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216 N Marshall Ave
Litchfield MN 55355

(320)693-2483

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Friday & Saturday 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
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Saturday, April 23, 2011

What Would You Like to Do Today?

Litchfield Independent Review April 28, 2011
News from the Litchfield Library By Jan Pease

What would you like to do? Build a backyard fort? Recycle old cds into a craft project? Learn words in Chinese? Draw dinosaurs? Books that show how to do all of these projects have arrived at Litchfield library.

First, I should give you a little history. Way back when we were working on the concept of the new library building, our collection was evaluated by a professional. He stated that we had too much juvenile fiction (I mentally answered, too bad, because we have some awesome young readers who love fiction, and it isn’t going to change!) He also stated that we needed to weed and upgrade our nonfiction collection. We weeded and weeded. Pioneerland library system also had us evaluate our collection by age, and although we weeded and weeded again, the nonfiction collection still needed some work. I usually purchase a few nonfiction titles each month, to fill holes in the collection and add new books, but I decided to go for broke (perhaps literally). I’ve invested 25% of the entire 2011 children’s book budget in some incredible nonfiction books.

If you’re a girl and wonder about serving our country in one of the branches of the armed forces, look for titles in the Women in the Armed Forces series, like Women of the U.S. Marine Corps: Breaking Barriers, or Women of the U.S. Air Force: Aiming High. These books contain information about the history of women serving the branches of the armed services, as well as stories of women today following their dreams.

Green Projects for Resourceful Kids teaches us how to make crafts by recycling cds or using materials found in nature. The projects are easy, and colorful pictures illustrate each step. Written by various authors, these books even make me feel like trying to make something.

Build Your Own Fort, Igloo, and Other Hangouts has great ideas for making a hut, an umbrella tent, a colorful snow castle, and other backyard getaway places. Tammy Enz gives great instructions and step by step pictures that make it look easy. If we have another snowy winter, we could all make igloos in our yards, just for fun.

If you would like to improve your drawing skills, look for the You Can Draw series. Whether you want to draw vehicles, pets, zoo animals or monsters, these books will get you started on the basics. The books are written by various authors, but all give beginning artists an idea how to start with shapes and fill in the details.

My First Book of Mandarin Chinese Words, as well as other books in the series, teach simple words for everyday objects. Katy R. Kudela wrote the books, using translator.com as her source for the translations. Each book follows the same format, even using the same pictures. While no one will learn to speak another language with these books, they are a great introduction to the concept that people just like us in other places speak a different language.

Easy Magic Tricks is a series that does just that. Steve Charney learned to do magic tricks as a child, and he still performs more than 100 times a year. Many children are fascinated by magic and card tricks, and these books will enable them to master some simple tricks and amaze their friends and family.
Origami seems magical to me, and the instructions usually mystify completely. Our Easy Origami series, by Christopher L. Harbo, uses careful steps and colorful pictures to show even a young artist how to make lovely projects. These and other fantastic nonfiction books are waiting for you in the Children’s Department at Litchfield Public Library. See you there!