Holidays at the Branches

Kids show off the holiday gifts they made during our annual Christmas program at our Headlands Branch.

Kids show off the holiday gifts they made during our annual Christmas program at our Headlands Branch.

A lot of our posts lately have been about holiday programs at our Main Branch on Mentor Avenue, but we’ve been getting into the spirit at our Headlands and Mentor-on-the-Lake Branches too.

On Thursday, we had our annual Christmas program at our Headlands Branch.

We sang songs and read stories—including a personal favorite, “Oh, What a Christmas” by Michael Garland—while the kids made Santa stars, candy cane holders and other ornaments.

Ms. Terri helps one of the kids decorate his Christmas tree.

Ms. Terri helps one of the kids decorate his Christmas tree.

Meanwhile, we had a Countdown to Christmas at our Lake Branch on Saturday.

Kids made Christmas countdown calendars, sang carols and played a holiday version of Bingo.

Children work on the Christmas calendars (that count to 25.)

Children work on the Christmas calendars (that count to 25.)

We still have more holiday programs coming at all three of our branches. You can come to our special Christmas Rhyme Time on Dec. 23 at our Mentor-on-the-Lake Branch.

On Monday, Dec. 29, we’ll be using recycled greeting cards to make holiday villages at our Main Branch.

The party continues in 2015 with our Year in Review program on Jan. 2 and the New Year’s party for our Teen Book Club on Jan. 3 at our Mentor-on-the-Lake Branch.

You can check out more of our programs and register for them on our event calendar. If you have any questions, you can always call Mentor Library at 440-255-8811.

It's a Santa star!

It’s a Santa star!

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Meet our newest board member

MPL's newest board member, Terri Mervo, introduces herself.

MPL’s newest board member, Terri Mervo, introduces herself during the Board of Trustees meeting Wednesday.

We have our newest trustee.

The Mentor Board of Education has chosen Terri Mervo to serve on our Board of Trustees. She will fill the position that opened when Terry Kilbourne announced his retirement after 16 years on the board.

Terri came to our Board meeting Wednesday to introduce herself, but the introduction was hardly necessary. She’s been coming to Mentor Public Library for decades—first with her daughter, now with her grandchildren.

Her term begins Jan. 1, 2015 and will run through Dec. 31, 2021.

Terri and her husband have lived in Mentor for 40 years. She had worked at Mentor Public Schools for much of that time and is now retired.

“I have always been an advocate of our public library and am extremely excited to have the opportunity to serve our community on its behalf,” Terri said. “I truly believe in the importance of providing this invaluable resource for people of all ages to enjoy and find enrichment.”

At the same meeting in which we said hello to Terri Mervo, we said good-bye to Terry Kilbourne. (Well, not goodbye. I suspect Terry will still be a frequent visitor. After all, everybody needs a good book sometimes.) While we’ll miss Terry and can never thank him enough, we’re grateful for all he’s done.

And we’re also excited to welcome Terri aboard!

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Drawing with Olaf and Studio MPL

This is Olaf. He likes warm hugs.

This is Olaf. He likes warm hugs.

You want to know how to get kids excited about something? Find a way to incorporate Frozen.

Our young artists from Studio MPL practiced their drawing by using their favorite snowman, Olaf, as a model.

Studio MPL is our art club for kids in first through fifth grade. Each month they try something different: making sun catcherspainting sunsetsweaving and even trying out some of Jackson Pollock’s techniques.

This month, they practiced drawing. By breaking it down into steps, they transformed familiar geometric shapes into Olaf.

Even the most complicated character can be recreated as a series of shapes.

Maria learns how to combine simple shapes to make complicated characters.

This was our last Studio MPL meeting of the year, but it will be back again in January.

Next month’s session will be Jan. 19 at our Main Branch. (Yes, we’re open on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.) You can register for it here.

Studio MPL meets on the third Monday of each month. If your kid likes art—any kind of art—they can join the fun!

For more photos from our Studio MPL session, check out our Facebook page. For more information on programs and events for children, teens and adults at Mentor Public Library, visit www.mentorpl.org.

Giselle offers some drawing tips to Taryn during Studio MPL. One of the great things about our art club is that the kids can help one another.

Giselle offers some drawing tips to Taryn during Studio MPL. One of the great things about our art club is that the kids can help one another.

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Three Times the Lego Fun

Sophie and John pick their Lego blocks from the pile.

Sophie and John pick their Lego blocks from the pile.

You’ve heard of our Kids @ Work program?

On the first Saturday of each month, families come to our Main Branch to play and build with our Lego blocks.

Yes, it’s that simple. Usually, there’s some sort of theme. For example, last Saturday we were building stuff that had to do with the holidays.

For example, Sid built this awesome sled.

For example, Sid built this awesome sled.

But there’s also no need to follow the theme. You can build whatever your imagination conjures.

You don’t have to register beforehand either. Just come and play. (However, we do ask that kids younger than 8 have an adult with them; and, as with any library program, we ask that you be kind to the other patrons.)

The program may be simple, but it’s also pretty popular. Our Garfield Room gets pretty crowded on that first Saturday with young builders.

In fact, it’s been so popular that we decided to triple the amount of Lego fun you can have at the library.

Tyler decides where to put his Ninjago warrior.

Tyler decides where to put his Ninjago warrior.

Now each one of the Mentor Library branches will host a Lego party every month—at our Main Branch on the first Saturday of the month, at our Mentor-on-the-Lake Branch on the second Saturday, and at our Headlands Branch on the third Saturday.

The rules are the same at each branch. You bring your imagination, we’ll bring the Lego blocks, and let’s see what we can build!

Nicole and Rebecca search our Lego for just the right block.

Nicole and Rebecca search our Lego for just the right block.

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12 Days of Christmas on IndieFlix

Remember IndieFlix?

It’s the website that allows you to stream thousands of independent films from festivals all around the world. And it’s free with your Mentor Public Library card.

The IndieFlix catalog has independently made full-length features and shorts, as well as classic movies and even television episodes.

And it also has a lot of awesome Christmas stories you can watch, if you’re feeling festive.

So without further prelude, a dozen seasonal selections from IndieFlix for your 12 Days of Christmas:

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1. Don’t Tell Santa You’re Jewish
A young Jewish girl is worried that Santa will find out that she doesn’t celebrate Christmas during her hockey league’s holiday party. This animated short is all kinds of adorable. It doesn’t matter if you spin the dreidel or hang the mistletoe, you’ll get a kick out of this one.

2. The Santa Lie
This short from the United Kingdom is about a 6-year-old girl who discovers the truth about Santa. Needless to say, her parents are left sputtering for an explanation.

3. Santa Claus Conquers the Martians
This 1964 film is unforgettable. Whether it’s memorable in the good or bad sense is a matter of taste. Simply put, you can file this one under “so bad it’s good.” It features a bunch of Martians who kidnap Santa Claus so they have someone to give their children presents. If you snickered when you read, “Martians who kidnap Santa,” then this one might be worth a look. (It is free, after all.)

4. A Jersey Christmas
A group of clerks at Xmas-O-Rama, a tumbledown Christmas shop in Jersey, are trapped working there until midnight on Christmas Eve. While the boss is at a card game in a last-ditch attempt to pay his bookies, the employees (most of whom are not Christian) struggle with their “outsider” relationship to Christmas. Fair warning: Despite having “Christmas” in its title, this is not a family film. There’s way too much profanity in this one to consider it kid-friendly.

5. The Jack Benny Show, The Christmas Shopping Show
In addition to independent films and shorts, IndieFlix features a bunch of classic television shows, including their Christmas specials. In this episode of “The Jack Benny Show,” Jack tries to finish all of his Christmas shopping in one fell swoop. (You’ll feel immense sympathy for the poor wallet salesman.)

6. The Silver Bow
This one just might make you tear up a little. A son gets his dad, a bedraggled street performer, the perfect Christmas present.

7. The Great Rupert (A Christmas Wish)
This movie might be worth watching just to hear Jimmy Durante sing “Jingle Bells.” But the real scene-stealer in this family-friendly film is an animated squirrel who saves Christmas. That’s right, Jimmy Durante and a stop-motion animated squirrel. If you don’t want to see that, then you don’t understand Christmas.

8. Jingle Blues, Jingle Bells
The father in an atypical black British family tries to get his family through the holiday and an impending financial crisis after he loses his job. Can he keep his sanity while still giving his kids the Christmas they want?

9. The Carrot Cake Conversations
This film is more Christmas-adjacent than full-on festive (like “Die Hard” or “Batman Returns.”) It is a story of four strangers–three locals and a failed American actress–who find themselves stranded in Singapore two days before Christmas, and find companionship among themselves over a plate of carrot cake.

10. Wood of Value
This Norwegian documentary follows the path of a Christmas tree from the forests of Norway, across the North Sea to the city of London. It also tells the story of the people who assist the tree on its journey.

11. Christmas Comes on a Bicycle
This short film from South Korea is both somber and sweet. A young boy tries to get the object of his affection to notice him on Christmas, but she is too distracted by her job at a family bicycle shop to even notice that it’s Christmas.

12. The Beverly Hillbillies, Home for Christmas
The Clampetts fly back to their original home for the holidays, but can a fish that’s used to being out of water return to the sea?

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