Basics

216 N Marshall Ave
Litchfield MN 55355

(320)693-2483

HOURS
Monday - Thursday 10 a.m. - 8 p.m.
Friday & Saturday 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Closed Sunday

Friday, May 27, 2011

What happened on April 25th?

Litchfield Independent Review
June 2, 2011 edition

By Jan Pease

Did you know that April 25th of this year was a momentous day? Two important events happened that day.

First, since April 25 would have been Minnesota author Maud Hart Lovelace’s birthday, the winner of the 2011 Maud Hart Lovelace Award was announced. According to the Maud Hart Lovelace Award website,

The Maud Hart Lovelace Book Award is a children's choice book award. The purpose of the award is to encourage recreational reading among school age children. Nominated titles are works of fiction of recognized quality selected by independent regional reading groups.

Students in grades 3-5 who have read or listened to at least three titles from the Division I nominee list and students in grades 6-8 who have read or listened to at least three titles from the Division II nominee list are eligible to vote for the Maud Hart Lovelace Award.

Students vote for a favorite title in March, and ballots are submitted to the Minnesota Youth Reading Awards by April 1st. At our library, both the After School Book Club and the Middle School Book Club read nominated books and voted on their favorite choice. It was interesting for us to read books that we often would have passed over. I enjoyed the book discussions, especially as the club members began to express their own opinions.

The winning book in both divisions is Deep and Dark and Dangerous, by Mary Downing Hahn. Our book club members didn’t like this book! That’s the fantastic part of being in a book club, as members form their own opinions and express them. Learning to disagree without being disagreeable is a skill we all should develop.

What else happened on April 25th? My world was rocked when I went to the clinic because of an odd-looking sore on my leg which had gotten larger and more angry-looking throughout the day. My doctor sent me straight to the hospital, where I was a patient for over a week. Even with antibiotic treatment, the infection in my leg got worse and worse, with my leg looking like badly-done special-effects makeup for one of those movies where an alien spore pops out of someone’s body. Thanks to the great care of the doctors and nurses at Meeker Memorial, I still have my leg and all my toes and am now growing new skin on my battered leg.

I miss working at my favorite place in Litchfield! I hoped to be back at work sooner, but I realize that it will take some time. My co-workers have gone above and beyond in filling in for me as the school field trips take place. So if you have wondered where in the world is Mrs. Pease, the answer is, sitting with her leg elevated! The good side of all this is that I discovered a new author, a mother and son team who write under the pen name of Charles Todd. There’s always a silver lining, even if the cloud looks pretty dark. See you, soon, at the library!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

June Events Brought to You by the Library

by Mary Hansen and Beth Cronk, Litchfield library staff
5/26/11

As summer approaches quickly, the Litchfield Public Library has programming planned for all ages.

Minnesota author Mike Roberts will be at the library on June 2nd. Mike will speak about his experiences as the last lighthouse keeper at Split Rock Lighthouse and his work with the U.S. Coast Guard. The program will begin at 6:30 p.m. in the library meeting room. Mike lives in St. Cloud and is the author of the book The Last Keeper at Split Rock.

On June 7th the Litchfield Library will be hosting the event “Most Haunted Locations of Minnesota”. Join us and find out where you can supposedly see possessed statues come to life, pick up a phantom hitchhiker, encounter a ghost train, enjoy a play in a haunted theatre, or have your car pushed by spirits. This presentation will be given by Chad Lewis. Chad is a paranormal researcher and author for Unexplained Research, L.L.C. He holds a Master's of Science degree in Psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Stout. Chad has trekked across the world in search of the paranormal. He has been featured on the Discovery Channel’s “A Haunting,” ABC’s “World’s Scariest Places,” and hundreds of radio interviews, TV appearances, and newspaper articles. Chad is the author of the Hidden Headlines series and also the co-author of the Road Guide to Haunted Locations book series. Chad has presented at hundreds of libraries, universities, schools, and private functions for crowds of 7 to 700.



The kick-off for the summer reading program, One World, Many Stories, will be on Thursday, June 9th, at the Dassel, Grove City and Litchfield Libraries. Musician Dennis Warner will entertain us with music related to the theme for this year. Dennis is a folk/Americana singer and songwriter from Minnesota who performs all over the country and has recorded eight albums. He accompanies himself on guitar and is known for humorous, family-oriented concerts. He has been featured on National Public Radio and has performed at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Grove City Library’s kick-off event begins at 10:00 a.m., with Dennis performing at 11:00. Dennis will perform at the beginning of the Dassel Library’s event at 3 p.m. The kick-off will run from 6 - 8 p.m. at the Litchfield Library, with Dennis performing at 6:30.

The Minnesota Historical Society, along with the Litchfield Public Library and the Litchfield Opera House Association, will be sponsoring a concert called “Happy Days are Here Again” at the Litchfield Opera House on June 12th at 1 p.m. This free concert features Rhonda Laurie, a former New Yorker and now a Twin Cities jazz and cabaret singer, who is known for her sophisticated but warm voice and stage presence. Rhonda has performed at The Dakota, the Minnesota Fringe Festival, Lake Harriet Bandshell, and the Twin Cities Jazz Festival, as well as many other venues. This Greatest Generation show is a musical journey with songs and stories from the 1930s through the 1950s. It should be fun for all ages.

You don’t need to sign up or pay admission to attend any of these programs. Just mark your calendars and come join us for some entertainment and culture to start off your summer!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Thinking Spring

by Beth Cronk, Litchfield head librarian
5/19/11

Spring is starting so slowly this year that we’re all getting impatient to get in the garden, in the fields, or just outside in the yard. While you’re waiting for the weather to cooperate, check out some books from our library that can help you plan for the warm weather ahead.

Homegrown Harvest: A Season-by-Season Guide to a Sustainable Kitchen Garden is a new book from the American Horticultural Society. Like the title says, it gives the gardener tips and to-do lists for each season, from early spring to late winter. It’s a beautifully-photographed and practical gardening book.

River Cottage Every Day will motivate you to get creative with farmers’ market offerings and your garden produce when it becomes available. This book is written by British farmer/cook/cookbook author Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, with a focus on using fresh, local, seasonal foods to cook family meals.

If spring means construction to you, the new book Framing a House may be useful. Former Fine Homebuilding editor and builder Roe Osborn created this comprehensive book that’s full of detailed photographs. It covers everything from the planning process and framing the first-floor deck to framing interior walls and installing exterior trim.

The New Backyard Idea Book is full of up-to-date ideas for porches, patios, outdoor rooms, sheds, and pools. If you’re dreaming of a new outdoor space, perhaps a well-organized potting shed or a cozy furnished porch, you’ll be inspired by this book.

If you’d like to do something new with your yard but you want to be frugal or environmentally-conscious, check out The Revolutionary Yardscape: Ideas for Repurposing Local Materials to Create Containers, Pathways, Lighting, and More. You’ll get ideas for turning your old junk into garden d├ęcor or junkyard or thrift store finds into pathways, garden lights, or arbors. The reader is encouraged to think outside the box and find creative uses for found objects.

Another do-it-yourself book for improving your outdoor spaces is Landscaping with Stone: A Sunset Outdoor Design & Build Guide. This book gives step-by-step instructions and hundreds of photo examples for using stone to create paths, walls, patios, and other yard and garden enhancements. It also covers plants that complement stonework.

If you’re a real do-it-yourselfer and you enjoy fishing, take a look at Making Wooden Fishing Lures: Carving and Painting Techniques That Really Catch Fish! This book provides patterns and step-by-step instructions for creating over 20 lures, covering surface, floating, diving, and sinking types.

If you’re planning summer travel and you’re over 50, you may find Discounts, Deals, and Steals: For Those Over 50 Who Don’t Want to Pay to Play useful for keeping expenses down. This guide from Readers’ Digest includes tips on getting low rates at hotels, rental car companies, museums, theme parks, and many other venues, travel-related or not.

Finally, if you’re coaching a kids’ baseball team this spring and summer, check out Survival Guide for Coaching Youth Baseball. This new book covers drills for developing fielding, outfield, throwing, pitching, and hitting skills, as well as basics on organizing your team and understanding your role on game days.

Whatever spring and summer activities are occupying your mind, I hope you’ll be able to find something useful about it at the library.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Storyteller Bob Gasch performing Friday 5/13

For our final story hour of the season, professional storyteller Bob Gasch has kindly volunteered to perform this Friday, May 13th. Our preschool story hour begins at 10 a.m. and ends around 11. Bob will tell farm stories and lead the kids in songs. Come join us for some fun!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Minnesota Book Awards 2011

by Beth Cronk, Litchfield head librarian

The Friends of the St. Paul Public Library announced the winners of the 2011 Minnesota Book Awards on April 17th. We have many of them available to check out at the Litchfield Public Library.

My Heart is Like a Zoo by Michael Hall won the award for children’s literature. This is a brightly-colored picture book in which the animals are made from heart shapes. It covers emotions, shapes, and colors, in addition to animals. We have this book in our picture book section.

The award for genre fiction went to Wendy Webb for her novel The Tale of Halcyon Crane. It’s been praised as a creepy, modern gothic novel that readers can’t put down. A copy has been ordered for our library, and it’s currently available to order from another library in Pioneerland.

Another winner we’ve ordered is Carrier: Untangling the Danger in My DNA by Bonnie J. Rough. It won in the memoir and creative non-fiction category. Rough writes about her experience as a carrier of a rare genetic condition as she and her husband consider having a baby and as she researches her family’s experience with the disease. The “creative” part of her non-fiction comes in writing in the voices of her mother and her late grandfather, one a carrier and one a sufferer of hypohidrotic ectodermal dysplasia.

The Minnesota Award goes to a non-fiction book on Minnesota history, nature, social customs or nostalgia. This year’s winner is North County: The Making of Minnesota, by Mary Lethert Wingerd. It’s described as a comprehensive look at how this area became the state of Minnesota. We have this book in the collection, but it’s frequently checked out. We can help you request it if you don’t find it on the shelf when you stop in.

The award for young adult fiction went to Blank Confession by Pete Hautman. This realistic fiction novel covers bullying and drug dealing with what has been described by reviewers as a simple but gripping story with good character development. Hautman is a past winner of the National Book Award. You’ll find this book in our young adult hardcover section.

We have some of the other nominees for the Minnesota Book Awards available in our library, as well. A Night on the Range by Aaron Frisch was nominated for the children’s literature award. This picture book shows the imaginative cowboy adventures of a little boy and his dog when they camp out in the back yard.

The Assassination of Hole in the Day by Anton Treuer is a non-fiction book for adults on Ojibwe culture and tradition and the events leading up to the 1868 killing of an Ojibwe leader by his own people. Treuer is a professor of Ojibwe at Bemidji State University.

Silencing Sam is a mystery by Julie Kramer. It’s the third book in the series which includes Stalking Susan and Missing Mark. Television reporter Riley Spartz is a suspect in the murder of a gossip columnist in the Twin Cities and secretly investigates the case. Kramer is a past Minnesota Book Award winner and freelance news producer who made an appearance at the Dassel Library as part of our Pioneerland authors tour last year.

If you’d like to check out these honored books written and/or illustrated by Minnesotans, stop in at our library and we’ll be glad to help you find them.