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

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Stuff Their Stockings With Books!

By Jan Pease

There are so many lists to suggest gifts at this time of year, but I have a few suggestions of gifts to give to book lovers.


If you want to give a gift to a young adult who loved the “Hunger Games” series, try the first two books in the “Matched” series, by Ally Condie. The titles in the series are “Matched” and “Crossed.” The third book will be out next year. I’m reading “Matched” at the present time. So far, there’s not as much violence as the characters lived through in “Hunger Games,” but the oppression is subtle and in some ways, more terrifying. The “Society” makes every decision for its citizens, from what they wear, what they learn, where they work, what they eat and who they marry. The citizens die on their eightieth birthday. The one hundred most important poems, songs, artworks, historical events are all that the citizens know, and the ability to write has been lost thanks to keyboarding and cutting and pasting. The heroine, Cassia, is matched with her perfect match, but then something happens that makes her (somewhat) comfortable life unravel.

Diana Gabaldon has a book coming out on November 29th, The Scottish Prisoner. This is really part of the “Lord John Grey” series rather than the “Outlander” series. The next book in the “Outlander” series is “Written in My Own Heart’s Blood,” which will come out in 2013. This confusion between her series has completely ruined my plan of pre-ordering what I thought was the next “Outlander” book for a family member. So as a gift, perhaps I’ll recommend to myself to find the rest of the “Lord John Grey” and put them under the tree for said family member. Used books are a great resource for those of us who want to purchase an entire series of books.

If you are buying a gift for a fan of picture books, and want a pop-up book that will well, make their eyes pop, choose anything by Robert Sabuda. A friend gave me his extraordinary “Christmas ABC,” which I have already opened and enjoyed, even though Christmas is weeks away. The engineering and artistic brilliance of his pop-up books delights me, and I have a private collection. Someday I should bring them here so everyone can enjoy them, but I’m too selfish to share.

Another favorite picture book is “Gingerbread Friends,” by Jan Brett. Based on the traditional version of the Gingerbread Boy, this is a kinder, gentler version that includes a recipe to make your own gingerbread and a huge foldout at the end of an entire gingerbread village full of gingerbread friends. Yes, it’s almost too sweet, but Jan Brett’s illustrations alone could tell the story.

If a family member has a Nook or a Kindle, you might consider buying a gift card at either Barnes and Nobel or Amazon.com. These can be purchased online, and used to add books to an e-reader throughout the year.

Take time during the hustle and bustle of the next weeks to share a book with someone you love. I’ll see you at the library!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Closed for Thanksgiving

We will be closed on Thursday, November 24, for Thanksgiving.  We will be open on Friday, November 25.

Story times will take place as usual on Wednesday at 10:15 a.m. and Friday at 10 a.m. Thursday evening's story time will be cancelled.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 18, 2011

I Am So Thankful

by Beth Cronk, Litchfield head librarian

At the Litchfield Public Library, those of us on the staff are so thankful to work in our wonderful library. Thanks to the efforts and generosity of many, we have a beautiful library building in our community. People who visit from out of town often look around with wide eyes and say, “You have a beautiful library. Is it new?” It truly is something to be proud of, even ten years after it opened.

We are also thankful for the talented people from our community who come in to share their gifts with us. A few weeks ago, we hosted Herbert Chilstrom for a book event. Mr. Chilstrom grew up in Litchfield and is the retired bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Members of his graduating class donated a copy of his new book, A Journey of Grace: The Formation of a Leader and a Church, to our library. When it returns from processing, it will be available for you to check out.

On Monday, November 28, we will be hosting Litchfield author Nancy Paddock in our meeting room at 7 p.m. Nancy’s new book, A Song at Twilight: Of Alzheimer’s and Love, has gotten quite a lot of attention on the Minnesota literary scene. The memoir has been reviewed favorably, even glowingly, in the Minneapolis Star Tribune and St. Paul Pioneer Press. The Star Tribune reviewer described it as “lyrically powerful” and a “beautiful, fragile and unforgettably open-hearted effort”. Nancy has been interviewed about the book on Minnesota Public Radio and has made multiple appearances in the Twin Cities, including one at the Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis. We are thankful to claim Nancy as a member of our local arts community and to have her kick off our new round of Legacy programming. I hope you’ll join us the Monday evening after Thanksgiving to hear Nancy discuss her book and, if you’d like, have a copy signed. Our library owns a copy, as well.

Personally, I’m thankful for the challenges and opportunities of my new job as head librarian this year. I am constantly learning new things, meeting new people, and looking for new ways to serve the community. This runs the gamut from the very serious information request to the entertaining community event. I hope you’ll join me for something new and fun: game night at the library. Starting on December 5th, we’ll have a series of game nights on Mondays from 6:30 to 8 p.m. We’ll start with chess on December 5th in the meeting room. Bring your own chess set and meet up with others who want to play. It’s open to all ages and ability levels, and you can come and go as your schedule allows. I’m planning to do evenings of card games, board games, Yu-Gi-Oh, Dungeons & Dragons, Wii Sports, Wii Rock Band, and any other likely candidates. If you have a request, let me know.

Finally, I know that many of us are thankful when new books come in. It’s like Christmas every time we get a delivery of new books, movies, or music. As you prepare your Thanksgiving dinners or make your Christmas baking and entertaining plans, take a look at some of the new resources we have available to you:

Essential Pepin: More than 700 All-Time Favorites from My Life in Food by Jacques Pepin

The Best of the Farmer’s Wife Cookbook: Over 400 Blue-Ribbon Recipes

Mad About Macarons: Make Macarons Like the French by Jill Colonna

Whoopies! Fabulous Mix-and-Match Recipes for Whoopie Pies by Susanna Tee

The Apple Lover’s Cookbook by Amy Traverso

Bite by Bite: 100 Stylish Little Plates You Can Make for Any Party by Peter Callahan

Heartland: The Cookbook by Judith Fertig



Our library will be closed on Thanksgiving Day, but we will be open again on Friday and Saturday. Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Listen While You Read!

By Jan Pease

Have you discovered the collection of audio books in the children’s department? For several years we have developed this collection, which is a great source of entertainment. But books on cd serve another important role in the library.

Struggling readers often benefit by listening to a book while reading the print version. This works best if the audiobook agrees with the text word for word. Our collection of audiobooks for children contains titles that are unabridged to make it easy for the reader to follow along in the book while listening to the words as they are seen. Our collection isn’t perfect, but I try to have both the book and cd version of a title available.

New, wonderful audiobooks include “Dave the Potter,” by Laban Carrick Hill. This wonderful picture book describes the slave who created pottery in the 1800s in South Carolina.

“Princess Posey and the First Grade Parade,” by Stephanie Greene and Stephanie Sisson, “Otis,” by Loren Long, and “Bear’s Loose Tooth,” by Karma Wilson are audiobooks of picture books suitable for younger readers.

“Troublemaker,” by Andrew Clements, is for slightly older students. Andrew Clements writes stories about school, a subject he understands because he taught school for seven years before beginning his career in publishing and writing. The audiobook version is narrated by Keith Knobs, who has appeared in movies, television and live theater.

We also received some interesting print titles this week which are suitable for older readers.

“Five Ancestors,” by Jeff Stone, is a series of seven books that follow young adventurers with martial arts skills, who find their destiny after their monastery is destroyed. This series received a lukewarm reception from professional reviewers, but is loved by the young readers who discover it. I purchased it because boys requested it and told friends about the series. I recommend these books for anyone who likes adventure novels, but especially for reluctant readers. Titles in the series include “Tiger,” “Monkey,” “Snake,” “Crane,” “Eagle,” “Mouse,” and “Dragon.”

“Silence,” by Becca Fitzpatrick, continues the “Hush, Hush” series that has become very popular with teens. I purchased this series because of the number of students requesting it. Fans of the “Twilight” series tend to love this romance with fallen angels as the paranormal twist.

Whether you’re looking for audio books or a romance to sink your teeth into, Litchfield library has something for you. I’ll see you at the library!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Closed for Veterans Day

Pioneerland libraries are closed for Veterans Day, November 11th.  We will be open on Saturday, November 12th.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Have You Discovered All the Areas of the Library?

By Beth Cronk, Litchfield head librarian
I spent the first three days of November becoming intimately acquainted with our library’s collection. I touched nearly every one of the adult fiction books that were in the building while we did inventory. I feel a lot like I do after painting a room: lots of reaching and crouching to get to everything on the shelves.

Thank you for your patience while we were closed. We did need all three days, but we got it done. We had two people here from Pioneerland headquarters to help us the first day, but the rest of the time our regular staff were the only ones hard at work, scanning every single item with a barcode in the building. Now we wait for the reports that will tell us which things are in the wrong place, which missing things we found, and which missing things we’d better give up on because they weren’t found. It will be interesting. It should greatly improve our records, after ten years without an inventory.

We handled each section of the library’s collection separately. I wonder if you’ve discovered all of the different places we keep different kinds of items.

Based on the dust, I suspect that our oversized book section is rarely discovered. It’s tucked back against the wall behind the adult computers and the reference shelves, near the small study room. This is a shelf of books that are too big to fit on our regular shelves. They’re all adult nonfiction. Mostly they’re art and history books, with some other books on countries and continents, space, and cooking. I found a giant book on dinosaurs that I’m going to check out for my family, and I thought I’d already looked at every dinosaur book we had here. If you like coffee table books with lots of big pictures, I suggest you browse this hidden collection.

Next to the oversized books, we have a shelf of great books, from Sophocles to Dostoyevsky. I plan to take a look at these to see if the titles have newer duplicates in our regular collection. I suspect that they never get checked out. If you’re a fan of the classics and didn’t know we had this set available to you, take a look at the shelf on that back wall.

Between these back shelves and the computers, we have our reference section. You can find the current Minnesota Statutes and Minnesota Rules, Leonard Maltin’s 2012 movie guide, a current catalogue of collectible postage stamps, and the 2011 CIA World Factbook. It’s my goal to get the outdated books off of those shelves so that we all can easily see the useful things. Some information is just not available on the internet, and it can really be handy to have a well-organized book.

Moving over to the back wall of our rows of adult books, we have our large print collection. All of our large print fiction is here, with the exception of the newest things, which are on the shelf with other new books near the lobby. At the end of the large print hardcovers, we have a few larger print paperbacks. If you need large print or you’d like to be free from your reading glasses while you read a novel, check out this section.

Going past our large print section, you’ll find our adult paperbacks. Some patrons don’t realize we have this section, since it’s in the back corner. If you do a catalog search and find an adult paperback that you want, this is where you’ll find it. Some popular authors have books in our adult hardcovers, adult paperbacks, and large print sections. If you’re just browsing for books by a particular author without doing a catalog search, you’ll want to check all three sections.

Our inspirational/Christian fiction novels have their own special section at the end of the regular adult fiction. If you like to read books by authors like Wanda Brunstetter, Melody Carlson, and Karen Kingsbury, this is where you’ll find them.

Right next to our front desk on the children’s side, you’ll find a shelf of Spanish materials. Most of them are children’s books. A few are adult nonfiction. If you read Spanish or are studying it, I hope you’ll take a look at this special collection.

If you haven’t explored our whole library, I hope you’ll wander around and find some spots you’ve never found before. Or you can always ask a staff member for help finding something. We’ll be glad to guide you.