Fan Favorite Friday: The Joy of Johnny Depp

616px-Johnny_Depp_Walk_of_FameJohnny 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 StreetThe 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: Chocolatbased 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 BrideRango‘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 stillplenty 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.

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Learn how to fix your own bicycle at Mentor Library


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.

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Throwback Thursday: Remembering Shirley Temple, America’s Sweetheart

Shirley Temple

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 TopHeidi 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 PrincessThe 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 biographiespictorial historieschildren’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.

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The 25 Biggest Money Mistakes People Make

We kicked off Money Smart Week with a visit from Gregory Berlin from the Society for Financial Awareness Tuesday.

Gregory Berlin from SOFA talks about the most common money mistakes people.

Gregory Berlin from SOFA talks about the most common money mistakes people.

Berlin listed the 25 biggest mistakes people make with their money.

Without further ado, they are:

25 Biggest Mistakes

  1. Procrastinating to avoid financial decisions.
  2. Having financial goals that are too general, undefined or unrealistic.
  3. Not having a financial plan or having one that obviously won’t work (which is the same as not having a plan.)
  4. Ignoring the effect of taxes on your financial plan.
  5. Going uninsured against death, disability and liability.
  6. Ignoring the cost of living inflation in your plans.
  7. Having your long-term financial plans depend too heavily on the current fad. Right now, that would be tech stocks.
  8. Making decisions based upon fear, greed or other emotions.
  9. Doing all your financial planning yourself to save a few dollars.
  10. Being too conservative or, conversely, too aggressive.
  11. Not understanding the concept of asset allocation.
  12. Concentrating your investments instead of diversifying.
  13. Putting all of your money into hot companies. (This mistake is akin to #7. That’s not investing; that’s speculating.)
  14. Being overly influenced by your friends and family.
  15. Placing market-timing bets. (Once again, that’s speculating, which is high risk.)
  16. Failing to take profits or cut losses.
  17. Having too much idle assets. (To phrase this differently, this is the rare situation of having too much cash on hand. You’re always going to need some liquidity, but burying all your bills in the backyard prevents your money from making money.)
  18. Assuming things will just work themselves out.
  19. Demanding immediate results and satisfaction.
  20. Wanting everything guaranteed.
  21. Lacking discipline in regard to spending, savings or investment.
  22. Overrating anyone’s expertise. No person, firm or magazine can guarantee where any market or security is going and when.
  23. Not understand the many problems with money.
  24. Overly relying on uncertain future income like expected inheritances, promotions, winning the lottery etc.
  25. Wanting something for nothing.
Money Smart Week continues through Saturday, upcoming programs at Mentor Public Library’s Main Branch include:
  • Make Cents: Understanding the Long-Term Financial Commitments brings experts from three different banks to the library’s Main Branch. They will demystify common banking topics for the layperson. This Q & A panel session is from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on April 10.
  • Solving the Retirement Income Puzzle, where people can learn how to manage their retirement income and avoid running out of money. This talk will be from 2 to 3 p.m. on Friday, April 11.
  • Show Me the Money, a special program for kids from 1 to 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 5. Children will learn about currency and make their own piggy bank.
  • Duct Tape Wallet, in which teens can get creative while making their own wallets out of duct tape. The program is from 2 to 4 p.m. on April 12.

For more information on Money Smart Week at Mentor Public Library, visit or call (440) 255-8811 ext. 215.

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Remembering the first Cleveland Indians team to win a World Series

It’s been awhile since the Indians and the city of Cleveland celebrated a World Series win—since 1948, to be exact.

But this isn’t another sad song about Rocky Colavito or Jose Mesa. This is about remembering a time—the first time, specifically—when the Indians were the undisputed best in baseball.

Author Scott Longert came to the Mentor Library earlier this week to talk about The Best They Could Be, his book that tells the story of the World Series-winning 1920 Cleveland Indians.

Longert is a devoted fan of the Indians and baseball, in general. He learned to read from box scores and  even wrote a biography on Indians pitcher Addie Joss.

(If Longert looks familiar, you may recognize him as one of the park rangers at James A. Garfield National Historic Site.)

We interviewed Longert before his talk.

If you’re a Tribe fan and/or a local history buff, you’ll probably love The Best They Could Be. It’s available online and at book stores all around Cleveland.

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