Tiny dancers at Mentor Public Library

Jessica from The Fine Arts Association uses Angelina Ballerina to teach the girls basic ballet moves.

Jessica from The Fine Arts Association uses Angelina Ballerina to teach the girls basic ballet moves.

Pink-and-chiffon-wearing balletomanes—that is, ballet enthusiasts—filled our Main Branch on Tuesday.

They were there to celebrate dance and learn about ballet with help from the Fine Arts Association.

Jessica Stanich, a teacher from FAA, used the book Angelina Ballerina to teach the children some basic ballet postures and moves. Whenever Angelina would spin, leap or strike a pose, the children would do the same.

The girls also played freeze-dance!

The girls also played freeze-dance!

The ballet program is part of Mentor Public Library’s celebration of National Library Week.

As part of our week-long celebration of libraries, we’ll also have programs about:

All of our National Library Week programs are free and open to the public. However, some require registration. You can either sign up on our event calendar or call us to register.

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5 Facts about Prehistoric Ohio

Bill Urbanski demonstrates how an atlatl works at Mentor Public Library.

Bill Urbanski demonstrates how an atlatl works at Mentor Public Library.

Bill Urbanski, a docent from Cleveland Natural Natural History, visited us Monday to talk about Ohio’s prehistoric people.

And, while we couldn’t possibly share everything we learned, here are a few fun facts.

1. First off, we should probably clarify what we mean by “prehistoric.” We’re not talking about dinosaurs (though they were prehistoric too.)

“Prehistoric” means before written history. In this instance, that means 1500 A.D. and earlier. Because—while the Native Americans of Ohio built enormous monuments and mastered agriculture, hunting and trading—they didn’t write much about it.

2. Because we don’t have written records, we use artifacts to learn about Ohio’s earliest residents.

The earliest artifacts we’ve found so far go back to about 13,000 BC during the Pre-Paleo or Clovis Era.

This was during the tail stretch of the most recent Ice Age where, at its peak, two-thirds of Ohio was covered in glaciers.

One of the most common types of artifacts we find are projectile points from hunting weapons.

Each projectile point tell us something about the people who made them: what materials they had access to; what tools they fashioned; and what they hunted.

For example, in the Pre-Paleo Era, people hunted the megafauna (including the famous mastodons and mammoths) as one of their sources of food.

That means the hunters fashioned long and stout thrusting spears. This way, they could attack their massive prey without getting too close.

3. As eras changed, so did people’s prey.

(The megafauna of the Ice Age didn’t survive the great thaw. Most theories point to some combination of climate change and human predation.)

And when the prey changed, so did the tools used to hunt them.

In the Paleo and Early Archaic eras (12,000 BC to 6500 BC,) people began using smaller and lighter weapons.

When you think of Native Americans and hunting, you might picture bows and arrows; but that’s relatively modern technology, according to Urbanski.

Before then, people used spears, atlatls, axes and knives.

4. And what did they make these weapons from?

Flint—most of it mined from Flint Ridge in Ohio. In fact, you can still see pits, pot holes and paths from where they quarried the stone.

And these Ohio-made tools were popular in the prehistoric world and have been found at American Indian sites across the present-day eastern United States. Ohio flint knappers would trade their products for copper, mica, shells and other goods.

5. But what about the mounds?

The large mounds built by the Fort Ancient, Hopewell and Adena cultures are, by far, the most conspicuous artifacts left behind by our prehistoric predecessors.

(A quick note: these groups that we call “Hopewell” or “Adena” didn’t call themselves that. We don’t know what they called themselves. We gave them those names because of where we found their artifacts. For example, the first Adena artifacts were found on the grounds of the Adena Mansion where our sixth governor, Thomas Worthington, lived.)

The mounds are impressive. For example. Serpent Mound in Adams County is more than 1,300 feet long.

But why were they built? Were they burial mounds? Gathering places? Did they serve a religious purpose?

The answer isn’t simple. After all, these mounds were built by different people and different cultures over thousands of years.

But, yes, some were burial mounds. The Miamisburg Mound served as a cemetery for several generations. It may have also marked the border of a territory.

But Serpent Mound has no human remains in it at all. Instead, it may have served an agricultural or astrological purpose.

The mound is shaped like an animal—specifically, a snake, which you probably guessed. (It’s one of Ohio’s two effigy mounds; the other, the Alligator Mound in Licking County.) The head of the serpent is aligned with the summer solstice sunset and its coils may point to the winter solstice and the equinox sunrise.

You may also wonder what happened to the large, successful civilizations that built these mounds, traded with far-flung people, and cultivated agriculture.

We don’t know.

Not yet, at least.

Fortunately, there are always more artifacts to find.

Urbanski display several artifacts (and a few replica) found in Ohio.

Urbanski display several artifacts (and a few replica) found in Ohio.

This is National Library Week. As part of our week-long celebration of libraries, we’ll also have programs about:

All of our National Library Week programs are free and open to the public. However, some require registration. You can either sign up on our event calendar or call us to register.

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American Girl Book Club meets Josefina

Sarah and Natalia make their own guacamole using avocado, garlic and just a dash of salt.

Sarah and Natalia make their own guacamole using avocado, garlic and just a dash of salt.

Our American Girl Book Club completed a trio of crafts during their latest meeting when they met Josefina.

They decorated maracas, strung God’s-eyes, and made their own guacamole from scratch.

Abby uses her God's-eye as an eye patch.

Abby uses her God’s-eye as an eye patch.

On the first Wednesday of each month, our club gets together to discuss a different American Girl book. Then we make a craft that ties into the book, character or era.

If you have a child who likes the American Girl books or dolls, then she can join the fun. They can even bring their dolls with them, if they like. (Of course, the dolls aren’t required.)

Our next meeting is 4 p.m. on April 6 in the children’s section of our Main Branch on Mentor Avenue. The girls will be meeting Marie-Grace and Cecile.

You can register your child for the book club on our web site or by calling (440) 255-8811 ext. 221.

Maddie and Claire customize their maracas with markers.

Maddie and Claire customize their maracas with markers.

Visit our Facebook page for more photos from our American Girl Book Club.

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Shred Day returns to Mentor Public Library

Get up to five boxes or bags of documents shredded for free during Shred Day at Mentor Public Library.

Get up to five boxes or bags of documents shredded for free during Shred Day at Mentor Public Library.

Have sensitive documents like tax forms or medical records that you want to get rid of?

Bring them to the library.

We’re partnering with Xpress Shredding for our sixth annual Shred Day in which people can have their documents shredded for free.

Shred Day will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, April 16, in the library’s auxiliary parking lot on the corner of Mentor Avenue and Sharonlee Drive.

The free service is available to Mentor residents and library patrons. People can drop off as many five document-storage boxes or bags of paper.

All documents will be loaded into locked bins on a secure truck, which will be attended at all times by Xpress Shredding staff.

Xpress staff can even help patrons remove their boxes or bags from their cars for them.

Then the truck will take the boxes and bags to Xpress’s secure facility where the documents will be shredded and the shredded paper recycled.

Shred Day will be held rain or shine.

This is National Library Week. As part of our week-long celebration of libraries, we’ll also have programs about:

All of our National Library Week programs are free and open to the public. However, some require registration. You can either sign up on our event calendar or call us to register.

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Would you like to volunteer at Mentor Public Library?

Andrew, one of our homebound drivers, brings books and movies to patrons who couldn’t get them otherwise.

Andrew, one of our homebound drivers, brings books and movies to patrons who couldn’t get them otherwise.

We have all types of wonderful volunteers at Mentor Public Library:

And we’re always looking for more volunteers (14 and older, please); so, if you’re looking for a way to help your community, come visit during our Volunteering Event at 1 p.m. on Saturday, April 16, at our Main Branch.

If you want more information now, you can visit our Volunteers page or contact Julie Williams, our Volunteer Coordinator, either by phone (440-255-8811 ext. 242) or email.

 

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