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 31, 2018

Books, Sweatshirts, and Pumpkin Spice

By Jan Pease

It may be time for warm hoodies, crackling fires, and colorful leaves, but I draw the line at pumpkin spice in anything but pumpkin pie.  That said, it’s time to look at the fall schedule for children, tweens and teens at the library.

On the second Monday of each month, tweens and teens ages 10 and up are invited to Maker Space starting at 3:30 p.m.  The projects are different, interesting, and free.

Fourth Mondays are reserved for Teen Gaming Night.  Teens 12 and up are invited to come to the library at 6:30 to play a variety of board games. 

Every Wednesday at 10:15, parents and toddlers are invited to come to Toddler Time, a story time that is planned for little ones up to age three, but older siblings are always welcome.  Mom, Dad, or a caregiver must attend this story time with the toddlers. This story time does not include an art project.

Third Thursdays of each month are reserved for Beginner Book Club for grades 1-3.  Come right after school, at 3:15.  The September book is “The Twits,” and copies are available at the desk.

Brickheads, our Lego building club, meets every Thursday night at 6:30.  Children should be at least 4 years old to attend.  We use our library Legos, so all you have to bring is your imagination.

Every Friday morning, the library offers Story Time at 10:00.  This story time is planned for children aged 3-5.  We sing, act silly with Jim Gill, read a wonderful book, and do an art project.

Second Saturdays of each month, tweens and teens 10 and up are invited to teen programming from 1:30-3:30.  They tend to do interesting things, like learning how to manipulate green screens or computer coding.  There are several months with fifth Saturdays, so a second teen program is offered on those Saturdays. 

Watch for announcements about other special events that may pop up now and again.  For example, later this month the library will celebrate   Harry Potter’s 20th Anniversary.  Please join us for the Harry Potter Anniversary Party, September 29th from 1:30-3  p.m.  Please wear your best wizarding robes to this special event. 

A long ago director of Pioneerland Library System told me that he thought Litchfield’s children’s department had an “ambitious” amount of programs for young people. Yes, yes we do!

Friday, August 24, 2018

Thank You to Our Summer Reading Sponsors!

by Beth Cronk, Litchfield head librarian

Summer is drawing to a close and, with it, this year’s summer reading program, Reading Takes You Everywhere.  This year in Litchfield, we had 349 kids signed up to participate.  Dassel Library had 171.  Grove City had 36, and Cosmos had 32.

To participate in the reading program, kids played a game that involved earning spots on a board by spending time reading and by doing other activities like attending library programs and playing outside.  When they reached each spot on the board, they got to choose a prize.  Everything from books to certificates for pizza to small toys were available to choose from.

Teens had a simpler version of the reading log that was all about hours spent reading over the summer.

We couldn’t have given out all of those incentives without our generous local sponsors.  I’d like to thank all of the businesses and organizations that gave prizes and donations for the summer reading program to one or more of the libraries in Meeker County:

Friends of the Litchfield Public Library
Dassel Friends of the Library
Dassel Community Chest
First National Bank of Grove City
Cokato-Dassel Lions Club
Pizza Hut
KLFD Radio
Burger King
Pizza Ranch
Jimmy’s Pizza, Litchfield
Jimmy’s Pizza, Dassel
Willmar YMCA
Casey’s: Cosmos, Dassel, and Litchfield
DQ, Cokato
Red Rooster Foods
Subway, Cokato

I’d like to say a special thank you to the Friends of the Litchfield Public Library for sponsoring the highly-popular visit from the Minnesota Zoomobile (225 people came!) and to the Cokato-Dassel Lions Club for sponsoring Dassel Library’s afternoon for kids at the Xtratyme Tecknocenter, which was also full to capacity.  These were great opportunities for kids in our communities to have enriching experiences without having to pay admission, and families were very grateful. 

Kids can still turn in their reading game sheets for a few more days, through Friday, August 31.  I hope that kids in our communities have continued to read throughout the summer, whether they participated in our summer reading program or not.  Best wishes to all of the students and teachers as they begin the new school year!

Friday, August 10, 2018

Reading Takes You to Every Era

by Beth Cronk, Litchfield head librarian

With the kids this summer, we’ve been talking about how “Reading Takes You Everywhere,” our summer reading theme, and that includes other times in history.  It’s true for adults, too: getting wrapped up in a story can feel as though you’ve traveled through time.  A number of new historical fiction titles at the Litchfield Library can carry you to different eras.

Love and Other Consolation Prizes is a new-ish novel by Jamie Ford, the author of Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet.  A twelve-year-old half-Chinese boy named Ernest is a charity student at a boarding school when, to his surprise, he is raffled off at the 1909 World’s Fair.  The raffle winner is the madam of a high-class brothel, where he becomes the houseboy and befriends the madam’s daughter and the scullery maid.  Returning to another World’s Fair in 1962, he looks back on the path his life took.  Surprisingly, this novel is inspired by a true story.

The Hamilton craze has led to an interest in Alexander Hamilton’s wife, Elizabeth Schuyler Hamilton.  She was a force in her own right, co-founding the first private orphanage in New York City, which exists to this day as a family services agency.  The new novel My Dear Hamilton: A Novel of Eliza Schuyler Hamilton was written by Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie, based on letters and other original documents.  This popular biographical novel allows the reader to dive into founding mother Eliza’s life and the early days of America, from the Revolutionary War and meeting Alexander to her many active years of widowhood, preserving his legacy and advocating for causes important to her. 

Set during the Civil War, A Hope Divided is the second book in Alyssa Cole’s Loyal League series.  This historical romance features a free African-American woman who is a scientist and a spy, quietly helping with coded letters about anti-Rebel uprisings, treating Union prisoners, and assisting people who are fleeing the South.  When the Confederate Home Guard takes over her home, she and an escaped prisoner of war hiding in her laboratory have to get away through the Underground Railroad.  Readers enjoy learning about little-known aspects of the Civil War included in Cole’s books.

Mysteries are often set in historical time periods.  Catherine Lloyd’s Death Comes to the School is set in 1820.  This is the fifth book in the Kurland St. Mary mystery series, set in an English village.  Major Sir Robert and his wife Lucy have settled into village life, but their three-year marriage is less comfortable, and Lucy is unhappy that she is not yet a mother.  Lucy and others receive anonymous letters accusing them of witchcraft, and then the local schoolteacher is murdered.  Lucy steps in as a substitute, hoping to solve the mystery.

The Whispering City: Barcelona 1952 by Sara Moliner was first published in Spain.  This historical thriller is set during the height of General Franco’s fascist government, in a city full of rumors and violence.  A wealthy socialite is found murdered, and a young journalist is given the privilege of accompanying the police inspector handling the investigation.  But the journalist soon realizes that the clues don’t add up, and she and her scholarly cousin find themselves in danger when they become too curious. 

Whether you enjoy reading romance, mysteries, thrillers, or even fantasy novels, you can find books set in different eras of history.  Historical fiction can help us learn more about the past and broaden our perspective on the human experience. 

Friday, August 3, 2018

Inspiration for For Future Scientists

By Jan Pease

I’m writing this on Friday afternoon the 3rd with my head and heart still full from our activity this morning. Belinda Jensen came out to Meeker County today and talked about her book series, “Bel the Weather Girl,” and encouraged kids to act on their interest in science.  She will return to our county Monday, August 13, visiting Cosmos and Grove City at 10:00 and 12:30.  I counted about 155 people in our children’s department, and spied Mayor Keith Johnson and Representative Dean Urdahl in the crowd. I really appreciate the support of our elected officials.   The Dassel library reported an even larger crowd.  If you can, drive down to Cosmos or over to Grove City for this marvelous program.

One of the happiest books of this year is “Saving Fiona,” by Thane Maynard, the Director of the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden.  Fiona is a baby hippo born January 24, 2017, two months early.  The story of her first year of life is truly amazing, and the pictures that accompany the story are tremendous.  No one had ever successfully saved a premature hippo, so Fiona was much more than a cute story.  Team Fiona learned many life-saving techniques as they brought this fragile baby to health.

I think one of the most interesting science books of the year is “The Orca Scientists,” by Kim Perez Valice.   Stunning photography and interesting text combine to make an informative book.  I didn’t
know that whale pods in different areas us different whale “dialects,” just one small fact from this great book.

Each time I read a story about dinosaurs in story time, a 4 year old expert is ready to correct me.  “The Dinosaur Expert,” by Margaret McNamara and G. Brian Karas, is a sweet book about a non-interrupting dinosaur expert.  Kimmy, who knows a lot about dinosaurs, shares some of her   She abruptly stops sharing when a boy says flatly that “girls aren’t scientists.”  Her wise teacher shows the class some of the contributions made by women paleontologists and saves the day. 
knowledge about fossils and dinosaurs.

“Stegothesaurus,” by Bridget Heos, is a hilarious dinosaur story about a unique breed of stegosaurus with a boundless vocabulary.  For example, his brother says, “Hot.”  His other brother says, “Hot.”  Stegothesaurus says, “Blazing, blistering, broiling.”  All is well until the stegothesaurus meets an Allothesaurus with an equally large vocabulary and very, very sharp teeth.

Do you know this nursery rhyme? “Jack B. Ninja! Jack, be quick! Jack, jump over the bamboo stick!”  No?  Well, that’s ok.  Jack B Ninja is a funny, funny book by Tim McCanna.  Ninjas beware!

One of my favorite author/illustrators is Chris Raschka.  His newest book, “New Shoes” captures the excitement and delight of going to the shoe store, being measured, and trying on shoes.  We never see the protagonist’s face, but it looks like she is wearing a dress, and her best friend’s name is Emma. 

There is something for everyone at the library!