12 29, 2017

MPL Talks: USS Michigan & the Civil War

By |2017-12-29T06:00:16-05:00December 29, 2017|

The USS Michigan was one of the Navy’s first iron-hulled ships and it sailed the Great Lakes for more than a century.

It represented the transition between wood to iron and sail to steam. The USS Michigan also played a pivotal role in the Civil War when Confederates attempted to hijack it.

Ted Karle discussed the historic ship during our monthly Civil War program with James A. Garfield National Historic Site.

He discussed:

  • the USS Michigan’s role in the assassination of James Strang
  • how it was nearly hijacked during the Civil War by Confederate pirates
  • how the lauded vessel ended up as scrap metal

Our Civil War series continues at noon on Wednesday, Jan. 10, at our Main Branch. The topic will be General Winfield Scott Hancock. The talk is free and open to all.

If you’re interested in Civil War history, some other previous talks in our Civil War series can be viewed online in their entirety:

12 18, 2017

Read Marvel & Star Wars comics for free with Hoopla

By |2017-12-18T06:00:50-05:00December 18, 2017|

Christmas has come early for comics lovers, because Hoopla just added dozens of Marvel and Star Wars comics to its collection. And you can read them for free.

We’ve talked about Hoopla before. It’s a cool digital service we offer that lets you stream music, TV shows and movies anywhere and at any time for free.

It’s also gradually accumulated one of the best comics collections that you can read for free. And it’s just added Spider-Man, Star Wars, X-Men, and The Avengers to its offerings.

Here are 10 of our favorites—which, not to belabor the point, you can now read for free.

  1. Runaways—Every teen thinks their parents are evil, but the parents in Brian K. Vaughan’s Runaways are the actual leaders of a murderous cult. Their six, superpowered kids flee home, vowing to stop their moms and dads. If you liked the Hulu series, you’ll love the comics that inspired them.
  2. 1602—We mainly associate Neil Gaiman with Sandman (which is also available on Hoopla,) but he wrote for Marvel, as well. 1602 drops familiar Marvel characters like Wolverine, Steven Strange, and Doctor Doom in an unfamiliar locale: the twilight of the Elizabethan Era in England. The key to this madness is Virginia Dare, a young girl recently arrived from the New World.
  3. Black Panther—There are a lot of talented authors writing comics but not many National Book Award winners. Ta-Nehisi Coates takes Black Panther in a revolutionary new direction. T’Challa’s nation of Wakanda is under attack from a violent, superpowered terrorist organization. For his country to survive, T’Challa must confront both the antagonists and centuries of tradition.
  4. X-Men: Dark Phoenix SagaJean Grey, heart and soul of the X-Men for decades, has gained cosmic powers beyond her own comprehension. But we all know what absolute power does. Read the story that influenced TV shows, decades of storytelling, and the latest X-Men film.
  5. Hawkeye: My Life as a Weapon—Comics don’t often have the luxury of telling quiet stories. Despots rise, aliens attack, and downtowns are constantly being flattened. But Hawkeye, which features both The Avengers’ Clint Barton and his don’t-you-dare-call-her-a-sidekick Kate Bishop, excels at those small moments that occur between world-saving missions. If you’re tired of overbearing, crossover epics, Hawkeye is your antidote.
  6. Darth VaderThe original Dark Lord of the Sith stars in his first ongoing series. See the war between the Empire and Rebel Alliance through the eyes of one of pop culture’s most popular villains.
  7. Civil War—Hero fights hero when Captain America and Iron Man argue over public safety and personal liberty. Teams, friendships, and families are torn apart as the Marvel Universe goes to war with itself.
  8. Ms. Marvel: No Normal—Kamala Khan is unlike any other superhero out there, and not just because she’s Muslim, a teenager, or from Jersey City. Kamala believes a superhero needs to be more than superpowered. She should also be, well, heroic. After all, good isn’t something you are. It’s something you do. Follow her first adventures as she discovers the secrets and dangers behind her powers.
  9. Daredevil: Born Again—The single most important Daredevil story ever told. Karen Page, Matt Murdock’s former lover, has traded away the Daredevil’s secret identity for a drug fix. Now, Murdock must find strength as the Kingpin wastes no time taking him down as low as a human can get.
  10. Old Man Logan—So many of our superheroes are functionally indestructible. Even when they die, they resurrect within a year or two (sometimes with a new costume.) That’s what makes Old Man Logan so affecting. In this story, Wolverine—perhaps, the most indestructible her of all—isn’t just old. He’s tired. He’s post-heroic. But when an old friend arrives to ask a favor, he’ll unsheathe his claws one more time.

For more comics on Hoopla:

12 15, 2017

Cleveland Browns QB Bernie Kosar discusses football, resiliency & ‘Learning to Scramble’

By |2017-12-15T06:00:48-05:00December 15, 2017|

Cleveland Browns Quarterback Bernie Kosar—you may have heard of him—visited us on Wednesday to discuss his life, career, and new book, Learning to Scramble.

He talked about:

  • The process of writing “Learning to Scramble”
  • His childhood in Youngstown
  • The importance of resiliency
  • his experience at the University of Miami
  • his friendship with Drew Carey
  • The “Bernie, Bernie” song
  • his last pass with the Browns
  • CTE

He also signed more than 200 books for the people who came to here him speak.

We want to thank the Mentor Barnes & Noble, Cleveland Landmarks Press, and, of course, Kosar himself for making this program possible.

12 11, 2017

Lake Branch opening STEAM station for kids

By |2017-12-11T06:00:47-05:00December 11, 2017|

Kids can explore the microscopic world at Lake Branch’s new STEAM Station.

Kids can explore the microscopic world at Lake Branch’s new STEAM Station.

Kids can combine play and learning when they try out the new STEAM Station at our Lake Branch.

(If you don’t know, STEAM is an acronym that stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math.)

Fledgling scientists as young as two can learn about science, tech and more by playing with our educational toys.

Practice colors and counting with the Color Chameleon. Improve your motor skills with the EMIDO blocks, puzzles, and MagnaDoodle Sketch Board. Learn about science with our Insect Exploration Kit and My First Microscope.

The toys are available for play at the Lake Branch. So the next time you’re visiting for story time or to borrow a book, stay awhile and play.

Your kids will have fun and learn something too.

Nolan builds an iguana and a star out of the EMIDO blocks at Lake Branch’s new STEAM station.

Nolan builds an iguana and a star out of the EMIDO blocks at Lake Branch’s new STEAM station.

12 9, 2017

Check out new magazines whenever you want with Flipster

By |2017-12-09T06:00:35-05:00December 9, 2017|

You can now access dozens of popular magazines whenever you want and for free.

All you need is a smart device—like a tablet, computer or smartphone—a Mentor Public Library card, and the library’s newest digital service, Flipster.

You can check out both new and back issues of 56 different magazines with Flipster, including People, Atlantic, Times, Cosmopolitan, Bon Appetit, Highlights, New Yorker, Money, Redbook, Rolling Stone, US Weekly, Vogue and Teen Vogue, Wired, Runner’s World, Women’s Health, Zoobooks, and Vanity Fair.

There are two ways you can borrow magazines using Flipster:

  1. online with its website
  2. via the Flipster app, which is available for free on the Google Play and iTunes App stores. All you’ll need to sign in is your library card number.

Otherwise, start browsing. Your favorite magazines are now at your beck and call.

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