Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Monday, February 29, 2016

Author Mark Clark talks writing, researching & Kirk v. Picard

Mark Clark is a polymath of geek culture.

He's written two books about Star Trek, a critical filmography of 1960s horror cinema, and, most recently, a FAQ about Star Wars.

He recently visited Mentor Public Library and was kind enough to talk about his writing.

Clark explained how he gathers new information on topics as well researched as Star Trek and Star Wars. He also discussed how he picks the subjects for his books.

He even weighed in on two of the most important pop-culture debates of our era: Kirk v. Picard; and Star Trek v. Star Wars.

That's right. The man behind not one but two Star Trek FAQs divulged if he's an original-series or Next-Gen guy, a Trekkie or a Jedi!

He also told us the biggest myth surrounding the making of Star Wars. It's a tale that even George Lucas perpetuates.

For more author talks at Mentor Public Library, visit our YouTube page.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Borrow seeds from Mentor Public Library

You can borrow seeds for free from Mentor Public Library's seed library.
Did you know that you can borrow seeds from Mentor Public Library?

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 has 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.

If you're new to gardening, then you can also get some expert advice while you're at the library.

Master Gardener Susan Cowling will discuss seed starting at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 5, at our Main Branch.

She'll explain why and how you can start your own seeds for flowers and vegetables. Learn the proper containers, as well as lighting and watering techniques for growing strong, healthy plants.

The talk is free and open to the public. You can register for it on our website.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Help Feed Lake County at Mentor Public Library

You can donate to United Way of Lake County's food drive at any Mentor Public Library branch.
More than 31,000 people in Lake County needed help feeding themselves or their family last year.

Nearly one county resident in 10 lives in poverty.

For those reasons and more, Mentor Public Library is participating in the United Way of Lake County's annual Feed Lake County food drive.

From March 1 to 31, you can drop off nonperishable food at any of MPL's branches.

That food, in turn, will be shared with Lake County residents through the more than 50 food pantries in the county.

This drive is not our annual Can Your Fines food drive. We aren't waiving fines for donations. Helping your neighbor is its own reward.

Last spring, UWLC collected and distributed more than 20,000 pounds of food thanks to the generosity of our community. People also donated more than $41,000 to purchase food for Lake County's pantries throughout the year.

That's the good news. The bad news is the need is still there.

Support your neighbor by donating food and help Feed Lake County.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Studio MPL practices drawing with live models

The young artists of Studio MPL practice drawing live models.
Ruthie had held her splits pose for more than nine minutes, and she was beginning to ache.

Talk about suffering for your art.

The young artists in Studio MPL—Mentor Public Library’s art club for kids—practiced drawing live models during their most recent meting.

They didn’t have to look hard for models either. Several of the club members, including Ruthie, volunteered to pose for their friends.
Taryn sketches her friends while they pose.
Artists of all kinds often use live models to create realistic pictures, paintings and sculptures of people; so the exercise provided valuable practice to the kids in Studio MPL.

Every month, the kids take on a new art project. They’ve created imaginary friends, made sun catchers, painted sunsets, weaved, tried out pointillism and even garnered inspiration from Jackson Pollock.

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 March 21 at our Main Branch.

Kids can sign up for Studio MPL on our website or by calling the library at 440-255-8811 ext. 221.
Caleb uses his own illustration as part of his pose.
Visit Mentor Public Library's Facebook page for more photos from Studio MPL.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

American Girl Book Club Meets Felicity

Maddie and Clara play with the rag dolls they made at the American Girl Book Club.
Our American Girl Book Club learned that it's a lot trickier to make your own dolls than it is to buy them.

Our American Girl Book Club meets on the first Wednesday of each month to discuss a different American Girl book and make a new craft.

This month, we met Felicity and made rag dolls—just like they did in the Revolutionary War era, which is when Felicity's from.
Ms. Kim helps Maggie decorate her rag doll.
If you have a child who likes the American Girl books or dolls, then she can join the fun. They can even bring their dolls with them, if they like. (Of course, the dolls aren’t required.)

Our next meeting is 4 p.m. on March 2 in the children’s section of our Main Branch on Mentor Avenue. The girls will be meeting Caroline.

You can register your child for the book club on our web site or by calling (440) 255-8811 ext. 221.
Madelyn ties the arms around her rag doll.
Visit Mentor Public Library's Facebook page for more photos from our American Girl Book Club.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Harper Lee & the beauty of one perfect story

Harper Lee died at the age of 89 on Friday.

I'd say we lost her, but we never had her. She was always very much her own. She was a rarity for her time and almost unheard of now: a celebrity who enjoyed her privacy.

Lee lived in Monroeville, Alabama—dying in the same city she was born. She declined almost all invitations to speak in public, be interviewed, or receive honorary degrees.

There are biographies and documentaries. None of them were written with Lee's blessing or participation. In fact, after Marja Mills released her memoir, The Mockingbird Next Door: Life with Harper Lee, Lee issued a statement.

"Rest assured, as long as I am alive, any book purporting to be with my cooperation is a falsehood," Lee said.

Because Lee chose not to tell her story, we are left with the stories she told.

She wrote one masterpiece, To Kill a Mockingbird, and helped Truman Capote research and write In Cold Blood.

She fiddled with follow-ups, both fiction and nonfiction, but eventually abandoned them all.

There's some juvenilia—an article for Vogue; her "second" novel Go Set a Watchman (which, by most accounts, is an early draft of the superior Mockingbird)—but that's it.

This is the second way in which she is a rara avis. She didn't try to milk her success by publishing something that didn't meet her standards.

In the end, she gave us very little besides To Kill a Mockingbird, but that was by design.

If you're looking for a way to mourn Harper Lee, may I recommend reading or re-reading Mockingbird?

Let's be grateful for the story she gave us and appreciate the vast gap between giving the world one perfect story and giving it none.