Tuesday, July 2, 2013

5 Reasons We Host Concerts At Mentor Public Library

The Sunset Country Band is performing a concert Wednesday evening at our Mentor-on-the-Lake Library Branch. It's our way of helping to kick off that long Fourth of July weekend.

Sunset Country Band mixes classic and contemporary country music. If you go to their shows, you'll hear everything from Merle Haggard to Zac Brown Band to Toby Keith.

Here's a short video from when they performed at the Mentor Public Library's Main Branch earlier this summer.

You don't have to register for the concert or anything like that. Just show up, bring a blanket or lawn chair if you like, relax and enjoy the music.

Most people don't associate libraries with live music, though we've been hosting concerts at Mentor Public Library for a couple of 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, which is a free and legal way for library patrons to download mp3s, 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.

This July, we're launching our Rock Roots Summer Concert Series.

We're featuring 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.

You can check out our program schedule for more information on our Rock Roots series. The shows are from 6:30 to 8 p.m. on July 10, 17 and 31 -- all Wednesdays -- at the Main Branch.

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 Civil War, origami and spelunking. (And that's just in July.)

That's also why we bring in an eclectic range of performers. We've already hosted jazz and country groups this summer; and we've got alternative, indie pop, oldies and Beatles tribute bands lined up for July and August.

We hope you come to all of the shows. Even if you don't think of yourself as an indie pop or a country fan, you might discover something new to love.

5. The concerts are a lot of fun.

It really is that simple sometimes.

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