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.

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Ooh Aah A B C!

 By Jan Pease

If I say the words, “concept books” or “phonics,” what is your response?  “Booooooring?    

“I say Ooh You say AAH!”  is an unusual book written by John Kane.  This book may seem to have too many allusions to underwear and bodily functions as the reader helps Donkey search for his pants,  but if you consider the intended audience, it will seem about right.  It’s a fun, highly interactive book that will tickle your funny bone, I promise.   

Another fun book is “I Spy ABC: Totally Crazy Letters,” by Ruth Prenting, a search and find book with a twist.  The hidden pictures fill giant letters.  Each letter has a short verse that tells what to find.  I wish Ms Prenting had taken it a step farther by having the objects relate more to each letter.

Some people love phonics, some people don’t love phonics.  I happen to think that phonics are a huge part of beginning to read.  I added a group of familiar fairy tales to the collection this spring, with an unusual twist.   The twist is that these books emphasize phonics.  Titles include "Cinderella," Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, Goldilocks, Little Red Riding Hood, and The Three Little Pigs. All were edited by Susan Purcell.

I also purchased a series called “Rhyming Word Families” that looks like fun.  Titles include books like “The Blob on Bob” and  “Kit’s Banana Split.”  This series was written by Marv Alinas and published by Child’s World Inc.  It’s beginning to look like I really, really love phonics.  I do.

Jan Thomas answers the question, “What starts with F and makes Sheep happy?” in the book, “My Friends Make Me Happy.”  The cover features a very silly looking sheep, and gives the answer before you even start reading.  Sometimes you just need a funny picture book to share.

I just had to add Deborah Diesen’s new book, “Pippa  &  Percival, Pancake &  Poppy: Four Peppy Puppies” just because the names of the pups are so cute.  This is a sweet story that little dog lovers will enjoy.

Kane Miller Publishing has some interesting titles out right now.  One that we just added is “Lemur Dreamer,” by Courtney Dicmas.  This is the first sleep-walking lemur I’ve ever read about.  It reminds me of “Goodnight, Mr. Clutterbuck,” by Mauri Kunnas, which is about a sleep-walking goat.  Both are very funny.

Concept books used to seem boring, but these are some effervescent titles that bring concept books to a new level.  See you at the library!

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Quirky Detectives Around the World

by Beth Cronk, Litchfield head librarian

In my experience, mystery fans are voracious readers who are always looking for something new to read.  The library has many new mysteries available, often featuring unique detectives working in interesting places around the world.

Murder in an English Village is the first in a new series, the Beryl and Edwina mysteries. Author Jessica Ellicott has written previously under the pen names Jessie Crockett and Jessica Estevao.  Beryl is a famous American adventuress who is looking for some peace and quiet (and a reprieve from Prohibition) when she goes to stay with her prim and proper friend Edwina in 1920.  But, as English villages in cozy mysteries often do, this town has a dark side.  These two ladies of a certain age set up shop as “private inquiry agents.”  This a good choice if you like your mysteries light and fun.

The Punishment She Deserves is the twentieth Inspector Lynley novel by Elizabeth George.  This one is also set in a perfect English village full of dark secrets, but it’s not a cozy mystery.  Full of complexity and nuance, but still a page-turner, this installment features Detective Sergeant Barbara Havers investigating the death of a respected deacon while he was in police custody.  Although it appears to be a suicide, Havers digs deeper.  Reviewers are saying this is one of George’s best.

Auntie Poldi and the Sicilian Lions is the first in the Tante Poldi series by Mario Giordano.  Giordano is a German author and screenwriter; this is his first book to be translated into English.  He loosely based the Auntie Poldi character on one of his aunts and the narrator on himself, with other Sicilian relatives among the supporting characters.  Bold, funny, and glamorous Poldi has retired to Sicily to drink herself to death with a sea view, but when her young hired man is murdered, she decides to find his killer.  Book reviewers love this charming new detective, expected to appeal to fans of Inspector Montalbano, Precious Ramotswe, and Jessica Fletcher.

Dying to Live is the newest Detective Kubu mystery by Michael Stanley, the sixth in the series.  The humble and likeable David “Kubu” Bengu is an assistant superintendent in the Botswana Criminal Investigation Department.  The body of an elderly Bushman is found near a game reserve, and when an autopsy is done, his organs appear surprisingly young.  Then the body is stolen from the morgue.  This is also recommended for fans of Alexander McCall Smith’s mysteries.

The Temptation of Forgiveness is the 27th Commissario Guido Brunetti mystery by Donna Leon.  These novels include both the charming and the seedy sides of Venice.  A friend of Brunetti’s wife comes to him, hoping he can intervene with her son, who she believes is doing drugs.  Then her husband is found seriously injured at the foot of a bridge, which draws Brunetti into an investigation into the connection between the two situations.  Leon’s mysteries appeal to those who want complex characters with their suspense.

Other mystery novels recently added to the library collection include The Legacy by Yrsa Sigurdardottir, Green Sun by Kent Anderson, The Throne of Caesar by Steven Saylor, and The Gate Keeper by Charles Todd.  Travel the world and investigate a new detective by checking out a mystery at the library!

Author Event: How Did You Find Me...After All These Years?

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Chione's Coming!!!

By Jan Pease

According to Greek mythology and Wikipedia, Chione was the daughter of Boreas, the god of the north wind and Orithyia a daughter of Erechtheus, king of Athens.  According to a late, though generally accepted tradition, Chione was the mother of Poseidon’s son Eumolpus.  She threw him into the ocean because of her fear of her father’s reaction.  Fortunately, Eumolpus was rescued and raised by Poseidon, god of the sea, earthquakes, and horses. 

On Wednesday, April 25th, at 10:00, Chione will visit Litchfield library.  Our Chione is much nicer than their namesake, and I’m looking forward to the visit.  Chione is a musical quintet representing the Mankato Symphony.  They visited Dassel library last week and Elisabeth said it was a marvelous program with lots of fun for everyone.  Story Time with Chione is made                                                                   possible with a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board.

Elementary school teachers are already registering their class field trips to the library.  We reserve the last part of May for these visits. I’m excited that our summer reading theme is “Reading Takes you Everywhere!”   Our weather is  uncertain this year, so having me visit the school is a good solution to the weather situation.  Please call the library at 693-2483 to reserve your time for a class visit.

Class visits mean that story times are winding down.  Toddler Time and Preschool Story Time will temporarily end May 12.  Beginner Book Club and Brickheads will both continue through May.  Then everything will start up again with the Summer Reading Kick off on June 1st.  Toddler Time and Preschool Story Time will begin June 6 and 8.   As I write these words, we’re waiting to see if we get snow this weekend, so it’s difficult for me to think that summer events are so soon.

On Thursday night the Brickheads thought they had struck gold.  Thanks to the Friends of the Litchfield Library, there were cookies, juice, and coffee in the lobby.  The Friends invited local authors to bring their books to the library.  Nine local authors came and enjoyed meeting and greeting old and new fans.  I don’t know how many books were sold, but I saw people leaving with small stacks of beautiful new books.  Thanks, authors, for sharing your works with us!

Our head librarian, Beth Cronk, put up a display called MN Writes MN Reads.  This is a project which is designed to encourage local authors to publish books independently, and   to put readers in touch with local writers.  The website for the project is  and the website to search for independent authors is   Both websites are worth a look. 

Happy Spring! (Borrowed from a friend's FB page 4/14/18)

Litchfield Library will close at noon

Litchfield Library will close at noon on Saturday, 4/14/18, due to the weather.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Programs cancelled for Saturday, April 14

The reading therapy dogs and the teen program schedule for Saturday, April 13, have been cancelled due to the weather forecast.

National Library Week: Publish your own e-book

by Beth Cronk, Litchfield head librarian

Happy National Library Week!  This year’s theme is “Libraries Lead.”  First sponsored in 1958, National Library Week is an observance sponsored by the American Library Association to celebrate the contributions of our nation’s libraries and librarians and to promote library use and support.
This year the Friends of the Litchfield Public Library are hosting a Local Author Expo on Thursday, April 12, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. at the library to celebrate National Library Week.  The event will be an opportunity to learn about books published by local authors, as well as library-sponsored self-publishing opportunities and the activities of the Friends of the Library.  The authors will be on hand to talk about their writing and to sell and sign their books.

The authors participating are Heather Weseman, Kari Trumbo, Nancy Paddock, Joe Paddock (representing the Litchfield Area Writers’ Group), Duane Hickler, Rosie Hartwig-Benson, Steve Dille, and Mariah Ralston Deragon with Mary Kay Keller Ralston. 

At the expo, you can learn more about a new program Minnesota libraries are offering, which is called MN Writes MN Reads.  This online program is for writers interested in easy-to-use, free resources for publishing and sharing e-books, and for readers interested in discovering self-published books by Minnesota writers.  The website is

Through this website, you can access Pressbooks to design and export your own e-book.  You can create e-book and print-ready formats of your novel, memoir, poetry collection, children’s book, or any other kind of book.  Templates are available to give your book a professional appearance, and you can export it in EPUB, MOBI, PDF, and other formats.  There are instructions and suggestions on the website for using Pressbooks.

Then if you’d like to make your e-book available to readers for free and promote your book, you can use other resources on the MN Writes MN Reads website to do that.  You can upload your book to SELF-e, a service run by Library Journal, for inclusion in Indie Minnesota, a statewide e-book collection promoting local authors. 

After a book is uploaded, it is reviewed to ensure that it is technically sound and does not infringe on copyrights.  This takes a few days before the book appears in Indie Minnesota, available for anyone in the state to read online. 

Fiction books in English that are uploaded to SELF-e have a very exciting opportunity: they are reviewed by Library Journal, a major professional publication for libraries.  The ones that get the best reviews are featured in an issue of the magazine, and they are included in a special online collection, SELF-e Select, which is available to readers across the United States.  The review process takes one to two months. 

Another great opportunity for authors who upload their books through MN Writes MN Reads: adult and young adult fiction submitted by June 30, 2018, can be entered into the first annual Minnesota Author Project.  Two winners receive $1000 and will be featured in Library Journal.  Some neat promotional opportunities come along with winning that contest. 

If you’ve got a dream of being discovered as an author, or just of having your book published and available for people to read, these new resources may be good things for you to explore.  And if you’re a reader looking for something fresh and different, both our local author expo and these new online resources may lead to you discovering an author you haven’t read before. 

Stop by anytime between 5:00 and 7:00 on Thursday evening to learn more and to take a look around the library to celebrate National Library Week.