Monday, September 1, 2014

5 Reasons We Host Concerts At Mentor Public Library


The Travelin' Man Band performed a free concert Wednesday at our Lake Branch. The good news: it was a great show and a lot of fun. The bad news: that performance closed out another concert season at Mentor Public Library.

Most people don't associate libraries with live music, though we've been hosting concerts at Mentor Public Library for a few years now.

We do it for a lot of reasons. Here are the five biggest.

1. We love music

Sometimes, it's really that simple. We love music—all kinds, from jazz to country to pop and back again—and this is one of the ways we share that love.

It's also one of the reasons we offer Freegal and Hoopladigital services that let you download and stream music, respectively—and have stacks upon stacks of CDs for you to borrow.

2. Libraries aren't just places to borrow books. They're cultural centers

Don't get me wrong. We love books. Most people who work in a library are there, in part, because they love to read.

But libraries aren't just about books.

They're a place to engage with the culture, and culture doesn't end in the written word. It includes music, fashion, art -- pretty much any way a person expresses themselves.

3. It lets us promote local talent

Last year, we launched our Rock Roots Summer Concert Series.

We featured four local bands over the span of three free shows. All four bands—Altered Generation, Brendan Burt Band, Cheap Clone and Hedgehog's Dilemma—have roots in Mentor.

This not only gives these bands a chance to perform on their home turf, it also exposes them to a new audience who might not hear of them otherwise.
4. The concerts might introduce you to something new that you'll love

Mentor Public Library is all about lifelong learning. That's why we host computer classes and programs about the Mars Rover, Edgar Allan Poe and make rockets from Alka-Seltzer tablets and water. (And that was just this summer.)

That's also why we bring in an eclectic range of performers. We've hosted jazz, country, alternative, indie pop, oldies and Beatles tribute bands.

We hope you've enjoyed our myriad shows, and we hope you enjoy our concerts next summer too.

5. The concerts are a lot of fun

It really is that simple sometimes.

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.