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, December 26, 2014

Advice from Five Wise Women for the New Year

By Jan Pease

Litchfield is a town of many book clubs.  Someday I should call around and make a list of all of the book clubs in our community.  We have two book clubs for adults that meet here at the library, the Mystery Book Club and the Noon Book Club.  We have two book clubs for children: the Beginner Book Club, for grades 1-3, and Book to Movie club, for grades 4-6.  I’m involved with Dragon Lunch Bunch at Wagner school. But my personal favorite is a book club that we refer to as Classic Book Club (or the Bluestockings, depending on mood.)

Jane Austen
Classic Book Club is not a library-sponsored book club, but many of its members have close ties to the library.  We haves read various well-known authors of the past. We’ve tackled Austen, the Bronte sisters, Dickens, Tolstoy, Hemingway, Elliot, and I don’t remember who all.  We meet a bit  irregularly at Cricket Meadow Tea on a Saturday most months. As I said, it’s a bit irregular. 

I treasure the time spent with these women.  They are wise and witty, with varied life experiences.  The conversation flows as quickly as the coffee.  I recently polled them for advice for the New Year.  Here are five savory thoughts that I’m adopting for 2015.

Be Kind.  First and foremost, if this characterizes every day of our new year, it will be a great year.

Be Mindful.  The moment to live in is now, not regretting the past or putting off for the future.  Eat, breathe, and live mindfully.  No one knows what tomorrow will bring.  There might not be a tomorrow.

Be Forgiving.  All is well, all is well.  Just let go of betrayals, anger, sadness and guilt.  Forgive yourself. Forgive others.

Choose Life.  Every life matters.  No matter the age or color, gender, or belief system.   Every life matters.

Rise Above.  More than forgiving, rise above whatever is bogging you down.  Don’t let the darkness grind us into the lowest common denominator.  Rise above.

Classic Book club will get together January 17 at 8:30 a.m. at Cricket Meadow.  The book for January is “Death Comes to Pemberley” by P.D. James.  A modern author!  This book is her loving homage to Jane Austen, and we agreed that it would be a good book for beginning a new year. 

Anyone who would like to read a great book, enjoy wonderful conversation and sample Cricket Meadow’s delicious menu is welcome.   Jane Austen herself stated: “Men were put into the world to teach women the law of compromise.” 
So of course a male person would be welcomed. 

I resolve to make these simple statements part of my life in the coming year.  Be kind, be mindful, be forgiving, choose life, and rise above. 

                                          Happy  New Year!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Holiday schedule

We will be closed on Wednesday, December 24, and Thursday, December 25.  We will close at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, December 31, and be closed on Thursday, January 1.  We will be open our regular hours all of the other days these weeks.  Happy holidays!

Friday, December 19, 2014

Fun flicks for winter days

by Beth Cronk, Litchfield head librarian

Christmas is almost here!  As you enjoy days off from work and school, I know many of you will be looking for some movies to watch.  Following are some of our newest additions.  Look for them on our new releases shelf or place a hold to make sure you get them, since new usually means popular.

Dolphin Tale 2 is a family-friendly story about an aquarium that needs to find a new companion to share a pool with Winter, the dolphin from Dolphin Tale.  While the reviews aren’t as glowing as they were for the original, critics say it’s a good old-fashioned movie that adults can enjoy with kids.  It stars Harry Connick, Jr., and Ashley Judd.

 Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is the sequel to Rise of the Planet of the Apes, continuing the story of Caesar and the other genetically-modified apes.  The human population has been nearly killed off by the virus that made the apes intelligent, and the fight is on to see which creatures will dominate the earth.  Critics were overwhelmingly positive, calling it intelligent and emotionally rich.  It’s a special effects-laden movie that isn’t all about the special effects.

Have you seen the Golden Globe-nominated movie The Theory of Everything about Stephen Hawking? It will be a long time until that comes out on DVD, but you can check out A Brief History of Time, the 1991 motion picture that was just re-released on DVD.  This documentary examines how Hawking has lived with ALS while doing pioneering work in astrophysics.

 Guardians of the Galaxy was one of the huge hits of the year.  Marvel has done it again, this time with superheroes that most of us had never heard of: Star-Lord, Rocket Raccoon, and Groot.  The movie begins on a sad note and then turns into a wacky space adventure.  Audiences and critics loved it.  If you like funny action movies, don’t miss it. (Grove City Library also has Awesome Mix Vol. 1 on CD.)

The Hundred-Foot Journey is based on the novel by Richard C. Morais.  This romantic comedy tells the story of a young Indian immigrant in France.  He is a naturally talented chef who plans to open an Indian restaurant near a classical French restaurant.  The owner of the French restaurant vehemently opposes it.  Naturally he falls in love with one of her employees.

Love Actually isn't a new movie, but it’s a new addition to Litchfield’s collection.  It’s a 2003 cult classic that many people watch at Christmas time.  As you watch it, you might wonder if every British actor is in the star-studded cast.  It’s like a short story collection, with nine different storylines that intersect.  Some are funny, some are sweet, and some are sad.  Nearly all are preposterous, but fans of the movie don’t care.

The Maze Runner is the movie adaptation of the James Dashner YA novel.  The first book in a dystopian series for teens, it’s been compared to The Hunger Games and the Divergent series but with a boy as the main character.  In fact, nearly all of the characters are boys.  The consensus seems to be that the movie is reasonably faithful to the book, and a good movie on its own. 

The Pioneerland libraries will be closed December 24-25 and January 1.  We will close at 5 p.m. on December 31.  We will be open regular hours all of the other days around the holidays.  Go online or give us a call to request the movies or books you’d like to find, or stop in to see what’s on the shelf.  Have a very merry Christmas!

Friday, December 12, 2014

Oh the weather outside is frightful! Let Us Read! Let Us Read! Let Us Read!

By Jan Pease

It’s the season of buying last-minute gifts!   If you could give your child or grandchild a gift that would practically guarantee their success in school, what would be a reasonable price to pay?  $250.00? $500.00? $10,000.00? The Litchfield Library is in partnership with a national organization, Read Aloud 15 Minutes, which, according to their website, is “working to make reading aloud every day for at least 15 minutes the new standard in child care.”

What if reading out loud was just a part of everyday activity?  What if every family with children or grandchildren made sure that reading aloud is as common as brushing teeth?  Can you remember when the campaign to get children to brush their teeth every day was part of life?  I remember the 1958 commercial in which a child says, “Look, Ma, no cavities!”  In my childhood everyone had fillings in their teeth, even in baby teeth.  Now children routinely have perfect checkups. 

The website also states that “ when every child is read aloud to for 15 minutes every day from birth, more children will be ready to learn when they enter kindergarten, more children will have the literacy skills needed to succeed in school, and more children will be prepared for a productive and meaningful life after school.” This is quoted from the website.

The goal is to engage parents, grandparents, and caregivers in reading aloud 15 minutes a day with children from birth.  That seems to be the magic number that helps children be ready to enter kindergarten.  Their statistics show that 1 in 3 children aren’t ready for kindergarten.  I asked local kindergarten teachers who reassured me that here, with a high percentage of children in preschool programs, it’s about 1 in 4 or 1 in 5.  I think we can do better.

 Some libraries are part of the 1000 Books before Kindergarten initiative.  We are very supportive of that program, but it might seem daunting for parents to keep track of that 1000-book goal.   It   may be difficult to be consistent in keeping track of that many books.  But just like brushing teeth, anyone can make sure that 15 minutes of reading aloud will happen. 

If you need a little help, we have parent handouts and reading charts available at the library, or visit and download copies of their handouts and reading charts.   It’s free.  It’s fun. It’s easy.  Just add reading into your routine.   Every day.

 I agree with Read Aloud that this is the single most important thing a parent or caregiver can do to improve a child’s readiness to read and learn.  By making 15 minutes of daily reading aloud the new parenting standard, we will change the face of education in this country.  Instead of worrying about the perfect gift or party, please invest your time in your children and grandchildren.  

Monday, December 8, 2014

No gaming in December

Our regular Monday gaming night will not be held in December.  People are so busy!  Gaming will resume in January.

Santa Claus came to town!

by Beth Cronk, Litchfield head librarian

Santa visited the library on Thursday, December 4, at 6:30 in the evening.  He was very popular!  Mrs. Pease stopped counting people at 207 and she thinks she must have missed a few who came in the door.  That may be our record for the largest number of people to come to an event at the library. 

The whole children’s department was full of excited young faces.  Mrs. Pease led them in chanting “Santa! Santa!” before the man himself emerged from the back room of the library, ringing his jingle bells. 

Santa sang his own version of “Rudolph, the Red-nosed Reindeer”.  He read the book Is It Christmas Yet? by Jane Chapman.  Then the crowd divided up to make Christmas crafts and eat cookies in the meeting room or to take turns telling Santa what they want for Christmas.  Even with the huge crowd, everyone was very patient and polite in waiting their turn.  We have such nice families here. 

We did see new faces in the crowd, as well as library regulars.  We even set up a number of new library cards that night.   If you were visiting the library for the first time but had your hands full with little ones, stop back another day to apply for library cards and take another look around.

We're down to our last few storyhours of the month.  On Wednesday, December 10, we'll have our baby and toddler storytime at 10:15.  On Friday, December 12, we’ll have our preschool storyhour at 10:00.  And on Saturday, December 13, we’ll have our 2nd Saturday storyhour at 10:00, as well.  Mrs. Pease is planning on holiday themes for those.  Then we’ll take a break from storyhours until January, since the holiday season is such a busy time.

We will be holding our monthly family movie night on Monday, December 22, at 6 p.m. in the children’s department.  We’ll be showing a kids’ Christmas movie about an army of elves.  It’s rated G and it’s just a little more than an hour and a half long.  Call the library if you’d like to know the name of the movie.

The monthly Friends of the Library book sale will be held on Saturday, December 20, from 10 to 4, with potential gifts for all ages.  Most of what we have for sale is donated by members of the community, and there really are some nice books and movies available.

The library will be closed on December 24 and 25 for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.  We will be open our regular hours the rest of that week.  We will close at 5 p.m. on New Year’s Eve and be closed on New Year’s Day.

Thank you to all of you who came to our Santa event and made it such a success.  We wish you all a very Merry Christmas!