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.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Our Friend Jack - C.S. Lewis

By Jan Pease and Raechel K.

If I say the name, C.S. Lewis, some immediately think of his wonderful series, “The Chronicles of Narnia.” Others might think of his great books about Christianity, such as “Mere Christianity,” or “The Screwtape Letters.” Someone else might be a fan of his science fiction series, “Space Trilogy.” But my friend Raechel, who is 16 now, has read one his most difficult books, “Till We Have Faces.”

“Till We Have Faces” is a retelling of the Greek myth of Cupid and Psyche. The myth of Cupid and Psyche has been told and retold in many forms, including “Beauty and the Beast.” The invisible castle, the mysterious husband who cannot be glimpsed, coming in the night to his wife, and the forbidden look and its consequences are all familiar elements of the various versions that originated with the Greek myth from long ago.

C.S. Lewis told the myth from the perspective of Psyche’s older sister, Orual (Or ‘w’ ahl). Lewis originally titled his working manuscripts "Bareface.” The word "face" refers to Orual’s deformity, which she covers with a mask. It also refers to the original myth, in which Psyche was not allowed to see Cupid's face, so her intimate encounters with him would be veiled in darkness. His editor was afraid that people would think his book was a western if the title was “Bareface!” Lewis chose “Till We Have Faces,” which refers to a line from the book in which Orual says, "How can [the gods] meet us face to face till we have faces?"

Raechel’s thoughts about “Till We Have Faces:” “I was thoroughly impressed with this book, especially the ending of it. C.S. Lewis had an extremely valuable talent that has lasted in his writing for years now. I was amazed and delighted with how deep and well written “Till We Have Faces” was. There is more to it than just the surface words, and it is quite thought provoking. I really loved the last paragraph in the book: how C.S. Lewis had Orual word it was absolutely perfect. I definitely think it is a five star book. Ages 14 and up, perhaps.”

The paragraph mentioned is this: “I know now, Lord, why you utter no answer. You are yourself the answer. Before your face questions die away. What other answer would suffice? Only words, words; to be led out to battle against other words. Long did I hate you, long did I fear you. I might”- The epilogue states that the manuscript was found under the head of the queen, who must have died as she wrote the final words. Do we fill in the end of the sentence for ourselves?

C.S. Lewis died November 22, 1963, to very little notice. The end of his life was overshadowed by the assassination of John F. Kennedy on that very day. Information for this article was found online and in the 1966 version of “Till We Have Faces.”

I’m looking for teen book reviewers, like Raechel,  who will write me a short book review. Forms are available at the desk. I will include student book reviews in future articles, a fun part of “Own the Night,” the teen reading program for this summer. Summer Reading programs in Meeker County will begin on June 4th. Grove City’s kickoff is from 1-3 p.m.; kids will decorate T-shirts. Dassel’s kickoff is from 3-6 and Litchfield’s is from 3-7. Kids in Dassel and Litchfield will decorate pillowcases to help them “Dream Big, Read.” See you at the library!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Visit the Library from the Comfort of Home

by Beth Cronk, Litchfield head librarian

Our library has some useful databases available to local residents who have a library card. These aren’t free, unreliable things that are just out there on the internet. They’re good sources of information brought to you by the library.

Our newest resource is available only to Litchfield and Hutchinson area residents. It’s an online database of newspapers and news magazines from around the country, called America’s News. It includes the past 12 years of the Litchfield Independent Review. You can search for articles on specific subjects in our local paper or browse past issues by date. I was able to go back and easily find articles about the opening of our library building ten years ago. There are no photos or images, and you won’t find ads, classifieds, or everything that’s in the newspaper, but you will find all of the articles.

You can also search recent years of the Hutchinson Leader, the West Central Tribune, the Mankato Examiner, the Duluth News Tribune, and other Minnesota newspapers, easy to find with a link labeled “Minnesota”. If you’re looking for news from your hometown in Odessa, Texas, or your winter home in Fort Myers, Florida, or the article on your nephew in Columbia, Missouri, you can search those newspapers specifically, too, and a wide variety of others.

You can access America’s News one of two ways: You can come into the library and use the computer on the far end of our catalog computers. You’ll see a sign next to it about accessing your local newspaper and icons on the desktop for getting there. If you use the database this way, you don’t even need a library card to get into it. The other way you can get to it is through the Litchfield Library blog. On the right side of our blog, under the links to the catalog and our ebook service, you’ll find links to searching the Litchfield Independent Review and to searching the entire America’s News database. To get in this way, you’ll have to enter your library card number. But then you can access it conveniently from your home or workplace.

Another database offered by Pioneerland to our entire library system is ChiltonLibrary, an electronic version of the Chilton’s auto repair manuals. If you’re a do-it-yourself person when it comes to your car or truck, this is a good way to find step-by-step repair instructions, maintenance schedules from the manufacturer, and wiring diagrams. You choose your year, make, and model, and then you can see what information is available for that vehicle. This is another database that you can either use in the library without a library card or sign into from your own computer if you have a Pioneerland library card. You can find it by going to the Pioneerland catalog,, choosing “other resources”, and scrolling down to, a green button.

Finally, Powerspeak Languages is another database you can find on that same page of the Pioneerland website, a little bit above the Chilton link. It’s an online program you can use to learn Spanish, French, German, Mandarin Chinese, or English for Spanish-speakers. It’s again the same to access it: at the library without a library card or from home with a Pioneerland library card. You create an account so that you can track your progress and get back into the lessons where you left off. If you’ve always wanted to learn German or you’re planning a trip to Paris, give it a try.

I believe that our library should give you access to local information, and I know that many of us like the convenience of getting information from home, no trip to the library required. I hope you’ll take advantage of these resources to look things up in our local paper or other local papers around the country, find out how to fix your transmission, or study a language.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Litchfield Library Gaming Club Meets Saturday

The Litchfield Library gaming club will meet on Saturday, May 19, from 12-4 pm to play Dungeons and Dragons in the meeting room.

The current plan is to play Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 1st edition, continuing a game that the group played last month.  We are looking at going to 3.5 once this module is completed.

All ages are welcome.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Laura Ingalls Wilder Pageant bus tour offered by library

Sign up today for a free ticket to the Laura Ingalls Wilder Pageant on Saturday, July 7th, in the scenic and historic area around Walnut Grove, Minnesota, home of Laura Ingalls Wilder, author of the Little House book series.  The Wilder Pageant is a family-oriented outdoor drama based on the life of Laura Ingalls Wilder in Walnut Grove.  It is a live performance with all characters from the Walnut Grove area.  Laura narrates the story, reflecting on her life in the 1870s. 

Pre-registration is required.  Registration is open now and will close June 1st.  Come into the Litchfield Library to hold your spot on the bus and at the pageant.  Space is limited.  Preference will be given to Meeker County residents; please register at your nearest library.
  • Bus trip is free.  Attendees must ride the bus to participate in the trip.
  • Reserve seating with chairs is available on a first-come, first-serve basis.  General admission (lawn seating for lawn chairs or blankets) is also available.  Request your preference when registering.
  • Coolers are welcome.  Our group will be making a reservation at the Walnut Grove community center for a supper put on by the local Catholic church for all who are interested -- make your reservation with us when you sign up if you wish to eat there.
  • Children 17 and younger must be accompanied by an adult.
  • Pets and video recording are not allowed.
  • Our group will be going to the dugout site on the bus for an additional cost of 50 cents per person.  Please bring cash.
  • Our group will also be going to the Laura Ingalls Wilder museum, but anyone may choose to opt out of this.  This cost is not covered by the library system.  Admission is $6 per person for ages 13+, $3 for ages 6-12, and free for 5 and under.  Again, please bring money if you plan to visit the museum.
  • There will be a Family Festival at the Walnut Grove city park through 6 p.m. with many activities, including a Laura and Nellie look-alike contest.
The bus will be picking up at the Litchfield Library at 12:25 on Saturday, July 7, departing at 12:35. 

We will arrive in Walnut Grove at 3 p.m. with time for seeing the dugout site, the museum, and the festival.  The pageant singers perform at 8 p.m., with the pageant beginning at 9 p.m.  Expect to arrive back in Litchfield between 1 and 2 a.m.

If you have any questions, stop in to the Litchfield Library or call us at 693-2483.  If you are a Grove City or Dassel resident, contact your local library to reserve your spot.

Get Ready, Get Set, Synchronize Your Calendars!

By Jan Pease

Mark your calendars! This will be another exciting summer of activities at the Litchfield Library. The theme this summer is “Dream Big, Read.” Brian Lies did the artwork, and bats are featured prominently. We’re happy to have our own bat, Belvedere, who will be hanging around through the summer months.

The kickoff for summer reading is Monday, June 4, from 3-7 p.m. This is a change from our usual schedule, but we’re anxious to have our readers get started. Readers can sign up to participate and be rewarded for reading, make something to bring home, and have a picture taken with Belvedere.

Summer Book Clubs are moving to Tuesdays at 3 p.m. Elementary Book Club will be on the 2nd Tuesdays, Middle School Book Club book club will be on the 3rd Tuesdays, and our new Teen Book Club will be on the 4th Tuesdays.

Thursdays will be very busy in June and July this year. Thursdays @ the Library start at 3 p.m., and we’ll be done by 4:30. Something different is planned each week for students in grades K-5, including Fun with 4-H, special guests, storytelling, and more.

Wednesdays and Fridays will continue to be our story hour days, with toddlers coming on Wednesdays and Preschoolers coming on Friday. If families come on Thursday nights, we will read bedtime stories, the same stories used on Friday mornings.

Here is what’s planned for June:

June 4 3-7 p.m. Kickoff for Summer Reading!

June 6 10:15 a.m. Toddler Time “A Wishing Story Time”

June 7 3:00 p.m. Thursday@ the Library: “What Kind of Genie are YOU?”

June 7& 8 7 p.m. & 10:00 a.m. “Bats Story Time”

June 12 3 p.m. Elementary Summer Book Club

June 13 10:15 a.m. Toddler Time: “Goodnight Moon”

June 14 3:00-4:00 Thursday @ the Library: Fun with 4-H

June 14 & 15 7 p.m. and 10 a.m. “Night Night Animal Sleepover” (bring a toy that will sleep over)

June 19 3 p.m. Middle School Book Club

June 20 10:15 a.m. Toddler Time “Owls: Who Hoots?”

June 21 3 p.m. Thursday @ the Library: Guests! PAK- Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

June 21 7:00 p.m. “Bats @ the Ballgame” Story Time

June 22 10:00 a.m. Story Time Guests! Willmar Stingers Baseball Team!

June 26 3 p.m. Teen Book Club “Defect” by Will Weaver

June 27 10:15 a.m. Toddler Time “What’s New? Story Time”

June 28 3 p.m. Thursday @ the Library: Fun with 4-H

June 28 & 29 10:00 a.m. “Counting Sheep” Story Time

And more is planned for the month of July! See you at the library!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Books for mom

by Beth Cronk, Litchfield head librarian

As we approach Mother’s Day, I thought I’d highlight some of our newer books that have to do with mothers and motherhood, as well as tell you about a new display in our library that has been set up by a mother and daughter.

We have a beautiful new display cabinet at the library that has been given in memory of Rosann Lorenz. It’s a lovely item in itself, and because it’s a locked glass cabinet we can again feature collections and displays in a secure fashion like we did in the original library. We are so grateful for this gift.

Our first display has been loaned by Esther Hegg. She has amazing collections of antique buttons that she has shown competitively. She and her daughter set up the museum-like display in our new cabinet. I hope you’ll stop in to take a look at it during the month of May.

Now, onto books for mothers and books about motherhood: An American journalist moved to Paris and wrote the book Bringing up bebe: One American mother discovers the wisdom of French parenting. Pamela Druckerman didn’t expect to admire French parenting like she did the food or the fashion, but she found interesting differences between the way we raise our children and the way they do. She says that babies in France tend to sleep through the night earlier, the children eat a wider variety of foods, and the parents exert a relaxed authority over their children, and that we could learn a trick or two from them.

Anne Lamott is known for her humor and raw honesty in her memoirs and novels, including Operating instructions, about being a single mother during her son’s first year, and Bird by bird: Some instructions on writing and life, one of my favorite books. Her latest nonfiction work is Some assembly required: A journal of my son’s first son. Lamott’s son unexpectedly became a father at 19, and the book covers their changing roles and relationships during the first year of her grandson’s life. Lamott’s son Sam co-wrote this book.

Message from an unknown Chinese mother: Stories of loss and love, by Xinran, ties in a bit with the recent news story of Chen Guangcheng, the Chinese dissident who has worked on issues of abuses of family planning policy. The nonfiction book by Xinran tells stories of women in China who have lost their newborn daughters through adoption, abandonment, and murder. The mothers’ stories are heartbreaking, but parents who have adopted babies from China say that it’s worthwhile to read it and understand the circumstances that may have brought their daughters to them.

Lisa Hendey, the creator of, has written The handbook for Catholic moms: Nurturing your heart, mind, body, and soul. It’s a short book with practical ideas for helping mothers enhance all the areas of their lives, given with a Catholic perspective.

Another mothering book with a Christian perspective is Raising a daughter after God’s own heart, by Elizabeth George. George draws on her child-rearing experiences to give advice to mothers who want to teach life lessons to their girls and help them develop their spiritual lives.

Whether you are a mother or you have one to honor or remember, I wish you a happy Mother’s Day.