Becoming the artist you want to be with Mentor Library

Artist Sandy D'Amico offers some suggestions to to Anne during a Basic Drawing class at Mentor Library.

Artist Sandy D’Amico offers some suggestions to Anne during a Basic Drawing class at Mentor Library.

Do you know what it takes to be an artist?

You have to create art. That’s it.

It doesn’t have to be the most incredible art ever. Nobody has to offer you a million dollars to display your work in their gallery.

You just have to create.

And if you want to be an artist, we can help.

This month, we’re hosting a series a basic drawing classes for adults with artist Sandy D’Amico at our Main Branch.

During our first class Thursday, we practiced sketching basic shapes—spheres, cubes, pyramids and the like. As the classes continue, we’ll learn how to draw more complicated figures.

Rick fills his sketchpad during our Basic Drawing class.

Rick fills his sketchpad during our Basic Drawing class.

If that sounds like fun to you, we’re also hosting a series of free intermediate drawing classes in May. Registration for them begins April 13.

But you don’t need to wait until May to get started. We have dozens of books and DVDs to help teach you how to draw, paint, sculpt and even direct your own videos. You can also take free art, music, graphic design and digital photography classes through Gale Courses with your library card. (The city of Mentor also offers some fun arts classes you can try.)

Don’t worry if you can’t draw a straight line yet or all of your paintings look like acrylic explosions. Keep doing it, practice, have fun, take a class at the library—it’s how you get better.

Stimulate your curiosity. You may never become a great artist, but it will make you a better person.

Cynthia starts with simple shapes during our Basic Drawing class.

Cynthia starts with simple shapes during our Basic Drawing class.

For more information on programs and events at Mentor Public Library, visit our online event calendar.

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Snow Day Like Today

DSCN0139This winter has been too cold, too snowy and too long. If we saw the sun any less, we’d be nocturnal. If this cold lasts any longer, we’ll assume there’s a wicked witch behind it.

But if people can turn lemons into lemonade or brussel sprouts into chocolate-covered brussel sprouts, then we can use this excess of winter as a theme for an adorable story time at our Headlands Branch.

Ryan shows of his marshmallow snowman.

Ryan shows of his marshmallow snowman.

On Saturday, we had our Snow Day Like Today program where we made marshmallow snowmen, glittery snow globes and crafty plow trucks, as well as read some seasonally appropriate stories.

While the weather outside is still cold, at the Headlands Branch, we were just cool.

Riley plays with her glitter snow globe that she made during the Snow Day Like Today story time.

Riley plays with her glitter snow globe that she made during the Snow Day Like Today story time.

 For more information on our story times and programs at all of our branches, visit our online event calendar. For more photos from our Snow Day Like Today story time, check out our Facebook page.

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Painting masterpieces without brushes

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On Saturday at our Mentor-on-the-Lake Branch, we gave children paint of every shade of the rainbow. Then we gave them plastics forks, bubble wrap, Q-tips, balloons, sponges, combs, cardboard tubes and plastics bottles.

The only thing we didn’t give them was a paint brush.

But that’s OK. Who needs a brush when you have the muse?

And, as you can see, the kids didn’t need brushes to create something memorable.

It wasn't just the kids who got creative. When we ran out of table cloths, we used plastic bags to cover our tables.

It wasn’t just the kids who got creative. When we ran out of table cloths, we used plastic bags to cover our tables.

The idea for No Brushes Allowed came from Lake Branch Manager Ariel Johnson. She said she thought of it while looking at the textures in some of her favorite works of art.

“Sometimes I look at a painting and think, ‘There’s no way they did that with a paintbrush.’ That’s when I started looking at everyday things in a different way!” she said.

Ariel told the kids that Saturday’s program was all about creativity—using items in a way they aren’t always used. Of course, you don’t have to explain creativity to a kid. By the end of the program, they had used typical household items to paint things we couldn’t have imagined.

And when they were finished, the kids got another set of plastic utensils, sponges, combs, cardboard tubes and bottles to take home with them, in case they wanted to paint some more later!

Adlyn finds some paint in her big sister’s hair.  (We assured Sidni that her hair wouldn’t be orange forever.)

Adlyn finds some paint in her big sister’s hair. (We assured Sidni that her hair wouldn’t be orange forever.)

For more programs and events at our Lake Branch, check out or our event calendar. If your kids enjoy painting and art, they make also like Studio MPL—our art club for kids.

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Get more out of your computers, smartphones, tablets & eReaders

Learn how to get the most out of your eReaders, tablets, smartphones and computers from the experts at Mentor Library.

Learn how to get the most out of your eReaders, tablets, smartphones and computers from the experts at Mentor Library.

Do you have a computer, smartphone or tablet but aren’t sure how to get the most out of it?

Sign up for a 30-minute personal tutorial with the expert librarians at Mentor Library, and they’ll show you how to download eBooks or stream music and video to your device for free with your library card.

Have an iPad? Kindle Fire? Nook? It doesn’t matter; we can help!

These Device Advice sessions are slated from 6 to 8 p.m. on Monday through Thursday, March 9 through 12, though some sessions have already been booked.

Patrons must have a Mentor Public Library card for this tutorial and registration is required.

You can register on our online event calendar or by calling 440-255-8811 ext. 216.

There are only a few slots remaining so you’ll want to sign up as soon as possible!

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The joy of Seuss and of reading to children

When I talked with Amy Popik from The News-Herald about Read Across America, we mentioned who read Dr. Seuss to us when we were kids. For me, it was my grandma; for her, her mom.

Now, the actual who doesn’t matter so much. It can be an older sibling, parent, cousin, teacher, neighbor, whomever. What matters is that somebody read to us.

And that sort of connection is generational. I share the joy of reading with my child in part because someone shared it with me. And if you hang around long enough at the library, you’ll see parents that used to be story-time children reading to their own kids.

And while we love to celebrate Seuss, we don’t just celebrate his birthday because of his characters, illustrations, rhymes or even the morals that stay true no matter how old you get. (A person is still a person, no matter how small.) We celebrate Seuss because he shared the joy of reading with so many, and he’ll continue to do so for generations to come.

Terri, one of our MPL Board members, reads to the children during a special Seuss story time at our Headlands Branch.

Terri, one of our MPL Board members, reads to the children during a special Seuss story time at our Headlands Branch.

So we hope you joined us for Dr. Seuss’s birthday on Monday. We hope you made a candy Cat-in-the-Hat at our Lake Branch, played Seuss-pendous birthday games at our Headlands Branch, or learned the “Green Eggs & Ham” song from Seussical at our Main Branch.

But if you couldn’t join us Monday, there’s an easy way to make up for it.

Read. Read to someone you love.

If you’re looking for suggestions, I like The Lorax and Yertle the Turtle, but it doesn’t need to be my favorites. It doesn’t even have to be Dr. Seuss.

Just read. It’s a beautiful gift to give to anyone. And when the opportunity comes, I know whomever you read to will pass that gift along.

Linsay makes her own Cat-in-the-Hat hat at Mentor Library.

Linsay makes her own Cat-in-the-Hat hat at Mentor Library.

For more photos from our Dr. Seuss birthday party, check out Mentor Library’s Facebook page.

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