Have a Merry Harry Potter Christmas

You'd have to be demented to miss our Harry Potter Yule Ball on Dec. 12 at The HUB

You’d have to be demented to miss our Harry Potter Yule Ball on Dec. 12 at The HUB

We’re throwing a Harry Potter Yule Ball at The HUB and it’s going to be magical.

Families can go on a horcrux hunt, make Hogwarts House ornaments, and snap shots in our Harry Potter-themed photo booth.

The party goes from 3:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 12, at The HUB inside of Mentor High School. Everyone is welcome. No registration required! (Some activities will only be available while supplies last.)

By the way, you may have heard, Mentor Public Library has a new location inside of Mentor High School.

Its renovated library — now called The HUB — is open to everyone for study, quiet tutoring and more from 3 to 8 p.m. every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. It also hosts a wide variety of programs like any other branch of Mentor Public Library.

Furthermore, The HUB features a state-of-the-art makerspace with a large-format printer, vinyl cutter, T-shirt press, laser engraver and more that opens to the public on Dec. 3.

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Making Christmas at the MakerSpace

Create personalized ornaments with the laser engraver at The HUB's MakerSpace.

Create personalized ornaments with the laser engraver at The HUB’s MakerSpace.

Don’t just buy your gifts for Hanukkah and Christmas – make them!

Engrave personalized Christmas ornaments. Make family T-shirts. Create your own board game with 3D printed pieces.

You can do all this and more with MakerSpace at The HUB and 3D printer at our Main Branch.

Starting Dec. 3, you’ll have access to all the resources at The HUB’s MakerSpace, including:

You could make a special video for your grandma. (She’d probably prefer that to another gift card.) Make and bind a picture book for your kids. Design buttons or stickers for your friends. Take your favorite embarrassing family photo, use our large-format printer, and make it the size of your sibling’s wall.

There’s no need to be intimidated if you’ve never used a laser engraver or vinyl cutter before. We’re hosting a pair of MakerSpace introductions on Monday, Dec. 10, at The HUB, which is inside Mentor High School.

Take a tour of the MakerSpace, and see live demonstrations of the equipment. You can also share your ideas with us, and we’ll help you make them real. The tours start at 3:30 p.m. and 5 p.m. You can register to attend online or call The HUB at 440-205-6011.

Kids can use the MakerSpace too (with their parents blessing, naturally.) In fact, we’re hosting a special program where children (kindergarten through fifth grade) can design and make their own Christmas ornaments at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 11, at The HUB. Furthermore, the kids will make two ornaments, so they can keep one and give the other as a gift.

Just to be clear, you don’t need to be a student at Mentor High School or even a resident of Mentor to use The HUB’s MakerSpace. All you need is a Mentor Public Library card in good standing.

The HUB is open to all from 3 to 8 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday and is located inside Mentor High School (6477 Center St., Mentor, OH). The Makerspace closes 30 minutes before The HUB.

Additionally, the price for Makerspace use varies by machine. See Makerspace Pricing @ The HUB for details.

For more information – including policies, procedures, and how to make a reservation – visit our MakerSpace page.

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Wonderful winter yoga story time

Get hopping to our winter yoga story time on Dec. 12 at our Lake Branch.

Get hopping to our winter yoga story time on Dec. 12 at our Lake Branch.

You know what’s better than hibernating?

Stretching your mind and body with a special winter yoga story time at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 12, at our Lake Branch.

Kids will listen to a picture book about animal in winter and recreate the story through yoga poses. Both children and their adults are invited to participate. As always, Darlene Kelbach will be our yoga instructor.

The program is free to attend and open to all three to six year old kids, along with their grown-ups. However, we do require that you sign up beforehand. You can register online or call the Lake Branch at 440-257-2512.

For more information on yoga, you can borrow a book, DVD, or even stream instructional videos via Hoopla with your library card.

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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. 2. 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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Stream classic and quirky Christmas specials with Hoopla & Kanopy

Irving-Berlin-s-Holiday-Inn-Starring-Bing-Crosby-and-Fred-Astaire-Poster-693x1024Want to watch something seasonal? Don’t feel like leaving the house?

We’ve got you covered — whether you’re in the mood for something naughty or nice.

With Hoopla and Kanopy, you can stream tens of thousands of movies, documentaries and episodes of television to your phone, tablet or computer anywhere at anytime. And it’s free with your Mentor Public Library card.

And they’ve got a robust collection of holiday-themed specials. Let’s unwrap some of our favorites:

1. Holiday Inn

The classic! Bing Crosby plays a song and dance man who leaves showbiz to run an inn that is open only on holidays. Fred Astaire plays his former partner and rival in love. Follow the two talented pals as they find themselves competing for the affections of the same lovely lady.

2. A Muppets Christmas: Letters to Santa

The Muppets have made three or four million different Christmas specials. This is admittedly one of their lesser known films, but it’s still stuffed with Pepe-the-King-Prawn goodness. (Yes, Kermit and the gang are also here, but Pepe is our favorite.)

3. Madeline’s Christmas

There’s not a whole lot of plot to Madeline’s Christmas (but since when has Madeline been about things happening.) Basically, Madeline must take care of her classmates who have fallen ill around holiday time.

That’s right. Madeline saves the holiday and cures the common cold. Is there anything this adorable moppet can’t do?

4. The Nutcracker Ballet

The classic ballet performed by the Ballet of the Slovak National Theatre. You may also enjoy Getting to the Nutcracker, a documentary that depicts all the hard work it takes to perform the holiday classic, from audition to curtain call. (For a different take, check out Maurice Sendak’s version of The Nutcracker.)

5. Babes in Toyland

Toys come to life in this holiday classic. Enjoy both the Annette Funicello and Drew Barrymore versions.

6. Unlikely Angel

Dolly Parton plays an angel — naturally — who must help a lonely widowed father if she wants to get her wings.

7. One Christmas

Starring Katherine Hepburn. A young man is sent to visit his estranged father for Christmas in 1930 in New Orleans.  Based on an autobiographical short story by Truman Capote.

8. God Came Near

An Advent Series for families explores the stories of Joseph and Mary, the true history of Saint Nicholas, the hectic holiday season, Christmas traditions, and more

9. Wild Kratts’ Creature Christmas

It’s Christmas time and the Wild Kratts are taking a break from creature adventuring to celebrate. But when the Wild Kratts receive an alert that their favorite creatures are disappearing around the globe, their holiday party transforms into a rescue mission.

10. Saving Christmas

Kirk Cameron rescues his brother-in-law, Christian, from the humbugs and gives him a fresh perspective on Christmas.

And now for an intermission called ___ Saves Christmas in which your favorite cartoon or canine protagonist rescues the holiday from nefarious villains:

11. Abbott & Costello: The Christmas Show

This delightful Christmas special stars the hilarious Abbott and Costello and features Margaret Whiting, The Nicholas Brothers, Buster Shaver and Olive, and Tom and Jerry.

12. A Merry Friggin’ Christmas

Not family friendly, but the cast is packed with comedy all-stars, including Robin Williams, Joel McHale, Lauren Graham, and Candice Bergen.

13. Saint Nicholas: The Real Story

Learn about the historical saint from Turkey who partly inspired the Santa Claus myth. (If you’re six years old and reading this, please don’t tell your parents that we called Santa Claus mythical. Also, good job on your reading.)

14. Christmas with the Addams Family

Uncle Fester gets stuck in the chimney while dressed as Santa. That’s all you needed to know, right?

15. The Gift of the Magi

Based upon O Henry’s short story. A young husband and wife barter their most cherished possessions to buy Christmas gifts for one another.

16. The Christmas Orange

A young boy is outraged when he receives a single orange for his Christmas largess and decides to sue Santa Claus.

17. No Snow for Christmas

A short co-produced by animation legend Bill Plympton  showing the effects of climate change on Christmas

18. Christmas Masterclass

Part of The Great British Baking Show. In the countdown to Christmas, Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood feel festive in the kitchen. They share six recipes to bake for your family this holiday, inspired by traditions from all over Europe.

19. One Magic Christmas

It’s a Disney film starring a plucky 6-year-old girl and her guardian angel. This is either too saccharine or perfect for you, depending upon your taste, and you already know which it is.

20. Krampus: The Christmas Devil

If you hate Christmas and wish it was still Halloween. (There’s also Krampus Unleashed if you want to have a movie marathon.)

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