Making raised salt paintings at our Headlands Branch

MPL Salt Painting

At our Headlands Branch, we thought we’d use salt to make a fun craft and teach a little bit about local history on Friday. After all, a lot of kids (and even some adults) don’t realize that we live right by a rock salt mine in Fairport Harbor.

So we told the kids about how salt is made and then helped them make raised salt paintings.

Raised salt paintings are easy (if occasionally messy) to make, so we’ll include some instructions in case you want to try it with your kids at home.

Kids use craft glue to make patters on their paper.

Kids use craft glue to make patterns on their paper.

All you need is some construction paper, craft glue, salt and watercolor paints.

You start by using your glue to make patterns on your construction paper. It can be anything—hearts, smiley faces, your name. Simple shapes and patterns look great on the paper, so it doesn’t have to be complicated.

Then you sprinkle salt on top of the glue.

It might be less messy if you pour the salt yourself, or if you do the craft outside.

It might be less messy if you pour the salt yourself, or if you do the craft outside.

You don’t have to wait for the glue to dry before you start painting.

The salt absorbs the water in the paint, so it dries quickly. It also spreads the color and gives the artwork texture.

It also looks beautiful.

And it looks beautiful.

Give it a try and let us know how it looks!

For more photos from our Raised Salt Painting program, visit Mentor Library’s Facebook page. For more programs and events for kids, visit the Mentor Library’s event calendar on its website.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Saying goodbye to summer reading for another year

Libby Davis tries to blow the world's most stupendous bubble during our Summer Reading finale party.

Libby Davis tries to blow the world’s most stupendous bubble during our Summer Reading finale party.

It was a great summer.

We built hovercraftsmade lava lamps,  learned how to train our dragons, blew up pop bottleslearned how to take fingerprints and were visited by one of the NASA scientists who helped make the Mars Rover.

We also got to Know Poe.

More than 1,400 kids, 350 adults and almost 200 teens participated in our summer reading programs. We got to give away a bunch of cool prizes, including 573 Library Champion signs to all the kids who read 15 hours or more.

Lexi Neigoot (with a little help from Shana) puts a ticket in the case to win a second-chance raffle at our summer reading party.

Lexi Neigoot (with a little help from Shana) enters a ticket to win a second-chance raffle at our Summer Reading finale party.

Thursday night, we had a Summer Reading finale party. Kids got to recreate their favorite Mad Science Monday experiments. (Bubbles!) And we capped the evening with a concert from Eve ‘N Stephen Music Fun Band.

From all of us at Mentor Public Library, we hope you had as much fun this summer as we did.

We hope you learned new things, stimulated your imagination and had a great time.

Most of all, we hope to see you again soon at the library.

Because summer reading may end, but the fun never has to.

Zackary Posen dances with his sister, Victoria, and mom, Katherine.

Zackary Posen dances with his sister, Victoria, and mom, Katherine.

For more photos from our Summer Reading finale party, visit Mentor Library’s Facebook page.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Another big summer at Mentor Public Library

Kids earned Library Champion signs by reading (or being read to) for 15 hours.

Kids (like Hazel here) earned Library Champion signs by reading (or being read to) for 15 hours.

Our Summer Reading Program may be over but the fun isn’t done.

You can join us for an End of Summer party from 6 to 8 p.m. this Thursday, Aug. 7, at the Read House, which is next door to our Main Branch on Mentor Avenue.

We’ll be hosting a special concert with the Eve ‘n Stephen Music Fun Band. They’ll be taking the stage at 7 p.m.

Before then, kids can see if they won any of our awesome Summer Reading prizes and perform some of their favorite Mad Science Monday experiments.

Now with more bubbles!

Now with more bubbles!

There will also be second-chance raffles where kids can get more fun prizes, but you have to be at our party to win.

This year, we dedicated the summer to science. We built hovercraftsmade lava lampsblew up pop bottleslearned how to take fingerprints and were visited by one of the NASA scientists who helped make the Mars Rover. (We also learned how to train dragons; but that, admittedly, may not have been scientifically accurate.)

And then we got spooky when we dedicated July to Edgar Allan Poe.

We celebrated all aspects of Poe: his writing; his influence on art and cinema; his groundbreaking work in suspense and detective fiction; his interest in codes and cryptography. It wasn’t easy, but we even found an age-appropriate way to introduce Poe to kids.

Zack squeezes the Tell-Tale Heart during our Poe-themed obstacle course.

Zack squeezes the Tell-Tale Heart during our Poe-themed obstacle course.

More children than ever before—1,453, to be exact—signed up for our summer reading program at Mentor Library. And they read or were read to for 17,385 hours. (Also, a record high for us.) And 586 kids earned library champion signs by reading or being read to at least 15 hours this summer.

We also had more than 500 teens and adults sign up for summer reading, and they read more than 3,200 books.

All totaled, it was one of our biggest summer reading programs ever!

Of course, that just means we need to think even bigger next year.

See you at the library!

Kacey and Annalise grab a quick snack after an afternoon of granting wishes yesterday by our Read House.

Kacey and Annalise grab a quick snack after an afternoon of granting wishes yesterday by our Read House.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Fun free-for-all during Family Lego Challenge

Ellie and Jason answer a math problem using Lego during the Family Lego Challenge.

Ellie and Jason answer a math problem using Lego during the Family Lego Challenge.

Those familiar with our Kids @ Work club know that we love playing with Lego at Mentor Public Library.

But it’s usually just kids who get to play, so we thought it would be more fun if the entire family got a chance to break out the blocks.

We had our first Family Lego Challenge on Saturday at our Main Branch. Families used Lego blocks to construct their own family crest and answer mathematical equations. They also competed to see who could build the tallest skyscraper and strongest bridge.

Families even tested their creativity when they were given a bag with 30 randomly chosen Lego blocks and told to build whatever they could imagine.

Colin and Sarah make a space shuttle from blocks.

Colin and Sarah make a space shuttle from blocks.

For more Lego fun, kids from fourth through eighth grade can come to Legomania this Saturday, Aug 9. at our Mentor-on-the-Lake Branch.

Then our Kids @ Work club returns from its summer break on the first Saturday of September.

There aren’t a lot of rules to Kids @ Work. There’s no need to register beforehand and children can build whatever they want with our Lego and Duplo blocks. (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.)

But, in general, it’s just kids playing with Lego. So if your kid likes building, feel free to bring him or her to Kids @ Work. They will fit right in.

Alec searches for just the right Lego piece among the morass.

Alec searches for just the right Lego piece among the morass.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

New Book Club for Teens at Mentor Library

Our Teen Book Club's first meeting will be Saturday, Aug. 9, at our Mentor-on-the-Lake Branch.

Our Teen Book Club’s first meeting will be Saturday, Aug. 9, at our Mentor-on-the-Lake Branch.

Ariel Johnson, one of the library associates at Mentor Public Library, wishes she read more for fun when she was a teenager.

“I didn’t do a ton of leisurely reading when I was in high school, mainly because I was too busy doing assigned reading,” she admitted. “Looking back, I wish I had taken more time to read things for fun.”

It was during the summer that Ariel would read what she wanted, which was mostly fantasy novels—J.K. Rowling and J.R.R. Tolkien were favorites.

“I pretty much just read whatever was appealing to me at the time,” she said.

Ariel wants to give that sense of freedom and fun to other teens, and she doesn’t want it confined to summer; so she’s starting a Teen Book Club at our Mentor-on-the-Lake Branch.

“I want to help inspire teens to take a bit of time out of their crazy schedules and dedicate it to reading for fun,” she said. “One book a month, with no grades or tests—no stress.”

The book club is open to anyone in ninth through 12th grade and its first meeting is 1 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 9. (You can register for it on our website, if you like.)

Teens don’t have to read anything before the first meeting. They can just drop by and talk about their favorite books. They can also pick up our club’s first discussion book, The Fault in our Stars by John Green. (Yeah, we know that some of you may have read it before, but it’s still beautiful the second time. Fair warning: It doesn’t matter how many times you read it; you’ll still cry.)

Then, the book club will meet again to discuss The Fault in our Stars on Sept. 6.

From then on, the club will meet the first Saturday afternoon of each month at our Mentor-on-the-Lake Branch to talk about books from YA authors Rainbow Rowell, Ransom Riggs and other writers whose names don’t all start with R.

And, of course, teens can suggest books too.

“I’m frequently going to gauge the teens’ interests and take book suggestions from them,” Ariel said. “This is their club, after all, and I don’t want it to feel like homework.”

If you know a teen who likes reading, loves reading or is just looking for some new people to talk about The Fault in our Stars with, tell them about our Teen Book Club.

If you have any questions regarding the Teen Book Club, call Mentor Library’s Mentor-on-the-Lake Branch at 440-257-2512.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment
MAIN: 440.255.8811    •    LAKE: 440.257.2512    •    HEADLANDS: 440.257.2000
© 2014 Mentor Public Library 8215 Mentor Ave. Mentor, OH 44060. | Mobile Edition