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.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Closing at 2 p.m. Wednesday

The Litchfield Library will be closing at 2:00 p.m. on  Wednesday, January 30, due to the weather.

Friday, January 25, 2019

Hurrying Along in 2019

By Jan Pease

2019 is zooming along.  As of this writing, there are only 334 days until Christmas 2019!  

The children’s department programs are off to a good start.  We already enjoyed a visit from Therapy Dog Chapter 252 McLeod/Meeker County on January 12.  I love to watch these gentle dogs as they “listen” to children reading to them.  They come about 4 times each year, and provide safe doggie socialization for the children. 

On Wednesdays at 10:00, young children up to age three can come to Toddler Time.  Of course, older siblings are welcome too.  Some of our little ones aren’t talking yet, which makes it interesting. They do really well with the singing and movement parts of Toddler Time, but sometimes the book is a little sketchy. 

We get the Legos out every Thursday night at 6:30.  Children ages 4 and up are invited to come and build.  Younger children are welcome, but must have a caregiver along.  I’d hate to see any of those pesky little pieces end up in someone’s mouth.

Third Thursdays are reserved for Beginner Book Club.  We start after school, at about 3:15, when the members arrive, and are usually done by 4:15.  It might get interesting in February.  I chose a book that I thought I enjoyed, only to find out I really don’t like it. What will the book club members think?   I’ll hand out the next book on February 21st at book club..

On Friday mornings at 10:00 we welcome preschool children to Story Time.  I just started my 28th year of doing story times and I enjoy it more each year.  Right now we’re looking at colors, so our projects for January have been simple and colorful.  So far, we’ve made white sculptures out of Styrofoam and white pipe cleaners, ground coffee beans to sprinkle on pictures of brown bears, and glued different green things to make 3-D pictures of a green frog.

Besides all of this, the library offers programs for tweens and teens. Real art projects happen at Makerspace, offered on the second Monday each month at 3:30 for ages 10-18.  In February they will make cozy heart-shaped pillows out of cozy fleece.  Teens ages 12-18 are invited to come to the library on second and fifth Saturdays for Teen Programs.  They seem to have a lot of projects  involving coding and Minecraft.  We also invite teens to come to Teen Gaming Night, on fourth Monday nights at 6:30.   

In an average month, young people can choose from sixteen different offerings.  A former Pioneerland Library System director once spoke to me about Litchfield’s “ambitious” children’s programming.  Yes, yes it is.  Thanks to library staff who make all this possible. I couldn’t do it alone.

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Closed for Martin Luther King Day

Pioneerland libraries will be closed on Monday, January 21, 2019, for Martin Luther King Day.

Friday, January 18, 2019

Hygge at the Library

by Beth Cronk, Litchfield head librarian

As we wind up the month of January, some of us are starting to get tired of winter.  But if you subscribe to the Scandinavian idea of hygge, the key is to embrace winter instead of wishing it away.  Winter has its own beauty and blessings.

In that spirit, the library will be having two Hygge Saturdays in February.  On February 2 and February 16, the first and third Saturdays of the month, we’ll set up the library meeting room with board games, puzzles, coloring sheets, free books, crocheting supplies, and a hot chocolate bar.  Drop in for some low-key, cozy fun between 1 and 3 p.m. 

The Friends of the Library always has a cart of free books next to the lobby, except when it’s a book sale weekend.  If you want to find some free books to keep, or to just not have to return by a deadline, come in to browse those anytime.  These books are things that don’t sell on the book sale, but they’re still often popular when they’re on that cart -- plus that inventory turns over frequently, so you may see entirely different things by the time you visit again. A few of our patrons like to stock up from that cart in case they get snowed in and need more books to read.

If you’re looking for a book to check out to read on a winter day, of course we have many more of those.  Here are a few of our newest additions:

The Flimflam Affair is the latest Carpenter and Quincannon mystery from Bill Pronzini.  Sabina Carpenter and John Quincannon run a detective service in San Francisco at the turn of the last century.  In this installment, a medium and his assistant are swindling grieving people out of their money, and the detectives must find a way to reveal them as thieves.  Meanwhile, they’re solving a murder, a theft from a burglarproof safe, and a mystery involving a gang of counterfeiters that includes a man who’s supposed to be dead.

Pictures of Longing: Photography and the Norwegian-American Migration is a new release from University of Minnesota Press.  It was written by Sigrid Lien, a professor of art history and photography studies at the University of Bergen, Norway, and translated into English by Barbara Sjoholm.  In the 1800s and early 1900s, more than 750,000 Norwegians emigrated to America, a large percentage of Norway’s population.  The immigrants sent thousands of “America-photographs” home.  The author examines a selection of these photos and explains to the reader how to interpret them, telling stories about immigrants and photographers as she goes.  Not surprisingly, many of the photos in the book are from Minnesota and North Dakota.

The Litchfield Women’s Community Club has given the library a donation for large print books from time to time, either in memory or in honor of one of their members.  We have two new large print books from their recent donations:  Freedom’s Light by Colleen Coble and Night of Miracles by Elizabeth Berg.  

Freedom’s Light is an inspirational novel about a young widow who is tending a pair of lighthouses in Massachusetts during the Revolutionary War.  Night of Miracles is a small-town story about an older woman who is inspired to begin teaching baking classes and who looks out for people around her who need some help; it has a theme of coming together to harness the power of community. 

Come to one of our programs for some comfortable time of connecting with others (part of the definition of hygge), or check out some books to take to your own cozy home.  Either way, I hope the library helps you enjoy the rest of your winter.

Friday, January 11, 2019

A Good Day to Read A Book

By Jan Pease

What is one of the best ways to start a new year?  Why, with new books of course!  Here is a list of new “chapter books” that are all found in the juvenile section. 

Who can imagine writing a series of books for children ages 5-9 that average over 500 pages each?  Well, Kevin Sands is the guy.  He is the author of “The Blackthorn Key,” a series set in the 1600s featuring an apothecary’s assistant named Christopher Rowe.  The four books in the series are “The Blackthorn Key,”  “Mark of the Plague,” “Assassin’s Curse,” and “Call of the Wraith.”  This novel combines historical fiction with all sorts of puzzles, codes, and secrets, and has received great reviews from both kids and adults.

Bluecrowne, by Kate Milford, is the third book in the Greenglass trilogy.  Greenglass House is an old, creaky inn, the perfect setting for mystery and suspense.  The books in the series are The Greenglass House, “Ghosts of Greenglass House,” and “Bluecrowne.”   “Bluecrowne,” a prequel instead of sequel, centers on earlier days in the old house.    Some of the questions raised in the later books may be answered in this book. 

“Charlie Hernandez and the League of Shadows,” by Ryan Calejo, is a bit like Harry Potter, with a Latino twist.  Ordinary boy Charlie wakes up one morning and discovers that he is turning into one of the monsters from the stories his grandmother told.   Myths of Spain, Central America, and South America are featured. 

It feels like patrons have been waiting for years for “Clash of the Beasts,” by Lisa McMann.  This is another “ordinary child discovers super powers” book.  Superhuman powers and speed borrowed from the animal kingdom could come in handy if you are a girl named Charlie who has just moved to a new town.  The series is called “Going Wild,” and the titles are “Going Wild, “Predator vs Prey,” and “Clash of the Beasts.”  

“Hotel Between,” by Sean Easley, is another magical book.  I hope Mr. Easley is starting a series, because this book is a doozy.  The hotel of the title is an amazing place where doors open all over the world, stone elephants come alive, and people could wander forever. 

I think any of these books would be excellent to read aloud in a class or at bedtime.     These imaginative books, and many more, are waiting for you at Litchfield Library!

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Adult Winter Reading starts today!

by Beth Cronk, Litchfield head librarian

Now that it’s January and the holidays are done, Pioneerland libraries are launching this year’s adult winter reading program, Winter Reads.  It’s an easy way to set yourself a goal to read several books before the winter is over and earn prizes for doing it.

Litchfield Library’s program begins today and ends March 30.  When you sign up, you get a book bag, a bookmark, a few book review forms, and a punch card.  Each time you turn in a brief review of a book you read, we’ll mark your card.  When you turn in three reviews, you can choose a prize: a mug, a large candy bar, an ice scraper, a stocking cap, or lip balm.  When you turn in three more, you’ll be entered in a drawing for gift certificates to local businesses, sponsored by the Friends of the Litchfield Library. 

The program works in a similar way for the libraries in Grove City, Cosmos, and Dassel, but the prizes will work slightly differently.

It’s all very easy, with no one holding your feet to the fire to complete the program, so sign up to join in this winter’s challenge.  You can read any book you want, whether it’s checked out from the library or something you own, as long as you read it after you sign up for the program.  You can read fiction or nonfiction.  You can even listen to it in audiobook form or read it as an e-book.

Need some ideas about what to read?  Here are a few new titles available at the Litchfield Library.

Billion Dollar Whale: The Man Who Fooled Wall Street, Hollywood, and the World is a nonfiction thriller by Tom Wright and Bradley Hope, Pulitzer Prize-finalist Wall Street Journal reporters.  This bestseller covers a decade of massive international fraud by a Malaysian graduate of the Wharton School of Business, a real-life Gatsby.

Born to Be Posthumous: The Eccentric Life and Mysterious Genius of Edward Gorey is a biography by Mark Dery.  Gorey was an eccentric writer, illustrator, and artist who lived from 1925 to 2000.  You may have seen his Gothic pen-and-ink drawings in books such as The House with a Clock in Its Walls or The War of the Worlds, or his animated introduction to the PBS Mystery series in the ‘80s.

Evening in Paradise is a critically-acclaimed collection of short stories by Lucia Berlin.  Her short story collection, A Manual for Cleaning Women, was published posthumously in 2015 to great praise, with her style being described as “gritty glamour.”  The New York Times said, “Lucia Berlin spent her career in obscurity.  Now, she is being hailed as a literary genius.”

The Calculating Stars is a science fiction novel by Mary Robinette Kowal, the first in the Lady Astronaut series.  It imagines an alternate history, with a huge meteorite obliterating much of the east coast in 1952.  With human extinction looming, an international coalition is racing to colonize the moon.  A former WASP pilot and mathematician is working on the project as a calculator, but she has dreams of becoming the first female astronaut. 

Take the opportunity of these cold, dark winter days to enjoy a book or two.  Winter is a great time to read.