216 N Marshall Ave

Litchfield MN 55355


All Pioneerland

While all Pioneerland Library System buildings remain closed to the public due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Curbside Pick-up of library items is available. You may place items on hold using the online catalog. Library staff will call you to schedule a pickup time once your hold is ready. Pickup days/times vary by location. Please contact your library if you have questions or need assistance in using this service.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Have a Mega Movie Marathon!

By Jan Pease

How do you ring in the New Year?  My husband and I are really not fun people. We don’t enjoy parties, our drink of choice is diet soda, and our idea of a decadent snack is potato chips with dip. However, we usually have a New Year’s Eve movie marathon, sometimes ending long after midnight.

My personal favorite long evening is to watch all five hours of the BBC version of “Pride and Prejudice.”  Unfortunately, the Litchfield library doesn’t own a copy of this, but you could request it from another library in time for a rockin’ Regency New Year’s Eve.  Another favorite movie marathon is to watch the entire “Lord of the Rings” trilogy, extended versions, back to back,  for about  11 ½  hours.  Dave and I did it, once, ordering pizza in the middle, and drinking too many diet sodas.  The resulting hangover was impressive, considering that no alcohol was involved. 

The Litchfield library collection has many movies and television series from the BBC, which would provide many hours of dramatic British entertainment. “ Downton Abbey”  is an extremely popular BBC miniseries.  If you watch it all at once, it will take just over 6 hours.   The complete first season of “The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency”  takes only about 7 ½ hours to watch.    If you prefer to try an Adam Dalgliesh marathon, check out “Devices and Desires” and “Cover Her Face.”  If you watch both miniseries back to back, it will take about 11 hours. The “Henry James Collection” provides a little more than 14 hours of drama.  Episodes of “Poirot” and “Miss Marple” are also very popular, and it would be quite easy to have a British Mystery Marathon.

The library owns all 8 movies in the “Harry Potter” series.  If you’re up to it, you could watch them all in a little more than 19 ½ hours.   The library owns all of the “Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” trilogy, the original Swedish films, which would take about 7 ½ hours to watch.  You can watch them in English or Swedish.  The library also owns the “Underworld” trilogy, which only takes about 5 ½ hours to watch. 

With a bit of interlibrary loaning, you could watch all of the “Star Wars” movies. The six movies would take about 13 ½ hours.  The previously mentioned “Lord of the Rings” trilogy is not available in its entirety at Litchfield, but other libraries can fill in the gap left by our missing “Two Towers” dvd.

American TV series might provide the best marathon potential.  For example, to watch all of the 14 episodes of “Firefly” takes nearly 11 ½ hours.   The entire series of “Moonlight” takes about 11 ½ hours to view. If you’re nostalgic for animated action, watch the entire season of “He-Man and the Masters of the Universe.”  It would only take about 16 hours.  The library copies of the four seasons of “Burn Notice” are nearly always in use.  If you were able to check out all 4 seasons at once, you would have a total of 45 hours of action to watch.  That, perhaps, might be too much of a good thing.

Remember that the library will be closed on January 2nd for the holiday.  That leaves us with plenty of time for a mega movie marathon, thanks to Litchfield Public Library.  See you there!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Closed for Christmas

Image created by, used by Creative Commons license.

We will be closed Saturday, December 24, and Monday, December 26, for the Christmas holiday. Merry Christmas from the Litchfield Public Library staff!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Curl Up with a Movie Over the Holidays

by Beth Cronk, Litchfield head librarian

Are you ready for the holidays? Gifts purchased, treats made, house ready? I’m sorry to say that I am not. This is the first Christmas season that I’ve been working full-time since my children were born, and I’m in grad school, too. I took a class on collection development this semester, so I’ve been spending my November and December evenings and weekends evaluating Litchfield Library’s parenting collection in detail and creating a presentation on ebooks in public libraries. I just may be out with the shoppers on Christmas Eve Day this year.

Library closed for holidays

Our library will be closed all day on Christmas Eve, Saturday, December 24. We will also be closed on Monday, December 26, for our Christmas holiday. We will be open on New Year’s Eve Day, but we’ll be closed again on Monday, January 2. This will be the case in all Pioneerland libraries, so if you visit Grove City’s, Dassel’s, or Hutchinson’s libraries, you’ll find the same holiday closures.

Check out a movie

Because we’ll be closed for that span of days, if you check out movies on Thursday, December 22, or Friday, December 23, you’ll be able to keep them until we open again the following Tuesday. Maybe you’d like to get a few movies to keep the kids busy while you wrap presents or to watch when things quiet down on Christmas Day or the days between Christmas and New Year’s. We’ve gotten some new DVDs for you to choose from:

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. If you missed it on TV or want to watch it again, you can check it out from us.

Cars 2. This sequel to the wildly popular Pixar movie Cars has Lightning McQueen and Mater headed for the world Grand Prix.

Mr. Popper’s Penguins. This adaptation of the award-winning, classic children’s book stars Jim Carrey as a New York businessman who inherits six penguins who turn his apartment into a winter wonderland.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, part 2. This final installment brings the series to an epic finale at Hogwarts. This was one of the few movies I saw in the theater this year, and I loved it. It’s on my Christmas list.

Fiddler on the Roof. If you’re thinking about trying out for next summer’s community theater production, check out the movie starring Topol as Tevye, a poor Russian Jewish man with five unmarried daughters. We have the soundtrack on CD, too, so you can learn the songs. The 1971 movie is rated G.

We’ve also just gotten Firebreather from the Cartoon Network, Top Hat, starring Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, A Night at the Opera, starring the Marx Brothers, and Super 8.  I've heard rave reviews of the last one and plan to check it out myself.

I hope you’ll find something among our new movies that you’ll enjoy. Have a merry Christmas!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Just in Time for Christmas

By Jan Pease

Shazam! Great new picture books for Christmas are here at the Litchfield Library. One of the very best and funniest books, ever, “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” has been retold in picture book form by author Barbara Robinson with illustrations by Laura Cornell. The Herdmans are here, in all their awful glory, but some of the subplots have been left out. As they take over the Christmas program chaos ensues, but some of my favorite moments are when Imogene burps the baby Jesus, Gladys weeps as the beauty of the Christmas narrative unfolds, while the Herdman brothers, wise men, bring their Christmas ham to the Baby Jesus.

“The Christmas Pups” is a completely sweet but unrealistic dog adoption story about three puppies and an older dog who find a loving family who adopts all of them from an animal shelter. Perhaps it isn’t as farfetched as the romantic Christmas books that seem to be everywhere, but really, who would find room for three puppies and an adult dog in their home? Anyway, Teresa Bateman has written a wonderful story for dog lovers, and I wish that every animal needing a home will find one this Christmas.

Toni Buzzeo has written “Lighthouse Christmas,” a wonderful story based on actual Flying Santas that visited families who kept lighthouses, beginning in 1929. Read the story about a brave girl named Frances who helped her dad keep the light on in a lonely lighthouse off the coast of Maine, and then visit the website of the real Flying Santas,, who still visit Coast Guard families in remote locations.

“The Christmas Coat: Memories of My Sioux Childhood ,” by Virginia Driving Hawk Sneve, is a lyrical telling of the author’s childhood memories of life on the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota, winter 1945. Virginia grew up as the daughter of the Episcopal priest on the reservation, a position that meant her family, while living in poverty, tried to help the families around them first, even if it meant doing without necessities. The real meaning of Christmas comes through in this lovely book.

“The skies shouted it to the seas that thundered it to the waves that roared it to the great white whales that sang it to the starfish in the deep. And tiny sandpipers danced it on shining sands... 'It's time! It's time!' On one quiet night, creation whispered a secret. Grass and bees, robins and trees all spread the word. Sheep told their young while angels sang the song to the shepherds. Hushed news of a miracle echoed to the ends of the earth. The moment had come. The long-awaited child had arrived! Creation cried out in celebration, but only a few people heard. Only a few joined nature's chorus, a song in praise of the newborn King.” These lyrical words are quoted from “Song of the Stars,” by Sally Lloyd-Jones. Sometimes a book comes along that deserves to be an instant classic. I think “Song of the Stars” is one of those books.

Finally, when I was sharing books at the ECFE milk and cookies with Santa, a small group of children and I looked at the book, “A Christmas Goodnight.” This is a goodnight book that lets us say goodnight to all of the characters in a nativity scene, then turning to say goodnight to everything the child sees in his room, ending with the Baby Jesus in the crèche beside his bed. I always ask children about the illustrations, and when I asked about the nativity scene, one tiny little child said in a hushed voice, “That’s God.” Wow! What more can I say? See you at the library!

Friday, December 9, 2011

ho! Ho! HO!

Ho! Ho! HO! 
Hee Hee HEE!
Santa’s niece, KRIS
      is the one to see!

Come to the library Thursday, December 15 for a fun evening. Make an easy craft in the
meeting room, frost a cookie for a snack, sing Jingle Bells and some other songs, and join
Kris Kringle (also known as
library board member Kris
Marshall) as she reads some brand new holiday books that will soon become favorites.  

Thursday Dec. 15th
6:30– 7:30 p.m.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Christmastime, Game Night, & the Best Books of 2011

by Beth Cronk, Litchfield head librarian

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas! We’re in the process of putting up holiday decorations in the library. We have displays of holiday books on the children’s side and on the adult side, above the movies. It’s fun to make the building look festive.

Story time with Santa’s niece

We’ll be taking a break from story times after December 9th, since people’s schedules get busy later in the month. We hope that families will join us on Thursday, December 15th, at 7 p.m. for a visit from Santa’s niece Kris Kringle and a craft led by Jan Pease. Kris Kringle is also known as Kristine Marshall, one of our library board members.

Game night

If you happen to be looking for something to do on Monday evenings this winter, join us for game night at the library. On December 12th, we’ll be playing card games. We have just a few here at the library (Pictureka, Scrabble Slam, and one or two others), so feel free to bring your own. On December 19th, it will be board games. So far we don’t own any of those, so bring in some you’d like to play with other people who come. We’ll set up in the large meeting room and have the space available for gaming from 6:30 until shortly before 8, when we close. We’ll be closed the Monday after Christmas and the Monday after New Year’s Day, so we’ll resume game nights on January 9th. This is open to all ages and skill levels. Bring the whole family!

Best books of 2011

Besides our Christmas book displays, we have another by the front desk that features the best books of 2011. The best-of lists of the year are coming out, and it’s fun to see what the reviewers are listing. Here are some that the Litchfield Library has in its collection:

1Q84 by Haruki Murakami. This novel was a bestseller in Japan and has been on every list I’ve seen so far of the best books of the year, praised as a masterpiece. The story begins in 1984 in Tokyo but enters an alternate reality, with a love story and references to George Orwell’s 1984.

Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson. This biography is based on more than forty interviews with Jobs over the course of two years, plus interviews with more than a hundred people who knew him. It is being called the definitive biography of the late technological innovator – and is described as having an intensity that matches Jobs’.

The Tiger’s Wife by Tea Obreht. This novel was a finalist for the 2011 National Book Award for Fiction, despite being a debut novel by a 26-year-old. Set in eastern Europe, the book examines the role of myths and memories in making sense of the tragic past.

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. This fantasy novel involves a love story between circus magicians who have been trained since childhood to compete against each other.

We also own copies of In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler’s Berlin by Erik Larson, Bossypants by Tina Fey, and many of the other books that you’ll find listed as the best of 2011.

One trouble you’ll find with books that are wonderful, however: many of them never make it to our shelf of new books. When a book is in high demand, it often goes from person to person on the waiting list, and you won’t find it by browsing the shelf until its popularity has died down. If there’s a book you’ve seen listed as one of the best of the year and you’d like to read it, I suggest you check our catalog or ask a library staff member for help, because there’s a good chance that you’ll need to reserve it. We’d be glad to help.