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, May 31, 2013

Hot books for hot days

by Beth Cronk, Litchfield head librarian

Every year there are articles and radio stories on the best books to read that summer.  I was telling my husband that I’m eagerly waiting to see those lists, and he wondered why anyone would think adults have more time to read during the summer.   That’s when most of us are too busy to read!  At our house, that’s when we have gardening and home improvement projects to work on in the long daylight hours.  I know that’s the case for many of you, so that’s actually why our library has a reading program for adults in the winter. 

But I know that teachers and other people who work in schools usually have more time to read over the summer.  Some people take books with them on vacation (which is why these lists are sometimes titled “beach reads”).  And others just read all the time, so news about the new books of any season is always welcome.  Here are a few of the books that I think will be big this summer:

Dan Brown has a new book out, so that has to be big.  Professor Robert Langdon from the Da Vinci Code, Angels and Demons, and The Lost Symbol is back in the novel Inferno.  This one is about Dante’s The Divine Comedy and the art it inspired, and it is as full of thrilling conspiracies as Brown’s other books.

Waking Up in Heaven: A True Story of Brokenness, Heaven,and Life Again by Crystal McVea is currently a big hit in our library system.  It’s a nonfiction book along the lines of Heaven is for Real and Proof of Heaven, telling the story of a woman’s near-death experience.

It seems that everyone is reading The Great Gatsby since the new movie came out.  People have been telling me that they’ve never read this Jazz Age classic by Minnesotan F. Scott Fitzgerald.  Do I dare admit that I haven’t, either?  You might need to reserve a copy to get your hands on it this summer.

If you like Gatsby, try The Other Typist, a new novel by Suzanne Rindell.  It’s described as a black comedy about a stenographer accused of murder in 1920’s New York City.  It’s being compared to The Talented Mr. Ripley.

Khaled Hosseini, the author of The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns, has a new novel out: And the Mountains Echoed.  It’s a story of family and choices.  Beginning in 1952 Afghanistan, the novel starts with a folktale and a heartrending separation of siblings, then goes on to cover the stories of three generations.  Reviewers are saying that Hosseini’s writing is more beautiful than ever.

Orphan Train is a popular novel by Christina Baker Kline that has gotten good reviews.  With themes of friendship and second chances, the book is a story of a teenage Penobscot girl who is about to age out of the foster care system.  She is assigned to a community service position as an alternative to juvenile detention, and she discovers that the elderly woman she is helping had difficult, rootless growing up years of her own: she was one of the children who rode an orphan train from New York to the Midwest. 

Besides the books I’m reading with our library’s adult book club, my summer reading list mostly consists of textbooks and articles for a class I’m taking on library services for kids.  I hope your summer reading list will be much more exciting than mine, and that this article will give you a new book idea or two.  We always have fresh new books here at the library, so stop in during your busy summer to check one out.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Mark Your Calendars!

By Jan Pease

Here it is – the children’s department schedule for June, July and August 2013! Mark your calendars!

The theme for this summer is “Dig Into Reading,” and incredible things will be happening at Litchfield Library every week.  Our summer officially begins on June 6th.  Beginning at 10:00 a.m. and continuing throughout the day, children may sign up to participate in the reading program.   

Parents, please make sure your children are reading and practicing math skills during the summer break.   Children lose about 2 months of reading progress and as much as 2.6 months of math progress if they don’t practice those skills during summer vacation.  If children read just 15 minutes a day they will improve their reading skills over the summer.  Most teachers send home a math packet for the summer months, and   math sheets are available at the children’s desk beginning in June.   Our reading records are set up to support that magic 15 minutes a day, and children can fill up a reading record every two weeks  A full reading record can be traded in  for a small prize. 

June 7th will be a big day at the library. Professor Marvel is visiting, and he will present his “Amazing Archaeological Adventures” at 3 p.m that afternoon. His magic is enjoyed by everyone, but is especially interesting for school age children. 

June 12th marks the beginning of the story time programs.  Again, the library will offer Toddler Time for babies and toddlers on Wednesdays at 10:15.  Bedtime Story Time is for families with children who enjoy a bedtime story.  Children sometimes come in their pajamas!  Preschool Story Time on Fridays is planned for children ages three to six.  We have a good time, share a book, and work on a simple art project.  Children under the age of 3 must be accompanied by a caregiver.

Students who have finished   grade 1 or 2 are invited to Beginner Book Club Thursday  June 13, July 11, and August 8th  at 3:00 p..m.      Third graders   who find the Elementary Book Club books a bit difficult are also very welcome.  Students who have finished grades 3-5 are invited to Elementary Book Club Tuesday June 11, July 9, and August 13 at 3:00 p.m..  Students who have finished grades K-5 are invited to Fun with 4-H Thursday June 6, June 20 and July 18 at 3:00 p.m.

One Community One Vegetable will present story hour on July 19th at 10:00, celebrating peppers.  Last year’s tomato story time was wonderful, so I’m really looking forward to this one. 

Anyone who loves baseball is invited to come to the library Friday, July 26th at 10:00 a.m. to meet the Willmar Stingers!

And everyone loves animals, so plan to come to the library on Wednesday, August 21, to enjoy the Zoomobile from the Minnesota Zoo. 

Wow! What a great summer!  See you at the library!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Books and Teens...Both Delightful!

by Tiana Schweim

Some people need no introduction…others do.  That being said, I’d like to take a brief moment to introduce my new role as teen librarian at the Litchfield Public Library.  For the past eight years I have enjoyed supervising and acting as librarian in the Litchfield High School Media Center.  My involvement with teenagers became a comfortable niche for me; the “daily grind” wasn’t as gritty as many of you would imagine.  Teenagers are delightful!  I smile when I think of the young man who couldn’t find the map of railroads from North America to Europe—I encouraged him to share his project with me upon completion!  Reference questions at this library range a broader spectrum when dealing with patrons from age birth to “antique”…but the immediate gratification that swells inside of me is the same no matter what the outcome.  Just the other day I enjoyed a delightful conversation with a man about his quest to discover his heritage.  An hour later one of our frequent and favorite little guys was zipping around to find me so he could give my legs a squeeze and tell me he loved me.  Now THAT is gratifying!

 I remember the young ladies who would slip into my office to discuss grades, parents, boys, and maybe a book they were reading.  I was never too much of a lady myself to discuss topics with the guys either.  Boy, have I heard about building a house and tweaking the engine of your truck!  I was greeted with hugs, and would cry every year at commencement.  I do not intend for any of that to change.  I have gleaned more from building relationships with teens in the last eight years than I could have ever imagined!  I hope to see familiar faces joining in on the events I’ve planned for this summer.  Take a look and pleeeeeeease join us!

·         On June 17th at 6:00 we will kick off our Monday night Teen Gaming Night.  We will introduce Settlers of Catan and Quirkle—two very different games that both offer hours of fun for all players!  Players can join us ANY Monday night for the rest of the summer.  Why bother?  Game play encourages community and creates teambuilding.  It promotes creative and critical thinking and leads to research.  Plus, it’s FUN!

·         Are you ready for this?  July 31st-August 1st we are hosting a LOCK-IN!  Do you understand what I’m saying?  Think “Night at the Museum” meets “The Hunger Games”. We have been awarded a SAMMIE (Southwest Area Multicounty Multitype Interlibrary Exchange) grant, which will partially fund our food and fun for this event.  Space is limited so pick up your parent permission slip soon!  When the library locks its doors on the 31st ,  will you be inside?

·         Teen Tea with Tiana will be a special morning just for us.  Register ahead of time at the library and I will treat you to a FREE scone or muffin.  Youth ages 13-17 are encouraged to meet on Tuesday morning, August 13th, 10:00 AM at Cricket Meadow.  We will be discussing life and our favorite reads.

“Books themselves need no defense.
Their spokesmen come and go, their readers live and die, they remain constant.”
–Lawrence Clark Powell

One thing that will remain constant is our Monthly Book Club.  Please join us on the following dates at 3:00 to discuss titles and topics for future book clubs: June 17th, July 15th, and August 19th.  We plan to split into separate Middle and High School sections in September.

Being invited to join the team of wonderful people at Pioneerland in Litchfield was an easy choice, and one that leaves me flourishing under familiar circumstances.  Books come in, books go out.  An inquiry, a reference question, a phone call…  Rest assured, I have my backpack stocked full of high school resources including book report requirements!  Stop on over to the public library today—I can’t wait to see you!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Raechel Speaks

By Jan Pease

From time to time Raechel, a delightful young friend who is only seventeen, quietly hands me reviews of books. Usually the books are new to me, and I always promise Raechel that I’ll include her reviews in an article.  So thanks, Raechel, for helping on this column.

Raechel read Kisses from Katie, by Katie Davis. 

Here are Raechel’s thoughts:
“Kisses from Katie is an amazing book; it challenges and encourages me each time I read it.  In her book, Katie Davis shared about her growing experiences in Uganda, Africa, where she is following God’s leading for her life.  She is a young woman who left the comforts of her American life-style to live in Uganda, where poverty and sickness abound, to share the love of Christ with the people there.  She has 13 adopted girls, and is the founder and director of her ministry in Uganda, called “Amazima.”

"I believe so many could benefit from reading Katie’s story; she shares so many ways God has turned a disastrous situation into a miracle from Him.  She helps us to recognize that God can shine brighter than ever, even in the darkest times, when we just come to Him, and I personally find it so uplifting.   We are so blessed, and this book is a good reminder of that and how absolutely magnificent our God is.  He can do amazing things through us, if we just allow Him, and Katie, I believe, is allowing Him to do many things through her.  This book truly is an awe-some read." (Raechel’s hyphenation.) She rates  it five stars.

 Raechel also read North and South, by Elizabeth Gaskell.   Her review:
“This is a classic I have been meaning to read for a while, having seen the BBC 2004 movie of it many times and loving it.  I was not disappointed with the book at all; it was excellent and matched my love of the movie, being pretty close in accuracy, too.  The movie adaptation was very well done, and allowed you to know the characters well, but the book really made you understand and love them even more.
Although the main character’s father, Mr. Hale, was a parson, the movie sadly left out many of the religious points that the book covered.  I was very pleased that the book did include such vital parts of faith and their belief in God, showing the reality that the Lord was, and is, in our daily lives.

The book ending was a little different than the movie, but it was still excellent.  The movie, and now the book,  are  great favorites of mine, and for the review of the book I definitely give it five stars.” 

It’s always nice to receive book reviews from readers. I’ll have forms available for reviewers this summer, so read a book and tell us what you think.  See you at the library!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

No more paper overdue notices - sign up for email notices today!


Starting May 15, 2013, all library notices will be sent by
e-mail only.

Sign up at your library today!

Help us save paper and postage!

§  Three days before items are due, we will e-mail you a courtesy notice to remind you of your due date.
§  Once items are overdue, we will e-mail you one overdue noticeWe will no longer mail these notices.  If the item is not returned within 30 days after the due date, we will send you a bill in the mail.
§  We will email you a hold notice when an item you reserve becomes available. You can still be called when your requests arrive if you don’t have an email address.  DVDs: you will have three days from the date of the e-mail to pick it up. All other materials: you will have ten days from the date of the e-mail to pick it up.
§  Please let us know of any changes to your contact information (i.e. name, mailing address, phone number or e-mail address). If a notice is returned to us as undeliverable, we will notify you at your next visit to the library.
§  Please set your computer to prevent library emails from going into your spam folder.

Friday, May 3, 2013

5-day checkout for DVDs!

Library column for 5/9/13
by Beth Cronk, Litchfield head librarian

I have a happy announcement to make: our videos can now be checked out for five days at a time.  This means that all DVDs and VHS tapes will be due five days after they are checked out or renewed, instead of only two days.

This will be the checkout period in all Pioneerland libraries, including Grove City and Dassel.  I know this will be much more practical for our rural residents who don’t get into a town with a library every day.  You will also have a better chance to watch a few episodes of a TV series on DVD when you have five days to keep it.  I am very excited about the change.  I know our customers have wanted this.

So what will you watch with your longer checkout time?  Our library has a wide variety available.  Here are some of the new DVDs we have at the Litchfield Library:

Anna Karenina is the latest movie version of the classic novel by Leo Tolstoy.  It won an Oscar for costume design and was nominated for cinematography, musical score, and production design.  Anna is a married aristocrat in late-19th-century Russia who has a life-changing affair with Count Vronsky.  Keira Knightley stars as Anna and Jude Law as her husband. 

Argo won this year’s best picture Oscar. It also won Oscars for film editing and best adapted screenplay.  It was nominated for musical score, sound editing, sound mixing, and supporting actor, Alan Arkin.  Ben Affleck directed and also stars in the movie.  The film is based on the true story of the Canadian Caper, the rescue of six Americans who escaped the Iranian militants’ takeover of the U.S. embassy in Tehran in 1979.  Affleck plays a CIA specialist who devises a plan to fake a movie scouting trip as a cover to get the Americans out.

In the comedy department, The Guilt Trip is a story about a man who takes his mother with him on a cross-country road trip.  As they travel, they find they have more in common than they realized.  Barbra Streisand plays the mother and Seth Rogen plays her son.

The Intouchables is another comedy, but it’s a French film.  It was nominated for a Golden Globe for best foreign language film.  It’s based on the true story of the friendship of two people who seem to have nothing in common, a disabled millionaire and his ex-con caretaker. 

As far as TV shows, we’ve just gotten the third season of Ice Road Truckers.  It isn’t the newest season, but all of you who’ve enjoyed the first two seasons that our library system has on DVD will now be able to continue watching.  This series from the History Channel covers the experiences of the drivers who shuttle critical supplies to the North Slope oil fields during the three months that the rivers and ocean are frozen on the dangerous Dalton Highway.

To take things in a whole different direction, Barbie in The Pink Shoes is the latest animated dance movie for kids.  It features dances from the classic ballets Giselle and Swan Lake in a fantasy storyline in which two ballerinas must defeat the evil Snow Queen. 

If you haven’t checked out movies because getting them back in two days was too hard, I hope you’ll start borrowing them now. We have something for everyone in our video collection.