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.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Get your foot in the door with one day a week...


Job description: Provides circulation, research, and reference services to library patrons.  Performs clerical duties.  Fills interlibrary loan requests. 

Knowledge, skills, & abilities needed:  Knowledge of library operations and procedures.  Skill in the use of computers and other technology used in the library.  Ability to work effectively with customers of all ages.  Ability to maintain cooperative working relationships with coworkers.  Good communication skills.  Attention to detail. 

Minimum qualifications: High school diploma or equivalency, plus six months of directly-related experience, or a combination of education, experience, and training necessary to perform the essential requirements of the work.

Physical requirements: Must be able to walk, stoop, crouch, reach, lift, grasp, talk, hear and see.  Some light lifting and carrying may be required up to 25 pounds.

Hours:  5 hours per week, Monday evenings.   Additional subbing as needed.

Applications available at the library or  Submit applications by May 7 to:
Beth Cronk
Litchfield Public Library
P.O. Box 220
Litchfield MN 55355

Phone: (320)693-2483

Laptops and wireless printing now available

by Beth Cronk, Litchfield head librarian

The Litchfield Library now has two new laptops and a wireless printer for public use.  This mobile technology will offer our customers more flexibility in their computer use.

The laptops are for use in the library only.  You won’t be able to take them home with you.  But you will be able to sit anywhere in the library you want: in a comfortable chair, at a table or desk all by yourself, or in a study room.  You won’t have to sit right next to someone else.  And if you need to talk on the phone while using a computer, a laptop in a study room is a great solution. 

To check out a laptop, you will need a Pioneerland library card, or another Minnesota library system’s card set up to use in Pioneerland.  The card can have no more than $5 in fines, and you must have the card with you.  Make sure to bring the laptop back up to the desk for us to check in when you’re done.

If you don’t have your library card with you or it’s blocked by fines, you will need to use one of our desktop computers.  Luckily we have plenty of those and you’ll have no difficulty getting a turn.  You don’t need a library card or ID to use those computers; you just write your first name down at the front desk to sign in.

We’ve had many requests for a way to print from phones and laptops, now that so many people bring in their own mobile devices to use our Wi-Fi.  We now have an e-printer in our copy room.  It doesn’t work like a wireless printer that shows up as a printer choice on your phone when you’re nearby.  You will need to email your document to the printer. 

Talk to our staff or read the instructions on the printer if you want to print from your mobile device in our library.  It’s easy, but you will need to access your email to make it work.  The same printing charges apply as on our large printer/copier: ten cents for a black and white print and fifty cents for color.

Our desktop computers have gotten some updates lately, so you may notice that things look a bit different when you go into Word or Publisher.  We now have Microsoft Office 2010.

You may not be aware that we have a scanner available for public use.  This is very handy when you need to get a paper document to someone by email.  There is no charge to use the scanner, so you can save money over faxing if you have an email account you can sign into anywhere and an email address to send it to.  We do not send faxes at the library anymore.

All of the Pioneerland libraries are getting laptops for in-library use and wireless printers.  If you visit the Grove City and Dassel libraries now, you will find one laptop available for checkout in each location, plus an e-printer that works like Litchfield’s. 

The world is moving more and more to mobile computing.  We hope these new choices at the library will give you the flexibility to accomplish the things you want to do.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Creepy, Crawly, and Scary New Books

By Jan Pease

Some of these new books are scary, some are creepy, and one is downright crawly.

 “Shutter” is a paranormal story with an unusual twist.  Michelin is a descendant of the line of Van Helsing, who is famous in books and movies as a vampire hunter.  She can see the auras of the undead, and kills their physical forms with a bullet, but their spiritual essence is taken care of by her special camera.  “A paranormal ghost-hunting story that is a standout in the genre . . . Frightening from the first page, this is sure to please horror fans, particularly those familiar with ghost and vampire legends (School Library Journal).  The “Ghost Busters”  had a special vacuum cleaner,  and “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” used all kinds of martial arts moves and weapons, but a special camera that freezes spirits is a new one.
 Violence and fear often go together.  “Thirteen,” by Tom Hoyle, is a book filled with both, and it’s a little too gruesome for me.  From School Library Journal:  “Grade 7 Up - In this dark thriller by a first-time British author, a sadistic self-appointed messiah leads his brainwashed cult in murdering boys born on New Year's Day of 2000. Now 2013, only a few remain, including protagonist Adam, who runs, fights, and kills for his life, aided by his love interest and neighbor, Megan.”

If you loved “Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West,”   try the “Dorothy Must Die” series.  Danielle Paige’s biography on Epic Reads states, “Danielle Paige is a graduate of Columbia University and currently lives in New York City. Before turning to young adult literature, she worked in the television industry, where she received a Writers Guild of America Award and was nominated for several Daytime Emmys. 

Dorothy Must Die” is her first novel.”  The prequels to "Dorothy Must Die" were digital novellas, “The Witch Must Burn,” “The Wizard Returns,” and “No Place Like Oz,”  each available for Nook or Kindle.  Now all of the novellas have been published in one volume, “The Dorothy Must Die Stories.”  The first full-length book in the series is “Dorothy Must Die,” The other book in the series is “The Wicked Will Rise.”  The story is told from the point of view of the other inhabitants of Oz.  Dorothy is one of the villains, and the familiar characters are not at all what we’re used to. 
This one is creepy crawly.  “The Spider Ring,” by Andrew Harwell, is a book for readers in grades 3-7.  This book might make you think there’s something crawling on your neck.  This is the story of Maria, whose grandmother gave her the special ring that she always wore, a spider ring.  When Maria puts the ring on, she discovers she can understand and command spiders.  Of course, the first things she does are selfish and childish, but then she meets the really bad spider, a woman named the Black Widow.  “The Spider Ring” is a fun, slightly scary read.  My advice is, “Don’t read these alone in the dark!”

Monday, April 13, 2015

Did you "Book Your Winter Getaway"?

by Beth Cronk, Litchfield head librarian

Our adult winter reading program, “Book Your Winter Getaway,” is done for this year.  We had 46 people participate this year.  Those who brought in three book reviews got to choose a small prize.  Participants who brought back six book reviews were entered in a drawing for small gift certificates to local restaurants, sponsored by the Friends of the Litchfield Public Library. 

The book reviews are interesting to read.  They involve just a very short written description of the book, plus a rating of one to five stars and the question, “Would you recommend it?”  I looked through the reviews at Litchfield to see if we had some popular authors reviewed by multiple people, and there were several. 

Two people reviewed two different Sandra Brown books, Mean Streak and Mirror Image.  Both gave the books five out of five stars and recommended them.  Mean Streak was described as “nail biting suspense” and Mirror Image as “a twisty tale.”

Two of Jennifer Chiaverini’s books were reviewed by two different people.  Mrs. Lincoln’s Rival was given three stars, and the reviewer did not recommend it, saying it was only fair and involved long political descriptions.   The reviewer of The Spymistress forgot to give it a numbered rating, but they recommended this story of the adventures of Elizabeth Van Lew, who worked for the U.S. government as a spy during the Civil War.

Two of our participants reviewed The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith, and one reviewed Galbraith’s The Cuckoo’s Calling.  These books are the beginning of a new series by J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter books, writing under a pseudonym.  Our adult book club read The Cuckoo’s Calling last month, and it was a hit.  This reviewer gave it four stars, mentioning that the audiobook has a good reader.  The two people who reviewed the sequel, The Silkworm, gave it four and five stars.  One wrote, “Wow, can she write – we want more!”

Three William Kent Krueger books were reviewed by two or three different reviewers.  I’m analyzing handwriting to decide if I have reviews from multiple people, so there’s some guesswork involved!  Tamarack County got five stars from its reviewer.  Thunder Bay got four, with the description saying it was suspenseful and “not as violent as some and that’s good.”  Vermilion Drift got only two stars from its reviewer, and they did not recommend it.  Taste in books is very individual.

It’s not surprising that six reviews were turned in for James Patterson books.  He comes out with a book about once a month now, one bestseller after another.  The six reviews were for six different titles.  Gone received five out of five stars and was described as a “fast-moving adventure” but predictable.  Kill Alex Cross got four stars, as did Merry Christmas, Alex Cross, Private Down Under, and Suzanne’s Diary for Nicholas.  A reviewer gave You've Been Warned only two stars and said they would not recommend it, describing it as a “chaotic read.”

Stuart Woods had two books reviewed by our participants, and both received four stars.  D.C. Dead was described as “enjoyable enough” and Insatiable Appetites as “action packed as usual.”

149 book reviews were turned in overall, so you will find a much wider variety of authors and books if you stop in and look through the reviews, which you are welcome to do.  You won’t know who in our community wrote them, but you can get some ideas about what people are reading and what they think of the books.  I hope you find some four- and five-star books to read this spring!

Book-to-movie club today

Book-to-movie club meets today, 4/13, 3:15-5, to discuss Stuart Little and watch the movie.  Anyone in grades 4-8 is welcome.  Younger kids may attend if accompanied by an adult.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Back by popular demand

BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND: Makey-Makey kits! These open-ended, creative kits work with computers and are a BLAST. The teens who have used them in Grove City and Litchfield in the past month have not wanted to stop. Use any conductive material to create joysticks, controllers, keyboards... the sky's the limit. Anyone ages 12-18 is welcome to come tomorrow at 1:30 and play around. Bring friends -- it will be a good time!

Friday, April 3, 2015

National Library Week

by Jeanette Stottrup, President of Friends of the Litchfield Public Library
The Friends of the Litchfield Public Library would like to call attention to National Library Week which will be observed April 12-18, 2015, with the theme, Unlimited possibilities @ your library®. First sponsored in 1958, National Library Week is a national observance sponsored by the American Library Association (ALA) and libraries across the country, generally the second week each April. It is a time to celebrate the contributions of our nation's libraries and librarians and to promote library use and support. All types of libraries - school, public, academic and special libraries - participate.
Celebrations during National Library Week include National Library Workers Day, celebrated the Tuesday of National Library Week, a day to recognize the valuable contributions made by all library workers. The Friends of the Library will have an open house in honor of the library staff from 1-4 pm on the 14th in the library meeting room.  We invite the public to become acquainted with our staff, whose pictures and short bios will be available. Friends members will be on hand to serve refreshments. Information on joining the Friends group will also be available.
It takes a team effort and many hands to keep the library materials organized and available for checkout. Other hands are working to bring together programs to promote information and recreation for different segments of our community. There are others who help individuals locate materials and information. This team effort is expanded as all the libraries in the Pioneerland Library System work together to share their collections across our nine counties. Added to that is an electronic network of catalogs that tap the library resources of the whole state through MnLink.  Truly many dedicated and diverse workers are involved in providing our community with library services.
To close out National Library Week, the Litchfield Library and Friends will have a table at the Business and Community Showcase being held at the Civic Arena on Saturday, April 18th, from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm. What better way to celebrate National Library Week than to represent our library at this community event?  Stop by our table, pick up some informational material, and register for a door prize.
This third Saturday of the month, April 18th, is also a book sale day from the library’s opening at 10:00 am to 2:00 pm. This sale is sponsored by the Friends of the Library with the able help of the Litchfield Women’s Study Club who have been manning the cashier table for a good number of years now. We appreciate their service and dedication. Sale items are organized by author for fiction items and subject area for nonfiction items for easy access.
The Friends of the Litchfield Library support its efforts in making recreational and informational materials and programming available. Our Litchfield library staff is committed to serving our community. An American Library Association report states that 90 percent of the respondents in an independent national survey said that libraries are important to the community. I’m sure that our community will agree with that assessment.  The Friends are looking forward to seeing you at our open house the afternoon of the 14th.