Lake Branch opening STEAM station for kids

Kids can explore the microscopic world at Lake Branch’s new STEAM Station.

Kids can explore the microscopic world at Lake Branch’s new STEAM Station.

Kids can combine play and learning when they try out the new STEAM Station at our Lake Branch.

(If you don’t know, STEAM is an acronym that stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math.)

Fledgling scientists as young as two can learn about science, tech and more by playing with our educational toys.

Practice colors and counting with the Color Chameleon. Improve your motor skills with the EMIDO blocks, puzzles, and MagnaDoodle Sketch Board. Learn about science with our Insect Exploration Kit and My First Microscope.

The toys are available for play at the Lake Branch. So the next time you’re visiting for story time or to borrow a book, stay awhile and play.

Your kids will have fun and learn something too.

Nolan builds an iguana and a star out of the EMIDO blocks at Lake Branch’s new STEAM station.

Nolan builds an iguana and a star out of the EMIDO blocks at Lake Branch’s new STEAM station.

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10 Picture Books for Hanukkah

Teach your children about Hanukkah with these picture books.

Teach your children about Hanukkah with these picture books.

Hanukkah begins at sunset on Dec. 12. It celebrates Jewish independence from a Seleucid Syrian king and the miracle in which one day’s worth of holy oil burned in the rededicated Temple for eight days.

In celebration of the Festival of Lights, here are 10 picture books that commemorate the feast:

1. Just Enough is Plenty by Barbara Diamond Goldin

Malka was already worried how her family could afford to celebrate Hanukkah. But when an even poorer stranger arrives at their doorstep, her family welcomes him in.

2. Hanukkah Haiku by Harriet Zeifert

This book pairs folk art with a haiku for each day of Hanukkah.

3. Chanukah Lights Everywhere by Michael J. Rosen

A brother and sister find Hanukkah lights all around them—from passing cars to the moon above them.

4. The Ugly Menorah by Marissa Moss

Rachel keeps her grandmother company on the first Hanukkah since her grandpa died. In return, grandma tells her the story of her old menorah. As she lights the candles, something magical happens.

5. The Chanukkah Guest by Eric Kimmel

A bear wanders into the home of a woman on the first night Hanukkah. Being nearly blind and deaf, the woman mistakes him for a rabbi and treats him with all the courtesy of a season.

6. The Count’s Hanukkah Countdown by Tilda Balsley and Ellen Fischer

The Count and Grover learn about Hanukkah when Israeli Muppet friends Brosh and Avigail visit Sesame Street.

7. Toby Belfer Never Had a Christmas Tree by Gloria Teles Pushker

Toby Belfer teaches the traditions of Hanukkah from the perspective of a young girl from the only Jewish family in a Southern, rural community.

8. The Magic Dreidels by Eric Kimmel

Jacob is distraught when he loses his new brass dreidel down the well. To console him, a mischievous (if well-intentioned) goblin offers him two magical dreidels in its stead. A retelling of the folk tale “The Tablecloth, the Donkey and the Stick” in a Hanukkah setting.

9. How Do Dinosaurs Say Happy Chanukah by Jane Yolen and Mark Teague

Yolen and Teague’s Mesozoic monsters return to teach your little dinosaur how to celebrate Hanukkah.

10. Oster & the Eight Blessings by Richard and Tanya Simons

A young Jewish refugee from Nazi Germany arrives in New York City on the seventh night of Hanukkah and receives small acts of kindness while exploring the city.

Chag Sameach!

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Check out new magazines whenever you want with Flipster

A large stack of magazines piled high.  Isolated over white with copyspace.

Read your favorite magazines online for free and whenever you want with Flipster.

You can now access dozens of popular magazines whenever you want and for free.

All you need is a smart device—like a tablet, computer or smartphone—a Mentor Public Library card, and the library’s newest digital service, Flipster.

You can check out both new and back issues of 56 different magazines with Flipster, including People, Atlantic, Times, Cosmopolitan, Bon Appetit, Highlights, New Yorker, Money, Redbook, Rolling Stone, US Weekly, Vogue and Teen Vogue, Wired, Runner’s World, Women’s Health, Zoobooks, and Vanity Fair.

There are two ways you can borrow magazines using Flipster:

  1. online with its website
  2. via the Flipster app, which is available for free on the Google Play and iTunes App stores. All you’ll need to sign in is your library card number.

If you want some help learning how to use Flipster, we’re hosting a free class at 3 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 29, at our Lake Branch.

Otherwise, start browsing. Your favorite magazines are now at your beck and call.

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Check the technology during our Tech Lab tryouts

Try out new tech from the NEO-RLS Tech Lab on Tuesday, Dec. 12, at our Main Branch.

Try out new tech from the NEO-RLS Tech Lab on Tuesday, Dec. 12, at our Main Branch.

Want to “draw” a sculpture with a 3D pen? Pilot a drone? Play with virtual-reality goggles and wearable tech?

Families can try out all these new gadgets and more when the NEO-RLS Tech Lab visits at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 12, at our Main Branch.

It’s a fun way to test new tech without spending hundreds (or even thousands) of dollars.

The program is free and open to all. We only ask that you register beforehand. You can sign up online or call us at (440) 257-2512.

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Enjoy Judy Crawford’s one-woman show at the library

Enjoy a free Christmas concert with Judy Crawford at Mentor Public Library.

Enjoy a free Christmas concert with Judy Crawford at Mentor Public Library.

Want some music to make you feel merry?

Judy Crawford will perform a one-woman show at 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 13, at our Main Branch.

Crawford is a local singer with a big voice and a soft spot for Broadway and big-band music. She’ll sing Christmas classics for all to enjoy.

The concert is free and open to everyone. You can RSVP online or call us at (440) 255-8811 ext. 241.

If you’re looking for more holiday music, you can stream some of our favorite Christmas albums on Hoopla and Freegal for free with your library card.

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