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.

For more photos from our Flash Library at Concord Community Days, visit Mentor Public Library’s Facebook page.

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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.

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Mentor Public Library starts writing club for kids

Eric Remchick brainstorms what he would write in a journal.

Eric Remchick brainstorms what he would write in a journal.

Mentor Public Library has a book club for children who love to read, a comics club for fans of sequential art and Studio MPL for kids who love every other kind of art.

But, until recently, it didn’t have a club for burgeoning writers. That’s why Judy Schulz started our Wordplay Creative Writing Club.

“I decided to start this monthly club after working with Lisa Layton on our Studio MPL programs and with Marilyn Weiss on our Comics Club,” Judy said. “The one area we don’t address is writing, but we have had several children who have mentioned that they write stories. I thought that a group like Wordplay could bring together the children who enjoy writing.”

Valerie Akins and Juliana Kless share their stories during Wordplay.

Valerie and Juliana share their stories during Wordplay.

Wordplay give the kids some creative ways to develop their interests. This week, kids learned about journals, diaries and different fiction books like the Wimpy Kid, Ellie McDoodle and Amelia series, which use journals as a narrative tool.

Wordplay Creative Writing Club meets at 4:30 p.m. on the second Wednesday of every month at our Main Branch.  It’s free and open to any kids in third through sixth grade. The next meeting is Sept. 10.

You can register your child for Wordplay by calling (440) 255-8811 ext. 221 or by visiting the Mentor Library’s website.

Julie Namciu writes where her imagination takes her.

Julie Namciu writes where her imagination takes her.

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Digital Bookmobile coming to Mentor Library

DBMtruckRemember the old bookmobiles? They would come to your neck of the woods and you could check out a book or two?

The OverDrive Digital Bookmobile is kind of like that… except it’s going to show you how you can download as many eBooks as you want from Mentor Public Library for free whenever you like.

It will also show you how to stream video via OverDrive to your computers, phones and devices—once again, for free, as long as you have a Mentor Library card.

You can even test out different kinds of tablets, smart phones and eReaders in the Digital Bookmobile’s gadget gallery.

At 74-feet long, this bookmobile is also a little bit bigger than its predecessor. But it takes an 18-wheel tractor-trailer to house all this cool stuff.

You can check out OverDrive’s Digital Bookmobile (and all of Mentor Public Library’s digital services) when it visits from 2 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 19, at our Main Branch.

The vehicle is equipped with Internet-connected PCs, high-definition monitors, premium sound systems, and a variety of portable media players, all of which help you explore MPL’s digital services.

It doesn’t matter if you use a Kindle, iPad, Nook, smartphone or even your computer. You can use it to stream video or music, download songs, read your favorite magazine or check out a book from Mentor Library.

Come by MPL’s Main Branch Tuesday, check the Digital Bookmobile out and learn how you can get even more out of your library card.

 

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Fantasy Football mastermind sharing his knowledge at Mentor Library

Matt Borcas also knew about LeBron coming back before you.

Matt Borcas also knew about LeBron coming back before you.

When it comes to fantasy football, everybody has an opinion but not everybody knows their stuff.

Matt Borcas knows his stuff, and he’ll be sharing his fantasy-football acumen for free on Wednesday, Aug. 20, at Mentor Public Library’s Main Branch.

Borcas has been writing about fantasy football since August 2012 for Grantland, the Disney-owned sports and lifestyle website. He earned his position by winning a season-long fantasy writing competition during the 2012 football season.

The Lake Catholic graduate had stiff competition—including two published authors, a journalist who had written for the New York Times and another who wrote for a newspaper in Washington, D.C.—but he still came out on top.

Borcas will discuss the upcoming fantasy season at the library, including positional previews, general tips for owners, draft-day etiquette, sleepers to watch and more.

And you better hear what he has to say; because, even if you don’t, the other guys in your league will.

“Though I can’t guarantee you’ll win your league as a result of attending this event, not coming would put you at a severe disadvantage,” Borcas said.

(And you should trust Borcas’s predictions. After all, he knew LeBron was coming back.)

To register for Borcas’s Fantasy Football preview, visit Mentor Library’s website or call 440-255-8811 ext. 215. For more of his wisdom on everything from Drake’s cronies to the Flying J scandal, you can follow him on Twitter.

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