay give the kids some creative ways to develop their interests. This week, kids learned about journals, diaries and different fiction books like the Wimpy Kid, Ellie McDoodle and Amelia series, which use journals as a narrative tool.

Wordplay Creative Writing Club meets at 4:30 p.m. on the second Wednesday of every month at our Main Branch. It's free and open to any kids in third through sixth grade. The next meeting is Sept. 10.

You can register your child for Wordplay by calling (440) 255-8811 ext. 221 or by visiting the Mentor Library's website.
Julie Namciu writes where her imagination takes her.
Julie Namciu writes where her imagination takes her.