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.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Is it Fiction? Is it Nonfiction? I Don't Care, I Just Enjoy!

By Jan Pease

Sun is shining, temperatures are rising, and the calendar says it’s time to schedule school field trips to the library.  The last spring story hour is May 10th.  This has been a long, long winter, but story hours have been a bright spot every week at the library.    Story Hours will begin again June 12th.

Several interesting books have appeared on my desk here at the library.  Even if you don’t find nonfiction books interesting, you might enjoy The Mystery of Darwin’s Frog, by Marty Crump.  Illustrated with many colorful photographs and drawings, this book explores a little known frog named for Charles Darwin, who discovered it during his famous voyage on the HMS Beagle.   The male Darwin’s frog carries its tadpoles in its vocal sac.  They are burped out when they change from tadpoles into tiny frogs.  These very odd frogs are being studied to this day. 

 Another nonfiction title that reads like a novel is The Fairy Ring or Elsie and Frances Fool the World, by Mary Losure.  Frances was nine when her family moved from South Africa to England because of the war.  A lonely little girl, she became close to her cousin Elsie, who was fifteen at the time.  Frances was sure she had seen tiny people in her rambles alone the small stream near their home.   Tired of the teasing they both received from their extended family, Elsie and Frances took photographs with  a box camera borrowed from Elsie’s father that used glass plates for the negatives.  The girls never intended to fool the world about the fairies that they photographed, but the world believed that the fairies in the photos were real.

No one creates nonfiction books as well as Seymour Simon.  He has written more than 250 books for young readers, all bringing science topics to life.  His new book, Extreme  Oceans,  contains beautiful photographs and interesting text as Mr. Simon examines  the oceans of our world.  He dedicated this book to the late Rachel Carson, whose book The Sea Around Us inspired him to become a writer.

Book seven in the Septimus Heap series by Angie Sage, Fyre ,  brings this popular series to its conclusion.  Ms. Sage brings back nearly all of the characters who appeared in the first six books, and neatly wraps up the story lines.  The last section of the books, “Endings,” tells the “rest of the story” of several characters, showing that a novel can read like a nonfiction book. 

Finally, if you just have to read a zombie book, Darren Shan has another in his Zom-B  series, City.  I skimmed it.  Here is a line from the book: “I don’t need to breathe, so I can chase you all day and never drop my pace.”  Really?   

This just proves that Litchfield Library has something for everyone. 

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Weather Permitting - A Severe Weather Event at the Library

Author event at Litchfield
Thursday, May 2
6:30 – 7:30 p.m.

Out of the Blue:
The true story of two sisters and their miraculous survival of one of the most powerful
tornadoes in Minnesota
by Scott Thoma
Forewords by KARE 11 meteorologist Jerrid Sebesta and Tracy resident Seth Schmidt

On June 13, 1968, the town of Tracy was struck by the first recorded F5 tornado in Minnesota history. Nine people were killed and 125 others were injured. Nearly one-fourth of the town's homes were destroyed, plus the elementary school and several businesses.

About the Author:
Scott Thoma is uniquely qualified to write Out of the Blue, having lived in Tracy when the tornado struck. He boasts a resume that includes parallel award-winning careers as both a sports reporter and sports editor at a Minnesota daily newspaper for nearly 30 years. Thoma currently lives in Willmar, Minnesota.

Paperback - $14.95– PUB DATE: June 2012

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Read local! Find the best Minnesota books at your library

by Beth Cronk, Litchfield head librarian

This year’s Minnesota Book Award winners were just announced on April 13 at the awards gala in St. Paul.  Books created by writers or illustrators who are Minnesotans are eligible.  Panels of volunteer judges, including such people as booksellers, librarians, publishers, book reviewers, teachers, and writers, choose the winners.

Our library has several of the winning books available for you to check out. 

This year’s award for general nonfiction went to David Treuer for Rez Life: An Indian’s JourneyThrough Reservation Life.  Treuer is a professor and novelist who won the Minnesota Book Award in 1996.  He lives part-time on the Leech Lake Reservation in northern Minnesota.  The book focuses on the Ojibwe reservations of northern Minnesota and Wisconsin.  This first nonfiction book by Treuer is also the first book written by an insider about Indian reservations.

The award for genre fiction was given to David Housewright for his mystery, Curse of the Jade Lily.  Housewright won an Edgar Award for his first novel in 1996, and two previous Minnesota Book Awards in 1998 and 2009.  Curse of the Jade Lily is the ninth novel in the Rushmore McKenzie crime series.  The 200-year-old Jade Lily is stolen from a Minneapolis art museum, and the thieves offer to sell it back at less than its value if private eye McKenzie acts as the go-between.

Atina Diffley won this year’s award for memoir and creative nonfiction for Turn Here Sweet Corn:Organic Farming Works.  Diffley and her husband owned and operated one of the first certified organic farms in the Midwest from 1972 to 2007.  They now run a consulting business, Organic Farming Works, LLC.  In this memoir, Diffley tells their story of starting out in organic farming when it was a new thing.  She focuses on human relationships with the earth, plants, animals, and communities.

The Award for Minnesota was given to Gwen Westerman and Bruce White for their book Mni Sota Makoce: The Land of the Dakota.  This nonfiction book pulls together a detailed history of the Dakota people living in Minnesota for hundreds of years, based on oral history interviews and archives.

Louise Erdrich won the National Book Award for The Round House before the book won the Minnesota Book Award for Novel and Short Story this year.  Set in 1988 on a reservation in North Dakota, the novel tells the story of a 13-year-old’s quest with his friends to find answers about a traumatizing, racist attack on his mother.  Tragic, comic, and spiritual, many have described this as Erdrich’s best novel yet.

Come to the library to find some of the best books our state has to offer from the past year and from the past twenty-five years of the Minnesota Book Award.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

I'm the Number One Fan of the Man from ... Illinois!

By Jan Pease

Oh my goodness!  Mr. Jim Gill will be HERE in Litchfield Friday evening May 3 at 7:00 for a free concert at the Litchfield Middle School gym.  Thanks to Litchfield Early Childhood Initiative, the Kindergarten teachers, and Litchfield ECFE, who have joined with Litchfield Library to provide this incredible event. Mr. Gill is in town to speak at the Minnesota Kindergarten Teachers’ Conference, and has agreed to provide a concert for families the evening of May 3.

Jim Gill, an award-winning musician and author, offers more than a show to watch.  Each concert is an opportunity for family play!  In concert, Jim strums energetic rhythms on his banjo while everyone claps, sings, dances and even sneezes along to the silly and inspiring musical games that he creates.

This year's Family Room Tour celebrates Jim’s five awards, over 20 years, from the American Library Association….the same organization that famously grants the Caldecott and Newberry awards for books.  This unprecedented string of awards includes a 2012 honor for his most recent release, Music Play for Folks of All Stripes

Jim Gill’s distinctive music play creates a family room in the concert hall.  Come and join in the fun! 

Jim Gill is a musician and author with unique credentials among children's artists.  Jim is a child development specialist, completing his graduate studies in child development at the Erikson Institute of Chicago with a special emphasis on the study of play.  For this reason, each of Jim's recordings and books is created as an opportunity for playful interactions between a child and a caring adult.  Anyone who has experienced one of Jim's family concerts knows that rather than performing for the children and parents, Jim leads them to sing and play together.

Jim has released six award-winning CDs of music play for young children that are favorites in family rooms, classrooms and playrooms.  Jim is also the author of two children's books.  His latest, A Soup Opera, is a sing-along opera inspired by concerts that Jim performs with symphony orchestras.  The book received an American Library Association award in 2010.

I hope that parents and kids will participate in the playground build, and then come on Friday night at 7 for an evening of fun.  Thanks, Mr. Gill, for this press release, and for coming to our town on your Family Room Tour.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Closed this morning

The library will be closed until noon today. Depending on weather conditions, we may open later yet. We will keep you updated.

Friday, April 5, 2013

National Library Week, April 14-20

by Beth Cronk, Litchfield head librarian

Next week, libraries in schools, on campuses, and in communities around the United States will be celebrating National LibraryWeek.  This year’s theme is “Communities matter @ your library”.  Caroline Kennedy is the honorary chair. 

Libraries today are more than repositories for books.  They are important community centers where people gather, study, work, and find the information and resources that they need.

Librarians work with elected officials, teachers, students, small business owners, and other members of the public to find out what the community’s needs are and meet them.  Whether offering programs for early literacy, internet access for job seekers, materials for English-language learners, or assistance with e-books, librarians listen to the community they serve and respond to its needs.

The Litchfield Public Library serves Litchfield and all of Meeker County by providing story times for teaching pre-literacy skills to young children and their parents; book clubs for encouraging reading and discussion among older children, teens, and adults; and 4-H-led educational activities for elementary students.  The library’s knitting and gaming groups bring together groups of people interested in particular hobbies.  The library staff helps people of all ages find information they need and locate books, movies, and music they want to find. 

Our local library collection includes board books for babies, picture books, children’s chapter books, informational books for kids, young adult novels for teens, and a wide range of fiction and nonfiction books for adults, from the latest bestselling novel to cookbooks, health, and politics.  The library also offers more than print books: our collection includes audiobooks on CD and cassette, downloadable e-books and audiobooks, popular movies and documentaries on DVD and VHS, music CDs, newspapers,   magazines and e-magazines.  Through an online database called America’s News, our library provides a way to search the past ten years of the Litchfield Independent Review and years of other newspapers from throughout the country.

With the cooperative efforts of libraries around the state of Minnesota, a library card can give everyone access to a vast variety of books and other materials that their local libraries could never hold.  The Litchfield Library brings in three deliveries a week of items that customers order from other libraries in Pioneerland Library System and from libraries all around the state.  Library staff provides one-on-one help in placing these orders to those who need it, or customers can use the library website to request materials themselves. 

Our library has 17 computers that the public can use to create a resume, type a letter, send an email, or use the internet to do all of the things that have to be done online today.  Local residents who don’t have high-speed internet access at home, or even a computer, use the library computers to do homework, banking, shopping, research, job hunting, and social networking.  Others come in with laptops and mobile devices to use the library’s WiFi to work, study, and access the internet. 

Service to the community has always been the focus of the library.  While this has never changed, libraries have evolved in how they provide for the needs of their communities.  Visit our website at to learn more about what the library can do for you.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Books Can be Much More than Entertainment

It was my privilege to be invited to an interesting evening earlier this month. This invitation came from Heartland Community Action Agency.  Staff there invited me to attend an event called the Childhood Crisis Response World Café.

The invitation said, “Come and enjoy an evening of conversations about supporting children in crisis, discussions about resources available to providers, and perspectives from a child’s mental health therapist.”  To my surprise, I knew many of the women in the room.  They were local day care providers, who came to the event after a long day of child care.  Some of them had attended classes the same day to refresh their CPR certification.  I am always impressed by how professional these extraordinary women are.  They shared stories, carefully not divulging names, about the children in their care.  My impression is that any of them could do something else at a very high level, but they really love those children and they really love their work.

My contribution was to work on a bibliography of books that are available as resources to help families through the difficult times, whether happy, like an adoption, or sad, such as separation or death.  Julie Jansen, Healthy Foundations Project Coordinator for Heartland CAA, provided me with a list of recommended books, and I started searching.

For example, Sad Days, Glad Days, by DeWitt Hamilton, is about a child whose mom is dealing with depression.   Saying Goodbye to Lulu, Tear Soup, My Father’s Arms are a Boat, and Missing Mommy are all books that help children understand and cope with death.  

Mama Loves Me from Away explains incarceration to a child whose mother is in prison. 

My Red Balloon and Sometimes We Were Brave are about having a parent on military deployment.  The complete list is available at the children’s desk.

I found many books on Julie’s list currently in the Litchfield collection, and added a few of my own favorites.  Many more books from her list are available in Pioneerland Library System.  I also developed lists of books that are still in print, and I hope to work closely with Heartland CAA to add more books on these topics into the library collection.