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, November 23, 2018

Santa Claus is Comin' to Town!

By Jan Pease

First, I have to tell you some great news.  Santa is visiting the library Thursday night, December 6th from 5:30-7:00.  He will read a story at 6:30 and lead us in singing his special song, “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.”  We missed having him in 2017, so I’m extra-excited about his visit this year.  There will be plenty of time to take a great picture of your kids with Santa, and I guarantee that they will enjoy the story time. 

Blame it on years of working in libraries and bookstores, but I just realized that the books I want to tell you about can be alphabetized, A,B,C,D, and E, but only if you use their titles.

For A, we have “Auntie Luce’s Talking Paintings,” by Francie Latour.  This colorful book tells the story of a young girl who visits her Auntie Luce every summer.  She discovers the wonders of painting and learns about her family and the history of Haiti through her aunt’s talent. 

For B, we have “Blue,” by Laura Vaccaro Seeger.  This gorgeous book celebrates both the relationship of a boy and his dog and the many shades of blue. 

For C, we have “Carmela Full of Wishes,” by Matt de la Peña.  This sweet book gives a glimpse into the lives of family members who work hard and love deeply.   Mr. de la Peña also writes young adult novels.

For D, we have “Dragons in a Bag,” by Zetta Elliott.  This book introduces a new series, as we meet a boy named Jaxon who has a special errand to perform for the somewhat scary woman who raised his mom.  He has to deliver a bag full of baby dragons to a magical place, but he can’t let them out of the bag or feed them anything sweet.  Of course he does both. 

And for E, we have “Elbow Grease,” by John Cena.  He is best known for being a WWE wrestler.  He also acts, does voices in animated films, and now he’s written a book.  Elbow Grease is a small monster truck that wants to compete with the full-sized monster trucks in a Demolition Derby.  Will the little guy persevere and show the big trucks he can do it?  Is John Cena famous?

These children’s fiction books can be found at Litchfield library in alphabetical order by author’s last name.  If that seems confusing, just ask a staff member for a little help.  See you at the library!

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Closed for Thanksgiving

Pioneerland libraries will be closed on Thursday, 11/22/18, for Thanksgiving.  We will be open regular hours the rest of the week.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Winter Is Here. Yes, It Is.

by  Jan Pease

“Winter is Here.”  Yes, it is.  Kevin Henkes’  new book is about a very timely topic. As we watch the snow arrive, the library gives a great vista facing east and west.  In “Winter is Here,” Mr. Henkes  writes,

“The dog is bounding.

The squirrels are scurrying.

The birds are huddling.

The children are slipping, digging, skating, building, sledding . . .
Why is this all happening?
It’s winter!

Winter is here!”

This sweet book might help you face the next 6 months with a cheerful attitude.

“A Parade of Elephants,” also by Kevin Henkes, is a book you can judge by its cover.  A parade of elephants marches up, down and around.  This is another cheerful picture that can help relieve winter doldrums.

Jim Arnosky is famous for writing and illustrating books about nature and animals.  He asks, “Why?” in his new book, “Look at Me.”  Why do some animals change color, grow huge horns or antlers, or stretch or puff up their skin.  One can imagine that looking fierce or protective might give an animal some defense if attacked, but what about a peacock’s enormous tail?

“We are Grateful: Otsaliheliga” pronounced (oh-jah-LEE-hay-lee-gah) is a book written by Traci Sorell.  She is an enrolled citizen of the Cherokee Nation and lives in northeastern Oklahoma. This picture book gives a glimpse of Cherokee life in both ancient and modern times, but it is written on a level children can understand.   Ms. Sorell teaches us that the Cherokee people are grateful for all the elements of life throughout the year.  The Cherokee nation developed its own written language and Ms. Sorell   includes words in Cherokee and written in the Cherokee alphabet created by Sequoyah.                                          
Mo Willems has another series out, “Unlimited Squirrels.”  He reaches new heights of silliness, even including a corny (  I get it, a-corn y)  joke at the end.  “I Lost My Tooth” is the newest book in the “Unlimited Squirrels” series.   A squirrel loses one of his  teeth  and his friends try to help him.  Then they all chime in on the corny jokes.    Here is an example of one of Mr. Willems’  jokes; Question: “What do you call a bear with no  teeth?” Answer:  “A gummy bear!”

Finally, because the world needs more “Pete the Cat” books, I give you “Pete the Kitty and the Baby Animals.”   Pete the Kitty is about as cool as Pete the Cat, but he’s much shorter. 

I don’t know what else to say, except, “see you at the library!”


Friday, November 2, 2018

Let's Get Down to Business

by Beth Cronk, Litchfield head librarian

Business books are often on the bestseller lists, but oddly enough they aren’t very popular at the Litchfield Library.  I’ve always put those two pieces of information together and guessed that the people in our city who are the most interested in the latest business books are people who buy books instead of visiting the library. Nevertheless, we do offer books about business.  Some are like self-help books – encouragement and guidance for entrepreneurs and executives.  Some analyze industries or business history or economics.  Our library has several recent books that fall under the category of business.

Dare to Lead: Brave Work, Tough Conversations, Whole Hearts is Brene Brown’s newest.  Unlike her others, this one is a business book - more specifically, a book about leadership.  It’s a current bestseller.  Brown has worked with Facebook, Pixar, the Air Force, Google, and other large organizations when doing her research, and this book is the result of a seven-year study on leadership. Brown says that leadership isn’t about status and power; it’s about responsibility, courage, and developing the abilities of the people you manage. 

Atomic Habits: Tiny Changes, Remarkable Results is a new book by James Clear, an expert on habit formation.  This is another current bestseller.  Clear says that motivation isn’t the main factor in breaking bad habits or starting new ones; setting up an environment for success often matters more.  He addresses procrastination, motivation at work, and how to apply his ideas to business. 

Capitalism in America: A History is Alan Greenspan and Adrian Wooldridge’s new book on economics.   Greenspan is well known as the chair of the Federal Reserve from 1987 to 2006, and Wooldridge is a writer for The Economist as well as a historian.  The book examines the history of business and increasing prosperity in the United States.  The Financial Times describes the book as having three themes: productivity as the measure of economic progress, the pairing of creation and destruction as the sources of growth, and political reaction to creative destruction. 

Thank You for Shopping: The Golden Age of Minnesota Department Stores is a brand-new book from Minnesota Historical Society Press.  Author Kristal Leebrick delivers a nostalgic look back at the twentieth century glory days of stores like Dayton’s, Donaldson’s, Powers, and Young-Quinlan.  These stores were destinations: Dayton’s Christmas displays and flower shows and meals at Schuneman’s River Room were special occasions. The book is illustrated with vintage photos and ads, and it even includes recipes from the stores’ restaurants.  The Mill City Museum is running a companion exhibit of photos from mid-November through February.

The book Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors, and the Company that Addicted America is a critical examination of the corporate origins of the current opioid crisis.  Author and journalist Beth Macy investigated how the introduction of OxyContin in 1996 was handled irresponsibly by Purdue Pharma; the company aggressively promoted the drug to physicians through all-expenses-paid symposia and a large salesforce that individually targeted doctors who frequently prescribed opioids.  Macy then traces the spread of the addiction epidemic from the first dealer in a small Virginia town to the widespread problem we have today, crossing class and geographic lines. 

Other books we have that are currently on the New York Times business best sellers list are Leadership in Turbulent Times by Doris Kearns Goodwin, Bad Blood by John Carreyrou, Grit by Angela Duckworth, and Principles by Ray Dalio. 

The public library isn’t only about novels and children’s books, although we do have great collections of those.  When you want to read a business-related book, remember that the library carries those, too.