The Coming of the French Revolution

Our resident historian Dr. John Foster discussed the origin of the French Revolution during a lecture earlier this week.

We’ve posted the talk online in its entirety for this unable to attend. (By the way, sorry for the technical glitches. We hope you enjoy the video anyhow.)

Foster explains:

  • how France’s enormous debt precipitated the Revolution
  • how the Third Estate (that is, everyone but nobility and clergy) wrested power from the nobility and clergy
  • how public perception of King Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette is, in some ways, unfairly skewed
  • what ultimately doomed King Louis XVI
  • the relationship between the American and French revolutions.

Speaking of which, each year Foster gives a series of lectures about American history. His previous topics include the Battles of World War II and US Presidents of the 20th Century. This year, he’ll discuss the American Revolution.

The series begins at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 21, at our Main Branch. The topic is the origins of the Revolution.

Finally, if you’re interested, most of Foster’s previous historical talks can be viewed in their entirety on our YouTube channel.

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Lake Branch expanding thanks to generous donation

Mentor Public Library Executive Director Cheryl Kuonen (left) and Board of Trustees President Diane Wantz thank Charles N. Higgins Jr., the trustee of the

Mentor Public Library Executive Director Cheryl Kuonen (left) and Board of Trustees President Diane Wantz (right) thank Charles N. Higgins Jr., a trustee of The Francis M. Paulson Irrevocable Trust of 1990, for the trust’s support of the library.

Mentor Public Library’s Lake Branch will receive a substantial upgrade and expansion this year – in large part thanks to the generosity of Francis “Bud” Paulson.

The Francis M. Paulson Irrevocable Trust of 1990 provides for the creation of the Beryl B. Paulson Memorial Endowment Fund, and the fund is donating $250,000 toward the project.

Lake Branch’s expansion will include the construction of another meeting room. This addition will be permanently known as The Beryl P. Paulson Annex and Meeting Room in honor of Paulson’s wife.

The new meeting room will make it possible for the Lake Branch to host more and bigger programs.

Beryl Paulson and Francis “Bud” Paulson passed away in 2005 and 2017, respectively. They actively used and supported Mentor Public Library throughout their lives.

Francis Paulson served on the library’s Board of Trustees from 1958 to 1966. His tenure included several important events for Mentor Public Library, including:

  • The expansion of the library’s Main Branch on Mentor Avenue
  • The establishment of the first branch in Mentor-on-the-Lake
  • The acquisition of the Headlands Branch from the Fairport Harbor Public Library
  • The separation of Mentor Public Library from the school system.

“The Paulsons’ gift is overwhelming in its generosity,” Mentor Public Library Executive Director Cheryl Kuonen said. “Every library is a reflection of its community, and extraordinary gifts like the Paulsons help the library accomplish extraordinary things.”

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Un-Deniable Un-Birthday Party

The Un-Birthday Party becomes un-stoppable when Alice shows up.

The Un-Birthday Party becomes un-stoppable when Alice shows up.

Games! Crafts! Alice in Wonderland! Cake! A piñata! We had everything but birthdays at our Un-Birthday Party.

As explained in Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking Glass, an un-birthday is any day that’s not your birthday, which makes un-birthdays easy to celebrate. We had one on Monday at our Main Branch.

It was un-deniably wonderful.

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Life & Legacy of Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain

Our Civil War series continues with the hero of Little Round Top – well, certainly one of the heroes – Brevet Major-General Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain.

Many of us know about the heroics of the 20th Maine at Gettysburg. But what about the injury that nearly killed him during the Siege of Petersburg? His tenure as governor? His troubled marriage?

Learn all about the life and legacy of Chamberlain from the experts at James A. Garfield National Historic Site.

By the way, Chamberlain was a prolific author in his own right, and you can borrow his Passing of the Armies from our library. You can also borrow The Killer Angels, the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel that renewed Chamberlain’s celebrity and inspired Gettysburg.

Our Civil War series continues at noon on Wednesday, March 13, at our Main Branch. We’ll learn about Cleveland’s Civil War Soldiers & Sailors Monument. As always, the talk is free and open to all.

By the way, if you’re interested in Civil War history, several talks in our Civil War series can be viewed online in their entirety, including:

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Playing the Name Game with our Wordplay Club

Mary searches a Baby Book for fun character names.

Mary searches a Baby Book for fun character names.

What’s in a name? Well, a lot of fun for our Wordplay Writing Club.

February 13 is Get A Different Name Day. (It’s a thing, apparently.) To celebrate, our kids’ writing club researched Baby Books for new monikers. Then they swapped their names for Bailey, Phoenix, Lily and the like.

Then they used the Baby Books to name characters they wanted to write about.

Each month, the writers in our Wordplay Club finds different ways to boost their creativity. For example, sometimes they use randomly selected words to create a story, make nature journals or create poems with refrigerator magnets.

Our club is open to all writers in third through sixth grade. It meets at 4:30 p.m. on the second Wednesday of every month at our Main Branch. The next meeting is March 13.

You can register your child for Wordplay by calling (440) 255-8811 ext. 221 or by visiting our website.

By the way, if you’re an aspiring author, we have hundreds of books on the art of writing that you can borrow with a library card.

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