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, August 25, 2017

Thank you to our sponsors for supporting a successful summer!

by Beth Cronk, Litchfield head librarian

Our summer reading program, Reading by Design, is coming to a close.  The last day to turn in reading game sheets for prizes is Thursday, August 31. 

This year 315 kids signed up for the program at Litchfield Library.  They spent the summer earning prizes for reading, being active, and trying out new books.

At Grove City Library, 45 kids participated in the summer reading program.  Dassel Library had 161 kids signed up this year, twenty more than last year.  Cosmos Library had the first summer reading program in the new building, with 29 kids signed up.
We’d like to give a big thank you to the local businesses that donated prizes for the kids.  For all four libraries, that included Pizza Hut, Pizza Ranch, McDonald’s, KLFD, and Taco John’s.

Litchfield Subway, Jimmy’s Pizza of Litchfield, and Dairy Queen of Litchfield all donated prizes for the Litchfield, Grove City, and Cosmos libraries.

The Dorothy Olson Aquatic Center and the Willmar YMCA donated prizes for the summer reading programs in Grove City and Cosmos. 

Casey’s donated prizes for the Cosmos and the Dassel programs.

For the Dassel summer reading program, Cokato Subway, Cokato Dairy Queen, Red Rooster Foods, and Jimmy’s Pizza of Dassel all donated prizes.

In addition to prizes such as gift certificates for food items or pool passes, some organizations gave monetary donations to the summer reading programs.  The Friends of the Litchfield Public Library sponsored the books that Litchfield kids could choose as prizes, plus some of the other prize choices.  Donations from the Dassel Community Chest and the Dassel Friends of the Library funded the books given to kids who signed up at the Dassel Library, and the Friends funded their fines read-down for kids.  The First State Bank of Grove City gave a donation that helped to fund summer reading prizes and programs at the Grove City Library. 

The kids were very excited to choose from all of the great prizes, and many pushed themselves to keep completing reading game sheets so they could earn more. 

Thank you to all of these businesses and organizations for supporting reading and kids in our communities!

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Thank you to our summer reading sponsors!

Thank you to the sponsors of prizes for the summer reading program:

Pizza Hut
Pizza Ranch
Taco John's
Jimmy's Pizza
Dairy Queen
Friends of the Litchfield Public Library

We couldn't have done it without you!  The kids and their parents were very grateful for such nice donations.  Thank you for supporting kids and reading in Litchfield!

Friday, August 18, 2017

Mark Your Calendars! Get Ready for Fall!

By Jan Pease

Mark your calendars!  It’s almost time to change to the library’s fall schedule. Summer reading records may be turned in through August 31.   Fall programming begins the week of September 11th and continues through December 23rd.  

On Mondays Mariah will offer Makerspace.  She will have a creative area set up with supplies and music, and invites students age 12 and older to come and create on the second Monday of each month.  There is no need to sign up, you’re free to create and all supplies are provided.

Every Wednesday we invite toddlers and their parents or caregivers to Toddler Time from 10:15-10:45. This is a very beginning story time with singing and movement. We read one fun book. 

Every Thursday, Brick Heads, our Lego building group, gets together in the large meeting room to build.  Sometimes we have challenges, such as building blindfolded.  Look at the Lego creations on display and marvel at the imaginations of our builders.  This group is for ages 4-14, moms, dads and grandparents welcome, and we meet from 6:30-7:30 p.m.

Beginner Book Club gathers on the third Thursday of each month.  For September we are reading “Dog Diaries: Secret Writings of the WOOF Society.”  This is a collection of eleven short stories about dogs written by Betsy Byars and her daughters, Laurie Myers and Betsy Duffey.  Beginner book club is for students in grades 1-3. We begin as close as we can to 3:00 and end at about 4:15.

Friday has been story hour day longer than I’ve worked here, which is a long, long time.  It’s planned for children age 3 through entering Kindergarten.  We start shortly after 10, and pack a lot into the hour, including movement play, singing, a craft project, and a great book.  Older siblings are always welcome.

On Saturdays we’re upgrading our second Saturday story time to Saturday Fun @ the Library.  We will start just after 10:00 and we will be doing all kinds of activities and projects.   This library program is for all ages, but children under age seven need to have a caregiver or parent with them.
At Litchfield library, we aren’t participating in the 1000 Books before Kindergarten project. But I am involved in a program called Read  Our goal is encouraging every child, every parent to read aloud 15 minutes every day.   Be as diligent about reading to your children as you are about brushing their teeth.  Wouldn’t it be wonderful if every child in our area entered Kindergarten ready to learn, and without cavities?

See you at the library!


Friday, August 11, 2017

Revisit a classic

by Beth Cronk, Litchfield head librarian

How many of the classics have you read?  We’ve all read some in school: Johnny Tremain and Lord of the Flies, anyone?  Some of us like to tackle a classic novel from time to time to see whether we think they’re one of the best, or as good as we remember.  The Litchfield Library has been replacing some old, worn-out copies of classic novels with new editions recently, because they still get checked out regularly.

For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway was published in 1940.  Robert Jordan is a young American teacher who goes to Spain to fight for the Loyalists in the Civil War.  He becomes disenchanted, but in the end he learns about the value of life.  This novel was chosen for the 1941 Pulitzer Prize, but the recommendation was reversed when the prize board was convinced that the novel was indecent; no award was granted that year.  I started reading this novel in an English class, but when none of the students were keeping up on it, the teacher said she couldn’t teach us about a book no one had read and she called it off in frustration!  My classmates might find it more interesting now.  A Spanish character in the novel asks Robert if there are not many fascists in his country, and he replies, “There are many who do not know they are fascists but will find it out when the time comes.”  Look for themes of superstition, irony, death, and the common people vs. the political-military complex.

The House of the Seven Gables by Nathaniel Hawthorne is a Gothic novel published in 1851.  The grand house is built after Colonel Pyncheon covets the land and has the owner charged with witchcraft.  The man cries out on the gallows that the Pyncheons will forever be cursed.  The novel’s events mostly take place 160 years later, when the family and house are crumbling ruins, seemingly from the curse.  The house functions as a character in this novel, and themes of guilt, ghosts, and original sin are significant in the book.   Never as popular as Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter, this novel still attracts readers a century and half after it was written.

Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens should attract local readers since the musical Oliver! was just performed in Litchfield last month.  Young Oliver is an orphan in a workhouse who is sold to an undertaker after his famous line, “Please, sir, I want some more.”  After Oliver runs away from the funeral parlor, he meets the Artful Dodger and innocently joins a gang of pickpockets in London.  This novel was originally published in installments in a magazine between 1837 and 1839.  Dickens believed the way the English dealt with poverty and homelessness led to more trouble, particularly crime, and in this novel the good and the evil people get their just rewards. 

One of my favorite novels of all time is Emma by Jane Austen.  I took a class on the history of the British novel in college, and the early ones were dreadfully boring.  Then I read Emma, expecting more of the same since I had not yet discovered Jane Austen, and partway through I thought, “Hang on… This is a romance novel!”  It is more than that, with wonderful character studies and sarcasm and witty observations.  But finally we had reached a point in the history of the novel (1815) where a coherent, suspenseful plot, character development, and smart dialogue actually happened.  I think one of the great things about this novel is that Emma grows as a person, realizing that she is selfish and that other people aren’t her playthings. 

We have also recently replaced many well-worn copies of Zane Grey’s novels, ever popular among our customers, plus some of Agatha Christie’s and Erle Stanley Gardner’s.  Some we now have on audiobook, as well.  I hope that it will be more pleasant to read fresh new copies of some of these time-tested books that have been loved to pieces.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Wonderful Wednesday afternoons, 2017

By Jan Pease

This week brings our summer programs to an end.  I can’t believe it!  In some ways, June 5th, our start date, seems like ages ago. But the summer has gone so fast, that at times June 5th seems like yesterday.

On Wednesdays we offered a program for students in grades K-5.  We called it “Wonderful Wednesdays.”   We collaborated with Meeker County Extension Service so on four Wednesdays we had  “Fun with 4H.”.  Two young, energetic folks who work with 4H came and had two hours of fun with our young people.  The kids learned a lot and had a really good time. The extension workers presented four of these short day camps on Wednesdays in June and July.  On those Wednesdays that the Extension workers didn’t come, I filled in for them. 

 Since our summer theme is “Reading by Design,” and Michael Hall visited the library in June,  we used his books, “My Heart is a Zoo” and “It’s an Orange Aardvark” to explore using various shapes to make pictures.  It was interesting to create pictures using hearts, squares, rectangles and other shapes.

We also learned about Zen Doodling, in which small sections of a picture are filled in with different patterns and colors.  

Our next “unit” involved unfolding geometric shapes to make a “net,” and I’m happy to say I finally get it. Back in the day, I missed every single question on standardized tests that involved unfolding any kind of shape.  (I’ve always known I have absolutely no spatial sense.)  Anyway, we built shapes out of paper and then used translucent plastic magnetic shapes to make amazing buildings and structures. 

For the last two weeks we talked about what shapes are the strongest and built shapes out of card catalog cards that would hold up a small toy locomotive.  In case you’re curious, triangles seemed to hold the most weight.  We also used straws and connectors to construct large things like a wall with a tower taller than I can reach, a “thing” made up of curves fastened together, and a rocket that was several feet high. 

We also loved to play bingo.  I learned that bingo is great for developing concentration and number recognition.  It’s also a lot of fun.

It’s challenging for me to face a group of elementary students, since I concentrate more on children through age five.   But I’ve completely enjoyed this summer of “Wonderful Wednesdays.”

The final library program for young children will be Second Saturday Story Time, Saturday, August 12, at 10:00.  Beginner Book Club will meet at its usual time, Thursday, August 17, at 3:00.  Our book will be “The Adventures of Nanny Piggins,” by R.A. Splatt. Brick Heads will continue on Thursday nights at 6:30.

 Readers can turn in reading game sheets through August 31. It’s been a splendid summer, and we’re ready for a fantastic fall.