Thursday, April 24, 2014

Throwback Thursday: Once Upon a Time in a Western

The western, as a genre, seems to have fallen out of vogue. Not even high-powered combination of Johnny Depp and Gore Verbinski could make the recent Lone Ranger film a sure thing. (That having been said, if you want an awesome Johnny Depp western, may I recommend Rango.)

But the American west will always have a nostalgic appeal for those who grew up on John Wayne, Louis L'Amour and Bonanza. That's why we're dedicating this week's Throwback Thursday to the western.

With all due respect to the aforementioned L'Amour, the first name in westerns will always be John Wayne. Yes, his range extended beyond a 10-gallon hat and a stoic stare. (Personally, I loved his turn in I Love Lucy.) But if you need a place to start, check out his Oscar-winning performance in True Grit or his classic turn in Hondo. Try his Ultimate Collection if you want to get a taste of the Duke's lesser known films. You can also stream several of Wayne's movies for free onto your computers, phones and tablets with you library via Hoopla. (How to use Hoopla, in case you forgot.)

If you're looking for a more contemporary film, my personal favorite is Tombstone, but 3:10 to Yuma and The Assassination of Jesse James are both well worth your time.

There are plenty of classic westerns for the small screen too and you can borrow any of them—Bonanza, Rawhide, Wild Wild West (even the other Wild Wild West)—from Mentor Public Library.

The westerns were such a revolutionary genre of film and television, they created their own style of music to accompany them—wavering harmonicas, barely tuned pianos and rustling spurs for percussion. The most famous composer for westerns was Ennio Morricone, but he's just the tip of the iceberg. And if you love the music as much as you love the movies, you can borrow both at the library.

If you'd rather read than watch, we have dozens of L'Amour books available for checkout. And if you want something more contemporary, may I recommend Elmore Leonard?

And if you like your Western movies a little broader, well, there's always Blazing Saddles. It's the perfect movie if you hate westerns and if you love them.

Come back each week for a new Throwback Thursday profile.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Manufacturer Cristal to talk career opportunities at Mentor Library

You probably don't realize how ubiquitous titanium dioxide is. It's in everything from paint to sunscreen to food coloring, but you would never notice it.

Moreover, a lot of you probably don't realize that the second largest producer of titanium dioxide in the world is based in Northeast Ohio—Ashtabula, specifically.

That producer is Cristal and its Human Resources Leader, Sapphire Wells, will be the speaker at our next Career Coffee Talk at 10 a.m. this Thursday, April 24, at Mentor Public Library's Main Branch. (You can register for the Coffee Talk here.)

Wells said Cristal is hiring mechanics, planners, supervisors and operators for its manufacturing site, as well as professional staff. More information is available at www.cristalcareers.com.

Wells added that she will discuss recruitment, resumes, online applications and tricks of the trade, as well as answer questions during her Career Coffee Talk on Thursday morning.

If you're interested in learning more about Cristal, and possibly working there, come to our Career Coffee Talk this Thursday.

Career Coffee Talks is a series of monthly informal talks designed to help people get the tools they need to help them find the career they want. The series is spearheaded by Ohio Means Jobs Lake County and hosted by Mentor Public Library.

Previous speakers in the series include STERIS, Lake Health and Progressive.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Good Dog: The Return of Paws to Read

Paws to Read returned to Mentor Public Library last week.

This program is a personal favorite. It 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. (Especially if your son or daughter is also a dog lover.)

The next session is slated for May 21 at our Mentor-on-the-Lake Branch and registration for it begins on May 7.

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.

And for more photos from our most recent Paws to Read session, visit our Facebook page.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Fan Favorite Friday: The Joy of Johnny Depp

Johnny Depp's newest film Transcendence comes out today. While it will still be a few months before you can check it out at the library, we have movies, book and even an audiobook featuring Depp to help you get geared up for Transcendence.

Here are just 10 of the items you can borrow, stream or download to get your daily Depp fix.

1. 21 Jump Street. The first time most people heard of Depp was when he played Officer Tom Hanson on 21 Jump Street. You can borrow the first five seasons of the show from us. Depp and some of his castmates also appeared in the 21 Jump Street movie that came out in 2012.

2. Edward Scissorhands. Depp appeared as a victim in A Nightmare on Elm Street and a bilingual private in Platoon, but he didn't shake off his teen-idol image until he linked with director Tim Burton and created a series of iconic losers—Depp's words, not mine—including Ed Woods and Sweeney Todd.

3. Chocolat. Usually, Depp plays against his looks. He obscures his features with ridiculous facial hair, deathly pallor and, well, scissorhands. But occasionally he allows himself to play the romantic lead. My personal favorite: Chocolat, based up on a Joanne Harris novel of the same name, in which he plays a handsome Gypsy who is attracted to a chocolatier.

4. Pirates of the Caribbean. The difference between star and superstar isn't a matter of talent. There are plenty of talented actors who never quite make that leap to the A-list. Often the difference is one iconic role; and, for, Depp that role is Jack Sparrow—excuse me, Captain Jack Sparrow. In addition to having all four movies, you can also borrow the soundtracks and even the Pirates video game.

5. Corpse Bride. No long paragraph here. I really like Corpse Bride. Rango's pretty good too.

6. Alice in Wonderland. Lately, Burton and Depp have teamed for a series of remake/revisions of classic stories, including Sweeney Todd and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. My favorite, thus far, is their version of Lewis Carroll's story.

7. Johnny Depp biographies. Depp has resisted the urge to write an autobiography, but there are still plenty of books written about the man.

8. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Depp was a friend of gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson, and Thompson's work has influenced Depp in several ways. Depp played Thompson in the pseudobiographical film Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. He also played the lead in The Rum Diary, a film based on a Thompson novel. Finally, Depp himself wrote the introduction for Thompson's oral biography Gonzo.

9. Sweeney Todd Soundtrack. Lest we ever forget, Depp once played the lead in a Sondheim musical. If you liked the music from Sweeney Todd, you can borrow the CD from us or stream the soundtrack directly onto your phone, computer or tablet via Hoopla.

10. Life CD Book. And if you can't get enough of Depp's mellifluous voice, he is also one of the two narrators for the audio version Keith Richards' autobiography. No, seriously.

Come back every week for more Fan Favorite Fridays.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Learn how to fix your own bicycle

It's spring time—no, seriously—and it's finally nice enough outside to take your bike for a ride. (No, seriously.)

If your bike needs a tuneup or if you just want to know how to do basic repairs for your bicycle, come to Make-It Monday at 6:30 p.m. on May 21 at Mentor Public Library's Main Branch.

Robert Ponti from Bicycle Hub will teach everyone basic bicycle maintenance and repair skills. You can bring your own bike to the program and get hands-on experience.

Make-It Monday is a series of programs at Mentor Public Library that encourage people to learn how to take apart, fix and make things with their own two hands.

During the first Make-It Monday program in February, people learned how to take apart electronics like computers, printers, keyboards and even eReaders.

People can register for Make-It Monday on Mentor Public Library’s website or by calling (440) 255-8811 ext. 215.

After this Monday's program, Mentor Public Library will host three more Make-It Mondays in 2014. Then next session will be in June when adults can make art out of duct tape.

Later in the year, the library will host Make-It Mondays for interests as diverse as knitting and costuming.

Throwback Thursday: Remembering Shirley Temple, America's Sweetheart

As part of National Library Week, we're kicking off Throwback Thursday—our celebration of films, TV shows, music and stars we love from yesteryear.

And who else can we feature for our inaugural edition but America's Sweetheart?

Shirley Temple Black requires no introduction so we'll keep this short. She is on the short list for the most famous child star of all time. (The entire list: Shirley Temple and Michael Jackson.)

Her acting career was a comet. She was the most famous actress in the world before she hit puberty and functionally retired by the age of 22.

To her credit, she avoided many of the pitfalls that snare the obscenely famous once they become slightly less famous. She served as the U.S. Ambassador to Ghana and Czechoslovakia, as well as the first female U.S. Chief of Protocol.

She survived breast cancer and was one of the first prominent women to speak about the disease publicly. She died this year at 85 and was survived by her three children, one granddaughter and two great-grandchildren.

Whether you're already a huge Shirley fan or don't know where to begin with her classic filmography, the Mentor Library can help you find what we're looking for.

We have most of her films on DVD from her classics like Curly Top, Heidi and Bright Eyes to her less known films like Young People.

If you'd rather stream a movie onto your computer, phone or tablet than watch a DVD, you can use your library card to stream Shirley's The Little Princess, The Bachelor and the Bobby Soxer and The Story of Seabiscuit via Hoopla. (You remember how to use Hoopla, right?)

Maybe you just want to listen to Shirley's music. Who doesn't want to hear "Animal Crackers in my Soup" or "On the Good Ship Lollipop" sometimes?

Well, you can use your library card to download mp3s of those and more of her greatest hits for free from Freegal. You never have to return them either. Those songs are yours to keep and use however you want for the rest of your life. (In case you don't know how to use Freegal...)

And we have all sorts of books about Shirley too. This is, after all, a library. We have biographies, pictorial histories, children's books about her and more.

So if you want to revisit the codfish ball or the good ship Lollipop, stop by the Mentor Public Library; because a classic like Shirely Temple never goes out of style.

Come back each week for a new Throwback Thursday profile.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Tips for Planning a Trip Online

Treat yourself.
MPL Reference Librarian Mary Pelton had a program earlier this week that offered tips for those who are planning a trip online.

In addition to compiling several helpful links, she also had a few suggestions.

For example, the more flexible you are on time and destination, the better your chances of finding a great deal.

Consequently, you should search for dates up to three days before and after your ideal travel dates, within a selected month, or on upcoming weekends.

Also, fares from smaller airlines—Southwest, Allegiant, etc.—may not appear on bigger search sites such as Kayak and Bing.

Without further preamble, here is Mary's helpful compilation of links:




All-in-One Travel
·         Bing.com/travel
·         CheapTickets.com
·         Expedia.com
·         FareCompare.com
·         Hipmunk.com
·         Hotwire.com
·         Kayak.com
·         LastMinuteTravel.com


·         Priceline.com
·         Opodo.co.uk
·         Orbitz.com
·         SkyScanners.com
·         Travelocity.com
·         Travelzoo.com
·         TripAdvisor.com
·         Vayama.com

Transportation and Accommodations
Airlines
·        AirfareWatchdog.com
·        GetGoing.com
·        Google.com/flights/
·        RouteHappy.com
·        SeatGuru.com
·        Southwest.com
·        WhichBudget.com (Overseas flights)
·        Yapta.com
Buses & Cars
Accommodations
·        BedandBreakfast.com
·        Booking.com
·        DealBase.com
·        DudeRanch.org
·        HistoricHotels.org
·        HomeAway.com (for groups)
·        Hostelz.com
·        Hotels.com
·        lhw.com (luxury hotels)
·        Quikbook.com (boutique hotels)
·        TheInnKeeper.com (bed & breakfasts)
Rail
·        Amtrak.com
·        BritRail.com (Britain)
·        Eurail.com  (passes)
·        RailEurope.com  (tickets)
·        Seat61.com (train & ferry)

Cruises
·        Cruising.org  (cruise lines)




Travel Guides and Commentaries 
Travel Guides
·        Concierge.com
·        Fodors.com
·        Frommers.com
·        LonelyPlanet.com
·        TheTravelInsider.com
·        TripAdvisor.com
·        TripInfo.com
·        TripSpot.com
·        ViaMichelin.com
·        WorldTravelGuide.net
Special Interests
·        AARP.org
·        AmericanPresidents.org
·        Byways.org
·        FactoryToursUSA.com
·        Gorp.com  (outdoor/adventure travel)
·        MuseumStuff.com
·        MTSobek.com  (outdoor/adventure travel)
·        PreservationNation.org
·        RoadScholar.org
·        SpaFinder.com
Travel Personalities
·        BurtWolf.com
·        Elliott.org
·        PeterGreenberg.com
·        RichardBangs.com
·        RickSteves.com
·        RudyMaxa.com
Tourism Offices
·        DiscoverAmerica.com
·        Towd.com





Government Websites  
·         cdc.gov (Center for Disease Control)
·         cbp.gov (Customs & Border Protection)
·         ftc.gov (Federal Trade Commission)
·         nps.gov (National Park Service)
·         tsa.gov (Travel Services Administration)
·         state.gov  (State Department)


Travel Tools
Theater and Show Tickets
Miscellaneous Tools
·        ElectricalOutlet.org
·        InsureMyTrip.com
·        Maps.Google.com
·        Mapquest.com
·        OneBag.com (packing tips)
·        Weather.com
·        xe.com (foreign currency)