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, April 28, 2017

This 'n' That

By Jan Pease

When you come to the front desk area of the Litchfield Public Library, you will notice many Lego creations that cover the top of nonfiction shelving and the shelves in the beautiful cabinet given in memory of Rosann Lorenz.   These highly imaginative pieces of art are made each week at Brickheads, the kids who like to build with Lego bricks.

I love to listen to the young people as they tell the story of their creations.  Sometimes there are vehicles, sometimes space stations, and sometimes houses for families to share.   Some of the Lego characters are good guys, some are bad guys, and some are aliens or walking skeletons. Or Zombies.   Each creation is given a title with the name and age of the artist.  Some of the dads and moms have as much fun as the kids as we chat and build.  Brickheads is offered every week at 6:30 on Thursday nights for ages 4-14.

I think Brickheads is more than just a fun time.  Young people sometimes seem surprised by the good time they’re having without being connected to a device.  Conversation happens, and social skills are practiced.  Imaginations soar!  It’s more important than ever for our children to develop the ability to connect with each other.  Sometimes I feel like standing with a loudspeaker telling everyone to “step away from your phone! Step away from your phone!” 

Beginner Book Club is a program that is probably more fun for me than for the students.  We have been slowly working our way through the C.S. Lewis classic, “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.”  They are conquering a very difficult book and I’m proud of them.  The subject matter of this book, coupled with how very British the language is, makes this a challenge.  These are readers from grades 1-3, and they have remarkable insights.  Beginner Book Club meets once each month, third Thursdays, at 3:00.   

Each of these programs has had children “age out” and could use more members, and we have plenty of room for friends to attend together.  Both programs will continue through the summer and fall.

Summer will be here before we know it.  All of the Meeker County libraries are participating in “Reading by Design.”  This reading theme will include a lot of hands on fun.  As the summer unfolds, our goal is always to keep children using their reading and math skills.  Please encourage your children or grandchildren to be part of “Reading by Design.”  Watch for news later in May, and I’ll see you at the library!






Friday, April 21, 2017

A Very Useful Library Catalog Skill

 By Jan Pease

I learned a new skill using our library online catalog today.  I wondered if I could narrow the search to juvenile books published in 2017 that can be found in Litchfield.  You can look at a list of the newest books on the first page of the library catalog website, but you can’t limit the search by town or copyright date. If you ever want to do this, go to the library catalog, http://iii.pioneerland.lib.mn.us and choose advanced search.  Enter keyword: juvenile, material: book, language: English. Easy enough, right?  Now comes the tricky part. I had to limit the date, so I entered after 2016 and before 2018. That is the way to tell the computer I want all of the books published in 2017 in the Litchfield collection. (Of course it would be simple to just type in 2017, but the computer doesn’t think that way.)  Anyway, the result was 302 titles. And we’re only just finishing the month of April.

Look for some great nonfiction in these 302 new books.  We have added a series of   tiny biographies of famous people from the series, “My Itty-bitty Bio.”  Maya Angelou, Mother Teresa, Benjamin Franklin and others are included in this introduction to reading about real people.  Watch for additional titles, because I think we will add them all to the Litchfield collection.

We added a series called “Dark Waters” by Julie Gilbert.  These mermaid stories aren’t for the faint of heart.  Titles include “Fire and Ice,” “Into the Storm,” “Neptune’s Trident,” and “The Sighting.”  Mermaid titles are really popular right now, so we’ll
keep buying them!

If you like to eat (and who doesn’t?) look for the “Dessert Diaries” books by Laura Dower.  We added titles such as “Maggie’s Magic Chocolate Moon,” “For Emme, Baked with Love,” and “Gabi and the Great Big Bakeover.” 


We added a number of books about Minecraft, and they are almost flying off the shelf.  The three newest Minecraft titles are “Minecraft: Guide to Building,” “Minecraft: Guide to Animals," and Minecraft: Guide to Combat."                                      

If you’re interested in books about a career idea from the point of view of a young person, look for “Choose Your Own Career Adventure Hollywood,” “Choose Your Own Career Adventure Cruise Ship,” or “Choose Your Own Career Adventure  Military.”  These interactive books introduce young people to the ins and outs of unusual careers.
 
One of my favorite new books is “Babies Come From Airports,” by  Erin Dealy.  This is an adoption story with a twist, and I just love it. This sweet story is told from the point of view of a boy who had his own “Gotcha Day.”  

Try my search trick and explore other wonderful new books waiting for you at Litchfield Library.






Friday, April 7, 2017

Help! I Can't Find My Funny Bone!

By Jan Pease

“Do you know the difference between Google and librarians?  Librarians are search engines with a heart!”    I like this joke from “I Funny: School of Laughs.”  James Patterson and Chris Grabenstein collaborate on the “I Funny” series.  Our hero, Jamie Grimm, famous for being on tv and for winning a national comedy contest, has taken on  the task of helping the school librarian save the school library.  He does it by teaching his classmates how to be funny.  Can you learn to be funny if you don’t have a funny bone?  I don’t know. I think we’re born with a sense of humor and either have one or not.

Anyway, this is a good example of a novel that is heavily illustrated but not quite a graphic novel.  I don’t know who started this trend.  Jeff Kinney’s
series, “Diary of a Wimpy Kid,” uses the same format of small amounts of text with many illustrations that move the story along.  The eleventh book in the series, “Double Down,” came out in November of 2016.  Our copy of this popular book is checked out, which is an indication of how much these books are liked.

“Hamster-saurus Rex,” by Tom O’Donnell, is another example of a book that combines text with many illustrations.   A cute little hamster shows up in a classroom in grade 6.  One unusual thing about this hamster is that he’s
fearless and he growls.  Another unusual thing is that no one seems to know where he came from. 

Dave Pilkey’s new series, “Dog Man” is more of a true graphic novel.  It’s a very funny series.  Greg the K-9 officer and his partner are injured, and after extensive surgery, become an officer with the head of a dog and body of a man.  These fly off the shelves, in spite of the twisted premise.

Tom Angleberger has published a new book, Rocket and Groot: Keep on Truckin’.  Rocket and Groot are from the universe of Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy.  The blurb on the back of the book says that Rocket and Groot, with their super-intelligent tape dispenser, Veronica, have crash landed on a world called HappyHappyFunFun.  “This is a happy place, except for the out-of-control self-driving monster trucks, a supercomputer called Big Mama, and sharks, lots of sharks.”  I don’t get it, but that doesn’t matter. The first Rocket and Groot adventure, “Stranded on Planet Strip Mall,” has been very popular.  Just in case you wonder, Rocket is some kind of space traveling raccoon, and Groot is some sort of tree creature.  I just don't get "Guardians of the Galaxy."

Librarians are usually not thought of as people with a sense of humor.  Still, funny things happen at  libraries every day.  This morning at story hour, we shared a book called “Dalmatian in a Digger,” by Rebecca Elliott.  The whole point of the book was alliteration, with a duck in a dump truck and a camel in a crane.  But a little expert on heavy machinery corrected me: it was a Dalmatian in an excavator!

See you at the library!