Library hosting program to help caretakers of people with dementia

People who have dementia or Alzheimer’s disease often have habits or behaviors that can befuddle or frustrate their caretakers. For example, some people with dementia ask the same questions repeatedly

In this talk, experienced professionals from the Kemper House – a care facility that specializes in Alzheimer’s disease and dementia – share tactics that will help caretakers deal with repetitive questioning.

By the way, we’ve hosted other programs that can help families dealing with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. They are still available to watch on our YouTube channel.

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Join our New ‘Funny Women’ Book Club

Discuss Tina Fey's "Bossypants" with Mentor Public Library's newest book club this March!

Discuss Tina Fey’s “Bossypants” with Mentor Public Library’s newest book club this March!

Our newest book club celebrates Funny Women, and you’re welcome to join us!

Our Women Reading Funny Women Book Club has its first meeting at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, March 17. We’ll chat about Tina Fey’s Bossypants. You can pick up a copy from your local library. For now, this book club will meet online via Zoom. You can get the link by registering online or by calling our Headlands Branch at (440) 257-2000.

Our library hosts seven book clubs dedicated to all different interests. And there’s always room for more readers, so take a look to see if one or more appeal to you!

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Noticing Nature’s Cues for your Garden

Get expert advice from the Lake County Master Gardeners during a monthly gardening series from Mentor Public Library.

Get expert advice from the Lake County Master Gardeners during a monthly gardening series that begins Saturday, March 13.

Spring has nearly sprung, and we have partnered with the Lake County Master Gardeners for a monthly series of garden talks to help both expert and budding green thumbs.

The first talk will be hosted online via Zoom at 10 a.m. on Saturday, March 13. The Master Gardeners will explain how you can use cues from nature – also known as phenology – to learn what plants and animals will thrive in your garden.

Registration is required to get the Zoom link. You can sign up on our website or by calling us at (440) 255-8811 ext. 247.

Two more tips for any gardeners out there:

1. Did you know that you can get free veggie, flower, and herb seeds from our Seed Library? Check out our collection  the next time you visit our Main Branch. Borrow up to 15 packets of seeds per season.

2. By the way, any green thumbs should check out the special collection from Holden Forests & Gardens’ Corning Library available at our Main Branch. In addition to a gorgeous arboretum in Kirtland, Holden also has a spectacular collection of gardening, horticulture, environmental and botany books at Corning Library within its arboretum.

Dozens of Corning Library’s books are now available to borrow at our Main Branch. Thanks to a partnership between libraries, you can use your cards to check out books from this special collection. Our typical lending rules apply.

3. Finally, we are hosting a garden-themed story time that will end with kids planting their own little starter gardens on March 18. Keep an eye on our program calendar, because registration opens for that program on March 4.

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What Is Structural Racism?

Dr. Jason Reece will discuss the history and effect of structural racism in the region during an online talk hosted by Mentor Public Library.

Dr. Jason Reece will discuss the history and effect of structural racism in the region during an online talk hosted by Mentor Public Library.

Perhaps, you’ve heard the term “structural racism” in the last few years but are not certain what it means or how it may have affected you or your region’s history.

Jason Reece, an associate professor at Ohio State University, will offer a free online lecture on the topic at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, March 8, that we’re hosting.

Reece will explain the history of structural racism and its influence on Northeast Ohio’s urban geography. He’ll discuss the policies and practices that influenced populations patterns, segregation, and disparities between communities and neighborhoods in the region – both historically and today.

The lecture will be hosted via Zoom. You must register to get the Zoom link. You can sign up online or call us at (440) 255-8811 ext. 247.

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MPL Board Votes to Enter Contract for Abatement & Demolition of Read House Building

Read House Autumn

On Wednesday, Feb. 17, the Mentor Public Library Board of Trustees voted to enter into a contract with ProSupply Inc. for the abatement and demolition of the Read House building. CT Consultants – the architect on the project – recommended ProSupply as the lowest responsible bidder, pending final contract approval from legal review.

The contract, if finalized, is in the amount of $54,434, including a $5,000 contingency. The contract will likely take several weeks to finalize. Consequently, no timeline for the building’s demolition is presently available.

The Read House – the building specifically, not the property on which it stands – has been available for purchase for 18 months. However, the library hasn’t received any offers.

Parts of the Read House are more than a century old, and the building would need extensive repairs if it were to continue being used by the public. While it’s difficult to guess how much renovation would cost because any repairs might require asbestos or lead-paint abatement, we conservatively estimate that it would require at least $200,000 for the building to meet public-safety standards.

The Read Property is located next door to our Main Branch at 8245 Mentor Ave. The library purchased it in 2009.

HB4116The Read House lawn provides a unique opportunity to offer outdoor library programming. We’ve used its lawn and surrounding green space to host concerts, campfires, community art projects, story times, scavenger hunts, nature journaling programs, Summer Reading parties, and more. More than 11,000 of our patrons have attended programs there.

Meanwhile, the Read House building, built in 1868, has presented numerous challenges. Additions and repairs were made over a ten-year time period to try to make the private house more usable for the public, including:

  • Making the building’s first floor ADA compliant, including adding an entry ramp
  • Adding structural supports to the building’s basement so it could handle the increased foot traffic and weight once the private home was opened to the public
  • Lead paint and asbestos abatement that was completed during all previous repairs

Despite these renovations, it was still difficult to make a previously private home serve as a public building. The small rooms on the main floor could not be reconfigured because the walls are loadbearing. And the second floor does not have ADA access, nor can it structurally support anything more than light storage.

SONY DSCAs a result, the use of the building has been limited. Book sales were held on the first floor and the front room was used for small group weekly children’s story time. Even then, the building’s small rooms and narrow halls presented obstacles to patrons, especially those with mobility issues.

Even before the pandemic, we’d moved all library programming and book sales from inside the Read House Building to our Main Branch.

Evaluation of the structure

In 2018, the library contracted with a construction company and an architect to assess how to make the house more usable to the public for library programming.

The company and architect recommended several repairs, including:

  • The front porch needed to be taken down and replaced.
  • The foundation required masonry repair work.
  • Cracking plaster in the walls and ceiling needed to be repaired.
  • Old and potentially leaking siding and windows needed to be replaced.

The library hired a specialist who confirmed that lead paint was present and asbestos was in the walls. While safe to be inside, any potential structural repair inside the Read House building would require costly asbestos and lead paint abatement.

CT Consultants estimated the potential repairs would cost at least $117,000; Greater Cleveland Consultants estimated at least $134,500. Neither estimate includes contingencies, including asbestos or lead-paint abatement. We estimate the cost of repairs and needed contingencies and abatement at around $200,000

The current value of the home is $49,270 according to the Lake County Auditor’s Office.

The library investigated possible funding sources – including reaching out to the state – to help pay for renovations, but none were found. Ultimately, it was deemed cost-prohibitive to renovate the building.

This left the library with two more options: sell the building or demolish it.

The Read House building – the building specifically, and not the property on which it stands – has been available for purchase for 18 months. However, the library hasn’t received any offers. The library also contacted the Lake County History Center and Cleveland Restoration Society. While both organizations helpfully shared their expertise, neither were able to help find funds for renovation or were interested in procuring the building themselves.

Without other options, the Board voted to contract with ProSupply Inc. for abatement and demolition of the Read House Building. The library will continue to use the surrounding property for outdoor programming.

Additionally, the library is researching ways in which some furnishings can be preserved from the building. A local carpenter is interested in repurposing parts of the building to make unique furniture. Also, the Lake County History Center has expressed interest in potentially preserving some unique interior furnishings.

 

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