Mentor Library looking for organic and heirloom seed donations

Donate your heirloom and organic seeds to Mentor Library's seed library and help Mentor grow.

Donate your heirloom and organic seeds to Mentor Library’s seed library and help Mentor grow.

Are you a gardener? Mentor Public Library wants your help to seed the community.

We are building a seed library—vegetables, fruits, flowers and herbs. If you have organic or heirloom seeds that you’re willing to share, please contact our Senior Services Manager Darlene Workman. You can either call her at (440) 255-8811 or email her at Darlene.workman@mentorpl.org.

With your support, we can help Mentor grow.

By the way, Mentor Library is hosting a series with the Master Gardeners at its Main Branch to keep your green thumbs verdant. The first session will be at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 4. The Master Gardeners will suggest the best plants for a winter interest.

Then, on Wednesday, March 4, the Master Gardeners will recommend perennials that can give your garden year-round color.

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My Community Monday gets books to those who need it

Diane Frangels picks donations from the shelves of our Read House for the Girl Scouts.

Diane Frangos picks donations from the shelves of our Read House for the Girl Scouts.

Mentor Public Library receives more book donations than we could ever use—more than we could fit on our shelves, even more than could be sold during the Friends of the Mentor Public Library’s book sales.

Instead of letting good books go to waste, we wanted to make them available to people who could use them; so we invited local nonprofits—Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Broadmoor, Hannah’s Home, St. John Vianney, Lake-Geauga Recovery Center and more— to visit our Read House on Monday, Jan. 19, and pick out books they thought their members, clients, patrons or parishioners would enjoy.

We call it My Community Monday, and we hope it put books in the hands of a lot of people—kids, teens and adults—who will dig them.

If you work for a local nonprofit and want to come to our next My Community Monday on Feb. 9, email our Community Outreach Coordinator Jason Lea.

Finally, we need to thank everyone who donates books to Mentor Public Library! We appreciate your generosity. You’re helping a lot of organizations that make Lake County a better place to live!

Gail Keegan of Lake-Geauga Recovery Centers looks for books for their clients and children at Lake and Oak House.

Gail Keegan of Lake-Geauga Recovery Centers looks for books for their clients and children at Lake and Oak House.

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MPL Talks: The Origins of the Final Solution

We host a lot of programs at Mentor Public Library and it’s hard to catch them all.

And sometimes you miss one you really wanted to see.

That’s why we’ve started MPL Talks, where we post full programs online for you to watch at your convenience. It’s not quite the same as being there. (For example, you don’t get to ask questions.) But it’s better than missing out.

MPL Talks begins with a program by Dr. John Foster—one of our reference librarians who also happens to have a doctorate in German history.

In honor of International Holocaust Remembrance Day, he discussed the origins of the Nazi’s Final Solution on Tuesday, Jan. 27.

How and why did Germany, the home of one of the more integrated Jewish populations in Europe, decide to systematically kill at least six million Jewish people? Watch and learn all about it.

For more information on programs at Mentor Public Library, visit our event calendar; and for more videos of MPL programs and events, check out our YouTube channel.

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Mentor Library providing tax instruction booklets for checkout this year

The IRS is not sending tax instruction booklets out this year, but Mentor Library is making some available for checkout at all of its branches.

The IRS is not sending tax instruction booklets out this year, but Mentor Library is making some available for checkout at all of its branches.

This year, the federal government is not providing 1040, 1040 A or 1040 EZ tax instruction booklets to libraries, as they have in previous years. Consequently, it may be more difficult for some people to find these booklets during this tax season.

However, Mentor Public Library is helping by making some of these tax instruction booklets available for checkout, starting in Monday, Feb. 2

MPL patrons can borrow 1040, 1040 A or 1040 EZ instruction booklets at its Main, Mentor-on-the-Lake and Headlands Branches. They can each be checked out for three days.

To be clear, the 1040, 1040 A and 1040 EZ tax forms will still be available for pickup, as opposed to checkout. But the federal government is not sending any other tax forms or instructional booklets.

However, the instructional booklets are also available for download on the Forms & Publications page of the IRS website. If someone is averse to downloading or printing the booklets, they can order them from the IRS website or by calling 1-800-829-3676. The IRS site says its takes between seven and 15 days for ordered documents to be received in the mail.

The Mentor Public Library will still be receiving local and state tax forms, and they will be available for pickup starting Feb. 2.

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Local author talks about his grandfather, a Cleveland Mafia street boss

Frank Brancato was a mainstay of the Cleveland mafia for almost 50 years. His grandson, Frank Monastra, has written the book "Mafia Street Boss" about him.

Frank Brancato was a mainstay of the Cleveland mafia for almost 50 years. His grandson, Frank Monastra, has written the book “Mafia Street Boss” about him.

Though it seems like a bygone era, we are not far removed from the heyday of the Cleveland Mafia. Less than a century ago, the Porrello and Lonardo families fought for bootleg liquor profits during the Corn Sugar War; and the mafia’s battles with Danny Greene’s Celtic Club were more recent than that.

One man—Frank Brancato, a mainstay of the Cleveland mafia for almost 50 years—bridged both the Corn Sugar and Celtic Club eras. (In fact, Brancato’s credited with introducing Greene to the Cleveland underworld.) In his lifetime, Brancato went from gambler to capo to consgliore.

Now, a family member of Brancato is talking about his time in the famiglia.

His grandson, Frank Monastra, has written a book, Brancato: Mafia Street Boss, about Brancato’s mafia tenure and will talk about it 6:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 9, at Mentor Public Library’s Main Branch. The talk is free and open to everybody. You can register for the program here.

So learn more about the man the FBI investigated for years—under J. Edgar Hoover’s direct orders, no less—and his role in Cleveland’s organized-crime scene.

(For more information on Cleveland’s mafioso history, you may enjoy Rick Porrello’s The Rise and Fall of the Cleveland Mafia and To Kill the Irishman.)

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