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

Monday, September 30, 2013

No D&D tonight

We will not be having Dungeons & Dragons or any other organized gaming tonight.  We will have a selection of board games and chess sets available to play.

Take our survey!

Let us know what's important to you at the library by taking this brief survey:
Pioneerland Library System survey

The results will be used to create a plan for our library system for the coming years.  Have a voice in the direction your public library will take!

Thank you.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Hattie Rocks!

By Raechel Kelly and Jan Pease

In May of this year, my young friend Raechel wrote a review for us, and she’s done it again.  I love to read what Raechel has to say.  Raechel read Hattie Big Sky, by Kirby Larson, and the sequel, Hattie Ever After. Raechel is 17 now, and it’s a pleasure to watch her grow as a writer.

Raechel’s words: I read this book a few years ago, but I was nonetheless eager to read it again, from a little different perspective.  Despite my age difference from when I read it the first time till now, I greatly enjoyed it both times, and believe I’d read it many more times in the future.
The main character, Hattie Inez Brooks, is a young girl of 16 years old who was orphaned at a young age and shuffled from one relative to the next.  While she is staying with a very distant uncle and aunt in Iowa, Hattie receives a letter from her mother’s brother, her late uncle.  The letter informs her that her uncle, Chester, left his homesteading claim in Vida, Montana to Hattie after he passed away.  Ready for change, a place to belong, and adventure, Hattie packs up her few things - including her cat - and heads out to Montana where her homesteading journey begins.  Written in first person, Hattie’s adventures are wonderfully captured and you feel as if you’re right under the Montana sky with her.

One thing I did note, that sort of disappointed me, was how Hattie’s relationship with God was portrayed.  She would pray earnestly to the Lord, but then immediately afterwards would doubt He’d answer her in any way, and kind of just cast it away.  I understand all that, and that the relationship was a bit broken, but I was hoping for it to be restored or even touched on in the end, which I didn’t really find. 
    
Hattie Ever After is the sequel to Hattie Big Sky and I was very much looking forward to reading it after having finished the first book again recently.  I must say I am thoroughly impressed with Miss Larson’s writing!  When I began reading Hattie Ever After, I was at first a little bummed because of the perspective she took on Hattie’s life.  Hattie wants to follow her own dream and focus only on what she can do for herself, when her dear friend, Charlie, just wants to be part of her life.  Though I was not overly thrilled with that aspect of it, I was thrilled with the theme of it – reporting!  Hattie’s big dream is to be a reporter; she is an avid writer.  I have always loved books that are set in the 1920’s and include newspapers and reporters, maybe because I wish I could have been part of that.

But anyway, this book was really well written.  In the beginning I was hoping for a certain ending, but then I was so increasingly happy with the ending.  It was perfect, and was even not what I was expecting.  I won’t give anything away but I will say I would love a third book to continue where this one left off.   The book has magnificent plot twists as well; some you would never have guessed.
I wasn’t too disappointed with how Hattie reverenced God in this book, as I was with the first.  Not a whole lot was included, but what was included I thought was good and more respectful.  All in all I really liked Hattie Ever After and hope to add it to my own collection of books. I give it 4.5 stars.


Thanks, Raechel, for reviewing these books.  I can add that Hattie Big Sky and Hattie Ever After are both very popular with young adult readers.  If you want to add your name to the list, contact Litchfield Library or request them through the online catalog at litchlibrary.blogspot.com.  

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Computer system back to normal

We are back to being fully operational with our computer systems.  Feel free to use the catalog or stop in to use the library!

Limited service at the library today

If you're having trouble logging into your account or getting onto our catalog, it's not just you! There is an outage in Willmar, and our computer program where your library account lives and our catalog are unavailable. 

If you come in with your library card to check out something you can find on the shelf or that you have waiting here on hold, we can do that.  We are not able to look up your account, order anything, create library cards, or accept fines.

Internet access here at the library is still available but slow. Our IT department is working to solve the problem as soon as possible. Thanks for your patience!

Our book sale and genealogy workshops are still happening today.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Adults need educational activities, too!

by Beth Cronk, Litchfield head librarian

Fall is here, and library activities for all ages are underway.  If you’re getting back onto a schedule with the onset of school and cooler weather, consider our library’s activities for social and educational opportunities. 

Have you tried researching your family tree but could use a little help?  This Saturday, September 21, we will be hosting two genealogy workshops.  From 10-11:30 a.m., instructor Molly Schweinfurter will teach a beginner’s session on genealogy and family history research.  She will show attendees how to get started researching their family trees and demonstrate how to find many different types of records, using examples from her own research.

The second workshop, Genealogy Online, runs from 12:30 – 3:30 p.m.  Molly will guide participants to helpful websites related to family history searching, with a special emphasis on sites related to Minnesota history.

Both workshops will be held in the library meeting room, using laptops.  We will be borrowing the Pioneerland laptop lab of ten computers, so that limits our class size.  If some of the participants bring their own laptops, we can increase the size of the class.  The advantage of bringing your own laptop or tablet is that you can bookmark the useful websites you learn about.

These workshops are free to attend because they’re funded by Minnesota’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund. Reserve a spot by calling us at 693-2483 or stopping in.  Specify whether you’re attending the morning or afternoon workshop or both, and whether you’ll be bringing your own computer.

Have you been thinking about joining a book club?  Our adult book club meets at noon on the second Tuesday of the month.  It’s a great group of people, usually ten to sixteen of us, who have lively discussions about a wide variety of books.  In August, we discussed Sarah’s Key; that made for a great discussion about history and prejudice.


This month, we talked about The Sunday Philosophy Club by Alexander McCall Smith.  As we criticized the book (sometimes that’s how it goes!), somehow we managed to have a really great discussion on the ethics of forgiveness and responsibility anyway.

Now for October, we’re reading The Hunger Games.  I’m really looking forward to discussing the profound themes it covers with a group of adults.  It’s not just a book for teenagers!  Many adult library patrons of all ages have told us that they loved it and could not put it down.  I think some adults are put off by the description of the book, but it is not nearly as gritty and disturbing as it sounds, much less so than most of the modern adult novels I’ve read.  I encourage skeptical adults to put aside their preconceived ideas and give it a try, especially if they’ve enjoyed other survival, futuristic, or coming-of-age stories.
 Even if you aren’t usually part of our book club, you are welcome to join us for any book discussion that interests you.  This one will be held on Tuesday, October 8, at noon in the library meeting room.


For more information on when specific book and other clubs meet at the library, look at the information on the right-hand column of this blog.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Back up and running!

Our computer system is fully operational again.  You can access your account.  You can call us to renew or order things.  We all can search the catalog.  You can come in to apply for a library card or pay your fines. We'll be getting a delivery tomorrow. Everything is back to normal!

Monday, September 9, 2013

System down on Monday, September 9

On Monday, September 9, the Pioneerland Library System websites will be down all day due to a software upgrade.  

The library catalog, MnLink, and the Overdrive ebook website will not be available from home or at the library.  

The libraries will be open with limited services available.  Customers who bring in their library cards will be able to check out books and other materials they find on the shelves, but there will be no way for staff to look up information on customers’ accounts, accept fine payments, or order materials.  

Internet access will still be available on the libraries’ public computers and WiFi.  The library staff encourages local residents to visit the Litchfield, Grove City, and Dassel libraries on Tuesday to take care of their library business if possible.  

Friday, September 6, 2013

Catch up on the TV shows everyone is talking about!

by Beth Cronk, Litchfield head librarian

The Emmy nominations and the start of the traditional television season are happening in the next couple of weeks.  To catch up on the shows you’ve heard about but didn’t watch from the beginning, or that you can’t get at home because you don’t have cable or satellite television, check out our library’s collection.

Downton Abbey is once again up for many Emmy awards.  This year it’s nominated for outstanding drama series, lead actor Hugh Bonneville, lead actress Michelle Dockery, supporting actor Jim Carter, supporting actress Maggie Smith, directing, writing, and other smaller awards.  We have all three seasons at the Litchfield Library, so you can start at the beginning and find out what all the fuss is about.  We even have a few books related to the series: The Chronicles of Downton Abbey, The World of Downton Abbey, Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey, and Below Stairs.

Our library also has the first two seasons of Game of Thrones.  This series is nominated for outstanding drama series, writing, supporting actor Peter Dinklage, supporting actress Emilia Clarke, and many technical awards. If you get into the TV series and want to read the books, you can check out all of the books in print or on CD at our library.  The series is called A Song of Ice and Fire.

“House of Cards” made history this year by being the first online television series to be nominated for major Emmy Awards.  The Netflix series is nominated for outstanding drama series, lead actor Kevin Spacey, lead actress Robin Wright, and directing.  Our library has this first season on the shelf of new DVDs.

The HBO series Girls is nominated this year for outstanding comedy series, directing, lead actress Lena Dunham, and supporting actor Adam Driver.  We have just season one of this series.  It has the tagline “Living the Dream.  One mistake at a time.”

Big Bang Theory is nominated for outstanding comedy series, as well as lead actor Jim Parsons and supporting actress Mayim Bialik.  We have the first five seasons on DVD, and the sixth season is on order.  Many people enjoy this show about a group of geeky friends.

Veep is an HBO series that is nominated for outstanding comedy series, lead actress Julia Louis-Dreyfuss, supporting actor Tony Hale, and supporting actress Anna Chlumsky.  We have the first season available with our new DVDs.  Louis-Dreyfuss plays the vice president of the United States.

Political Animals is a miniseries nominated for outstanding miniseries or movie, lead actress Sigourney Weaver and supporting actress Ellen Burstyn.  This 6-episode set, about a former first lady who becomes Secretary of State, is available with our new DVDs.

The Bible: The Epic Miniseries is also nominated for outstanding miniseries or movie.  We have this 4-disc set at our library.  The 440-minute series covers Genesis through Revelation.


The TV shows that are recognized for excellence run the gamut from lighthearted humor to Machiavellian politics, from religious to racy.  Take a good look at the cases, at the summaries in our catalog, or at resources like imdb.com to help you decide if a particular television show will appeal to you.

System down on Monday, September 9

On Monday, September 9, the Pioneerland Library System websites will be down all day due to a software upgrade.  

The library catalog, MnLink, and the Overdrive ebook website will not be available from home or at the library.  

The libraries will be open with limited services available.  Customers who bring in their library cards will be able to check out books and other materials they find on the shelves, but there will be no way for staff to look up information on customers’ accounts, accept fine payments, or order materials.  

Internet access will still be available on the libraries’ public computers and WiFi.  The library staff encourages local residents to visit the Litchfield, Grove City, and Dassel libraries Friday, Saturday, and Tuesday to take care of their library business if possible.  

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Mark Your Calendars!!

Mark your calendars! Children’s programming at the library begins Sept. 11th and we have planned something for everyone.
On Friday September 13th, Robert and Lynn Halbrook will present their magic show for preschoolers, “Once Upon a Time.”  We have had Robert visit the library as Professor Marvel, and have always been delighted with his performance.  “Once Upon a Time” is their newest show, and I’m so excited to see what they have planned for a young audience.  Older siblings are welcome.

Our regular schedule will start on Wednesday September 11th, with Toddler Time at 10:15.  Toddler Time is a great introduction for young children to being in a group.  Babies are welcome as we sing songs, dance, and read one short book.  Children must attend Toddler Time with a caregiver.
Thursday nights at 7 we will offer Bedtime Story Time.   Children often attend in their pajamas, and the plan is that they can go home and go to bed. 

On Friday mornings at 10 Preschool Story Hour will include one or two books, singing, fun activities and a craft.  This story time is planned for children ages 3-6.

We’re offering something new on the second Saturday of each month at 10:00.  I’m going to follow Robert Halbrook’s inspiration and plan a Saturday story hour on the theme, “Once Upon a Time.”  We’ll have a circle time, explore well known fairy tales, and make a craft.  This story hour is planned for children who are at least three years old.   

Fun with 4-H is moving to the second Tuesdays of each month, beginning September 10th at 3:00.  Darcy Cole will offer all the fun of 4-H for children in grades K-5. 

Beginner Book Club, for ages 6-8, will meet on the 2nd Thursdays at 3:00 p.m., beginning September 12th

Get Caught Reading Book Club, for ages 9-12, will move to the 3rd Thursdays at 3:00 p.m. 

Tiana Schweim has wonderful things planned for teens 13 and older, including a book club that will meet at the high school, teen gaming night, teen events, and a teen advisory group.  I’m excited to see what will happen next.


All of the library programs in the chldren’s department are free, and   registration is not required.  It’s time to get back into a routine and I’m looking forward to a very busy fall. See you at the library!