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 27, 2016

Read for The Win!

By Jan Pease

This year marks my 25th summer reading program.   I remember some of the themes, but I would find it difficult to remember each one.  One of my favorites was “Library Kids Lead the Way,” during the time we were planning the new building.  We drew gigantic characters on huge pieces of paper that were hung up high on the north wall.  I used to spend hours and hours enlarging pictures for decorations and cutting things out.  Now I tend to find an easier way: precut paper products and bulletin board kits. 

Something that hasn’t changed is our commitment as a library to encourage young people to become lifetime learners.  The program we’re using this year, “Read for the Win,” is provided by iREAD, which stands for Illinois Reading Enrichment and Development.  Thanks to the Illinois Library Association, for the following information.
”iREAD  stands for Illinois Reading Enrichment and Development and is an annual project of the Illinois Library Association. The Illinois Library Association provides leadership for the development, promotion, and improvement of library services in Illinois and for the library community in order to enhance learning and ensure access to information for all. The goal of this reading program is to instill the enjoyment of reading and to promote reading as a lifelong pastime.   The benefits of summer reading are clear. National research from Dominican University finds that students who participate in public library summer reading programs scored higher on reading achievement tests at the beginning of the next school year than those who did not participate.

Young people experience learning losses when they don’t engage in educational
activities during the summer. Research spanning 100 years shows that students typically score lower on standardized tests at the end of summer vacation than they do on the same tests at the beginning of the summer.   Libraries are part of the solution.  To succeed in school and life, children and young adults need ongoing opportunities to learn and practice essential skills. Summer reading programs remind kids that reading is for fun—as well as for learning.”

Please consider stopping by the library a regular part of your summer routine.  Encourage your children and grandchildren to participate in Summer Reading.  Read to your children and have your children read to you. Sing, laugh, play, and talk.   Enjoy these fleeting days of summer!

Friday, May 20, 2016

Kids and teens, read down your fines in June!

by Beth Cronk, Litchfield head librarian

Kids will have an opportunity again this summer to read down their late fees.  We tried this program last June and people have been requesting it ever since.  The Friends of the Litchfield Public Library are on board to help sponsor the program again. This year we will offer it from June 1 through June 15.

Here’s how it works: Children and teens under age 18 can sign in at the desk, read in the children’s department, and come back to the desk to record the time they finish.  For every fifteen minutes spent reading in the library, $1 will be taken off of the fines on that child’s card. 

There’s no limit on the dollar amount of late fees that can be cleared this way, but it can’t be applied to lost or damaged items or lost library cards.  Another limitation is that kids can’t read down their parents’ fines this way, only their own.  And the program isn’t open to adults.  Sorry, grownups.

Can’t read yet?  No problem.  Young kids can read down their fines by being read to by a parent, babysitter, or older sibling, as long as they’re in the library. 

So what do you do if you have a book or movie at home that you know is long overdue?  Bring it back to the library between now and June 15, and then spend 45 minutes doing the fines read-down.  Even if you’ve gotten a big bill to replace a book or movie, the fine will drop to $3 once it’s returned.  Of course, you have the option to pay the fine, too, rather than spending that time in the library, but for this short time a child would have a way to take care of it without having to come up with any money.

The Friends of the Library do all kinds of great things for the library.  If you drive by while the monthly book sale is on, you’ll now see a sign out by the street that says “book sale,” which the Friends just bought.  We hope this new acquisition will help you remember that the sale is happening.  I can’t tell you how many people come in to the library during a book sale and say, “Oh, I didn’t know this was happening!”  The sale happens on the third Saturday of every month from 10-2 in the meeting room.  The exception is in July, when the sale is moved to the Saturday of Watercade.

The Friends run the book sale, with cashiering assistance from the Litchfield Women’s Study Club.  Members of the Friends sort the donations, set up the carts in a well-organized way, and take it all down when it’s done.  They also put things out on the cart of free books near the magazine exchange, and they send some things to Better World Books that can make the group some money, which they use to benefit the library. 

One of the things they spend their funds on is “Book Page,” the monthly book review magazine you see at the library’s front desk.  It’s very popular, because it’s an appealing magazine full of suggestions of books to read.  Every avid reader needs ideas!  We get a box of copies of this publication every month, so you can take one home with you. 

The Friends have also paid for some great new books that we’ll be giving away as prizes for summer reading, and they help to fund things like storytime and summer reading crafts, books for Beginners’ Book Club, and prizes for the adult winter reading program.  And, like I mentioned at the beginning, they are helping to fund the Fines Read-down in June. 

Good libraries need good Friends, and we have a wonderful group.  If you’re interested in joining them, pick up a brochure at the library’s front desk for more information.  Thank you to the Friends for all of their work and support!

Saturday, May 14, 2016

On Your Mark! Get Set! Go!

By Jan Pease

Mark your calendars!  Get ready for an incredible summer at Litchfield Public Library!  The summer reading program, “Read for the Win @ Your Library” officially begins June 1st.  Patrons ages 2-18 can sign up to participate.  Each of these activities count toward completing the reading game:  read for 15 minutes (up to one hour per day), attend a library program, check out a book about your favorite sport or physical activity, do an activity sheet at the library,  read to a buddy or a pet, play a sport or do a physical activity for at least 20 minutes (one sport or physical activity per day), check out a Library Laptop or iPad with your library card to use while at the library, or ask a Librarian for a book recommendation.  You will receive a (small) prize for every 10 items completed.  Each completed game sheet handed in to the librarian will get your name entered in for a larger prize drawing at the end of the summer!  The library game ends August 31st.

Friday, June 3 at 10:00 our very favorite magician, Professor Marvel, will present his show “The Magic of the Olympics: A Summer Reading Celebration.”  If you remember, about 250 people came to his performance last year, which overwhelmed the library building.  Litchfield Christian Church, at 312 North Marshall, has agreed to let us use their great room for this exciting event.  There will be plenty of room, so come and bring friends and family. 

The Watercade Princesses will visit the library on June 10th, and on June 11th we will have a special Second Saturday Story Time about the Summer Olympics.  On Saturday, July 9th there will be no story time due to the Kiddie Parade.

On Friday, July 15 at 10:00 St. John’s Outdoor University will present their “Nature Olympics” program.  They always present an educational and fun experience with lots of hands on activities.  According to their website, St. John’s Outdoor University offers “preK-12th grade environmental education programs that strive to improve environmental literacy and emotional connectedness to the natural world through hands-on and age-appropriate field trips.”  I love their message of land stewardship and conservation, and deeply appreciate their outreach programs. 

On Saturday, August 13, at 10:00 Paul Spring will present a free concert.  He has spent late spring canoeing down the Mississippi River stopping at river towns along the way.  I think we will enjoy his music, and it’s a nice way to end our summer second Saturday story hour series.

Monday, June 9th marks the beginning of a great new program presented by Mariah Ralston, Art Journaling.  If you’re in grades 4-8, you’re invited to participate in this project. All supplies are provided free of charge.  If I were in 4th grade, I’d like to come and hang out, listen to music, and do a little art. 

 Regular children’s programs begin the week of June 6 with Toddler Time on Wednesdays at 10:15,  and Preschool Story Time on Fridays at 10:00.  So much fun, and we love books!

On 3rd Thursdays, the Beginner Book Club will meet from 3-4 p.m.   The book for June is Clueless McGee, by Jeff Mack.  This book was suggested by a member of the book club.

If you are age 4 and older and like to build with Legos, come to Brickheads on Thursday nights this summer  at 6:30 p.m.  We’re building every week, so it’s easy to remember when to come. 

Teenaged patrons, ages  11-18  are invited to participate in activities on the 2nd and 5th Saturdays at 1:30 p.m.  They do so many interesting things like geocaching, robotics, ginormous gaming, and coding.  No sign up or fee involved, and refreshments are always served.   There is something for everyone at Litchfield Library!


Thursday, May 12, 2016

Job opening at Litchfield Library: Shelver

Job opening: Library Assistant I at Litchfield Public Library

Job description: Shelves materials in their proper locations, sets up carts in preparation for shelving, performs shelf-reading and straightens shelves, shifts materials as needed, assists patrons in locating materials, and performs related work as apparent or assigned. 

Qualifications: Requires some high school and an understanding of library organization and services, or a combination of education, training and experience necessary to perform the requirements of the job.  Must have attention to detail and be able to use alphabetical and numerical classification systems when instructed.  Must be able to interact with a wide range of customers in a courteous and effective manner.  Must be able to follow instructions and work independently.

Physical requirements: Requires seeing, walking, bending, kneeling, crouching, reaching, grasping, lifting up to 25 pounds, and pushing carts filled with books. 

Hours: 4-7 hours per week plus additional subbing on occasion: Mondays, Wednesdays, and some Saturdays preferred but flexible.  Time of day is flexible within library hours.

Applicants should submit a completed Pioneerland application form to the Litchfield Library by May 26, 2016.  For more information, contact Beth Cronk at (320)693-2483.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Bend reality with new science fiction

by Beth Cronk, Litchfield head librarian

This month my adult book club at the library is reading The Martian by Andy Weir.  We don’t usually read science fiction, so this is a stretch for the group, but it has been a best-selling, mainstream book.  Personally, I like to read science fiction and fantasy, but then I’m a geek.  Following are some of our newest science fiction books (and a movie) that you might enjoy if you’re a geek, too.

A Gathering of Shadows is the second book in Victoria Schwab’s Shades of Magic series.  Science fiction and fantasy books tend to come in series.  The first book is called A Darker Shade of Magic.  The novels are set in London in four parallel universes.  A few magicians have the ability to travel between them, carrying correspondence between the leaders of each and smuggling people who want a glimpse of a different reality.  Somehow this is categorized as science fiction as well as fantasy; maybe it’s the parallel universe aspect of the story.

Morning Star is the third book in Pierce Brown’s Red Rising trilogy.  The whole trilogy has received glowing reviews for its fast-paced, well-written story.  The main character Darrow is a Red, the lowest caste in society.  They live a miserable life underground on Mars, mining to help make the planet habitable for future generations. When Darrow learns that the upper classes live comfortably aboveground, benefitting from their oppression, he becomes a revolutionary. These books have been compared to The Hunger Games, A Game of Thrones, Ender’s Game, and Dune.

 The Lost Time Accidents by John Wray is set in the early twentieth century, but the main character wakes up one morning to find he has been exiled from the flow of time.  The novel is described as a mixture of historical fiction, romance, mystery, and time-travel science fiction.  This one is a stand-alone, not part of a series.

 Version Control by Dexter Palmer is a time-travel novel that’s character-driven.  Rebecca Wright has found her way out of grief and depression after a personal tragedy, and she works for the online dating company she used to meet her husband.  She feels like reality is somehow off-kilter, but she can’t put her finger on what’s wrong.  Her physicist husband has been working for ten years on a “causality violation device” that he doesn’t want called a time machine.  Could his invention be affecting their reality?

 Saga is a series of graphic novels by writer Brian K. Vaughan and artist Fiona Staples.  Our library has book one of the deluxe edition; the original editions of the entire series came out a few years ago.  It’s the story of two people from opposite sides of an intergalactic war who fall in love and start a family.    Critics can’t say enough good things about it.

If I’m talking about science fiction, I need to mention that we have the new movie Star Wars: The Force Awakens in our collection.  As you’d expect, it’s very popular.  This latest Star Wars installment smashed U.S. box office records.  J. J. Abrams did a first-rate job directing and co-writing a very nostalgic Star Wars movie, really a throwback to the original film, and it pleased a wide range of people.  I went to see it in the theater twice, but like I said, it’s my kind of thing.

Science fiction readers never make up a large percentage of library borrowers.  Studies have shown that adults who read science fiction have higher average incomes than the general population. It may be that most buy rather than borrow their books.  However, some sci fi readers are a steady part of the library’s clientele.  If you’d like to read something imaginative, branch out with one of our science fiction books and find something really mind-bending to think about.