06 21, 2019

Your invitation to our 200th Anniversary Party

By |2019-06-21T06:00:47-04:00June 21, 2019|

Help us make a community mural at our 200th anniversary party on July 12.

Help us make a community mural at our 200th anniversary party on July 12.

Everyone is invited to our 200th Anniversary Party from 6 to 8 p.m. on Friday, July 12, on our Main Branch lawn.

You can help us make a community mosaic of Mentor with Gail Christofferson of Animal House Glass.

Also, Tom Todd, the Amazing One Man Band, will perform from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Bring your lawn chairs or blankets, sit back, and enjoy  a little bit of Jimmy Buffett.

We will also have cake and contests. All are welcome and no registration is required to attend our party!

And, yes, your community library is 200 years old. (We look good for our age.) We’re celebrating all year long with donation drives, programs that celebrate local history, and (of course) reading! Get all the details here.

06 17, 2019

Celebrating half a century of ‘Very Hungry Caterpillar’

By |2019-06-17T06:00:59-04:00June 17, 2019|

Kids craft beautiful butterflies during our 50th anniversary celebration of Eric Carle's "The Very Hungry Caterpillar."

Kids craft beautiful butterflies during our 50th anniversary celebration of Eric Carle’s “The Very Hungry Caterpillar.”

We celebrate the 50th anniversary of Eric Carle’s beloved picture book The Very Hungry Caterpillar with an obstacle course and crafts last week at our library.

For half of a century, librarians (and families) have read along as a tiny caterpillar eats his way through a smorgasbord and transforms into a butterfly.

Kids reenacted the caterpillar’s journey with an obstacle course that wound through our Main Branch’s lawn.

Speaking of anniversaries, you can also join us for our 200th anniversary party at 6 p.m. on Friday, July 12, on the Main Branch lawn. Help make a community mosaic of Mentor with Gail Christofferson of Animal House Glass.

Also, Tom Todd, the Amazing One Man Band, will perform from 6 to 7 pm. Bring your lawn chairs or blankets, sit back and enjoy  a little bit of Jimmy Buffett. We will also have cake and contests. All are welcome and no registration is required for our party.

06 6, 2019

Hear the untold stories of Mentor

By |2019-06-06T06:00:27-04:00June 6, 2019|

Want to hear the stories about Mentor's remarkable history that don't make the history books? Hear them from historian Thomas Matowitz at Mentor Public Library.

Want to hear the stories about Mentor’s remarkable history that don’t make the history books? Hear them from historian Thomas Matowitz at Mentor Public Library.

As part of our 200th anniversary, we’re exploring Mentor’s history. And nobody knows more about the city of Mentor than historian Thomas Matowitz. He literally wrote the book on it.

Matowitz is the perfect person to discuss prominent Mentor families like the Garfields, landmarks like the Wildwood Estate, and more. But he also has a mindful of spectacular Mentor stories that nearly nobody else knows.

You can hear some of Matowitz’s rare and untold stories during a special program at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 20, at our Main Branch. The talk is free to attend and open to all. We only ask that you can register beforehand. You can sign up by calling us at (440) 255-8811 ext. 247.

For more from Matowitz:

Speaking of our 200th anniversary, you can also join us for our anniversary party at 6 p.m. on Friday, July 12, on the Read House lawn. Help make a community mosaic of Mentor with Gail Christofferson of Animal House Glass.

Also, Tom Todd, the Amazing One Man Band, will perform from 6 to 7 pm. Bring your lawn chairs or blankets, sit back and enjoy  a little bit of Jimmy Buffett. We will also have cake and contests. All are welcome and no registration is required for our party.

04 14, 2019

Travel back to 1819 at our Headlands Branch

By |2019-04-14T06:00:35-04:00April 14, 2019|

Woman_Churning_Butter_MET_DP827612As part of our bicentennial celebration, kids can travel back to 1819 during a special program at 6 p.m. on Monday, April 29, at our Headlands Branch.

Our friends from the Lake County History Center will teach kids about churning butter, threshing wheat and other chores that children would have had 200 years ago.

The program is fun, free and open to all kids from six to 12 years old. We only ask that you register beforehand. You can sign up online or call our Headlands Branch at (440) 257-2000.

By the way, we’re celebrating our 200th anniversary all year long with, donation drives, programs that celebrate local history, and (of course) reading! Get all the details here.

04 2, 2019

Library History in Photos: On the Move

By |2019-04-02T06:00:45-04:00April 2, 2019|

Mentor Library's first building of its own is taken on the road in 1960. Courtesy of David Gartner.

Mentor Library’s first building of its own is taken on the road in 1960. Courtesy of David Gartner.

As part of our bicentennial, we asked for your historical photos from Mentor Public Library. And, wow, did we get a doozy this week.

Local photographer David Gartner snapped some gorgeous photos on the day our original library building moved down the street.

A little history is helpful here:

For nearly the first century of our existence, Mentor Library didn’t have a home of its own. Our books were housed in private residences or, later, in Mentor Village Hall.

We finally moved up and out at the beginning of the 20th century when a Mr. Addison Goodall offered $1,500 to $2,000 toward a library building if our Board President James R. Garfield and the rest of the board could raise the remainder.

(To keep your Garfields straight, James R. Garfield is the son of President James A. Garfield.)

Abram Garfield, a famous architect and another son of President Garfield, designed our new building. It opened on May 31, 1903, at the corner of Center Street and Mentor Avenue.

Now, this building may look familiar. It still exists and currently houses the Confectionary Cupboard.

So you may be wondering (1.) why isn’t it a library anymore and (2.) how did a building move from Mentor Avenue to the intersection of Center and Nowlen Streets.

The answer to your first question: we outgrew our first home and moved to what we then called our Garfield Unit in 1960. You now know it as our Main Branch. It’s been expanded and renovated in the last 60 years, but it’s been one of our homes ever since. (Well, not counting the two years we needed to relocate to Tyler Road.)

As per the second question: the credit for saving that historical building goes to one heroic woman, Lila Moore Schaefer. Ms. Schaefer recognized the value of the building, purchased it and had it moved to its present location in 1960. She lived in the building and also used it to house her real-estate business until she passed away in 1964.

Then, insurance brokers Don and Marguerite Krueger purchased it. In 1979, it was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this trip down memory lane. Thanks to David Gartner for making it possible!

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