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.

Monday, March 30, 2020

April and May programs canceled or postponed

All April and May library programs and events are canceled or indefinitely postponed. We hope you will continue reading, singing, crafting, building with Legos, and using technology from home while we take this break from gathering in groups. We'd love to see some of your creativity shared on our Facebook page! We're working on offering some content, ideas, and discussions virtually.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Digital library cards now available!

Digital library cards now available! Did you miss out on getting to the library for a card before everything closed? You can sign up on Overdrive/Libby for a temporary digital library card that will allow you to check out our ebooks and downloadable audiobooks. You'll enter your cell phone number to demonstrate that you live within our regional library system.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

BookPage Magazine Available Online

Looking for reading recommendations? Love the book review magazine you can normally pick up at our library's front desk? You can access it online:

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Big Library Read: Funny, You Don't Look Autistic available for unlimited checkouts

It's time for a Big Library Read!
Funny, You Don’t Look Autistic: A Comedian’s Guide to Life on the Spectrum by Michael McCreary
This title is available to unlimited simultaneous borrowers from March 23 to April 13 in both ebook and audiobook format through Overdrive and Libby with your Pioneerland library card.
Like many others on the autism spectrum, 20-something stand-up comic Michael McCreary has been told by more than a few well-meaning folks that he doesn’t “look” autistic. But, as he’s quick to point out in this memoir, autism “looks” different for just about everyone with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

Coronavirus: What You Should Know

We have been asked about coronavirus, and as a library we are here to provide trusted information.

What is Coronavirus, or COVID-19?

According to the Minnesota Department of Health, COVID-19 is a viral respiratory illness caused by a coronavirus that has not been found in people before.  
Because this is a new virus, there are still things we do not know, such as how severe the illness can be, how well it is transmitted between people, and other features of the virus. 

Trusted information sources

The CDC has set up a website – accessible in English, Spanish, and Somali – with updated information and resources. On this site you will find details on prevention, symptoms, testing, and ways to keep you and your family healthy.
The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) is another reliable source to find resources, information for schools and child care, preventative actions, and a situation update on the state of Minnesota.


The CDC has recommended the following ways to help people protect themselves from respiratory illness:
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

Additional Resources

Monday, March 23, 2020

Safe at Home

By Jan Pease

So I’m writing this from home.    I’m fine, but I fit in all of the major health conditions that officials are warning us about: diabetes, heart trouble, blood thinners, over 65, and as the French say, “en surpoids.”        It sounds much better in French.  I’m not afraid, but my family insists that I stay home.

The last time I was sequestered was due to measles when I was a child.  I remember staying in the living room with the shades pulled, listening to classical music records my dad brought home from the library.  My favorite was HMS Pinafore.  I wasn’t allowed to read!  It was horrible.   Not the fever, rash , and itching, but the not reading.

I thought about listing some of the resources available to help keep children busy, but there are so many things out there.  Facebook is packed with ideas and videos.  The library has children’s books about Fiona, a hippo born at the Cincinnati Zoo: the zoo posted a video about her which was adorable.  I watched and listened the great Yo-Yo Ma play some of his favorite pieces for cello.  Pinterest has more ideas than I could make in a lifetime. Besides all this, the staff at the high school posted a music video that is hilarious.  Maybe I’ve had a bit too much screen time!

At our last story hour we talked about germs.  We practiced sneezing and washing our hands.  We watched glitter pass from person to person on toys.   The book that day was Do Not Lick this Book, by  Idan Ben Barak and Julian Frost, a great book about microbes.   I think the main thing is to not frighten children during all this craziness.  Mr. Rogers said “Look for the helpers.”  They are already helping. 

One of my dad’s favorite saying was “This too will pass.”   He lived through the Depression and WWII, and said a final goodbye to his parents, brother, grandson, and good friends.   But it’s true,  no matter what our problem is, it will pass.  Most of us aren’t asked to lay our lives on the line like members of the armed forces, health care workers, or first responders.   We are just asked to stay home.  

Please remember that the library is closed through the end of March.  Also, please wait to return items, as they aren’t due until April 8th.  If you need internet access, library wi-fi is available in the parking lot for your phone, tablet, or laptop.

There’s a saying that I hear frequently: “May you live in interesting times.”  Instead of being a statement, it is actually attributed to an old curse.  Well, it certainly is an interesting time!  See you when the library re-opens!

Access resources while the library is closed

The Litchfield Library remains closed through the end of the month, but some library resources are still available to you. 

Our downloadable ebooks and audiobooks are available here: or by using the free Libby or Overdrive app and searching for Litchfield Library (making sure you choose the one in Minnesota). is the website for statewide free electronic library resources. 

And you can email the county librarian Beth Cronk at for research assistance, and she will use her training and experience in online research to answer your questions. 

We will also answer your questions via Messenger, but that is not a very private way to ask your research questions. 

If you need free public wifi at any hour, you can park nearby to pick up the library's, no password needed.

Stay well!

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Litchfield Library closing at 6 pm Tuesday March 17 through the end of March

Pioneerland libraries will be closing at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, March 17.  They will remain closed through March 31 to follow social distancing guidelines from the CDC and MN Dept. of Health.  Due dates for all materials are extended to April 8th. 

Monday, March 16, 2020

Library programs canceled through the end of March

In an effort to comply with CDC & MN Dept. of Health recommendations in limiting social gatherings, Pioneerland Library System is suspending all programming & outreach activities through the end of March.  At this time the library will remain open for regular services.

The sock animal workshop for March 16 is postponed indefinitely.  We will notify the people who had signed up when we are able to reschedule.

Storytimes and Brickheads Lego building are called off for the remainder of March.  Mystery book club will not meet March 18.

The March book sale is canceled.

The Friends of the Litchfield Library March meeting is canceled.

Friday, March 13, 2020

Check out books from the comfort of home

by Beth Cronk, Litchfield head librarian

Everyone knows that you can get books by visiting the library, but did you know that you can download books even if you’re at home?  All of the regional public library systems in Minnesota have downloadable ebooks and audiobooks available for checkout.
In Pioneerland Library System, we have a contract with Overdrive to provide our ebooks and downloadable audiobooks.  They are available to check out through both the Overdrive app and the Libby app, which are free to download from your electronic device’s app store.  You also have the option to read books on your computer without an app, using the OverDrive Read feature.

As of March 12, Pioneerland had 4,560 ebooks (the ones you look at to read like a print book) and 1,621 audiobooks to download.  New books are added all the time.  You can view our collection by visiting our online catalog and clicking on “Download ebooks,” by going directly to, or by going into the Overdrive or Libby app and searching for your local library.

You will need to have an active Pioneerland library card in order to check out our downloadable books.  So your first step is to get a library card, if you don’t have one.  If you have never had a card with us before, or if it was so many years ago that you’re no longer in our system, visit one of our libraries and bring along your driver’s license or Minnesota ID.  If you have moved and the address on your ID isn’t current, also bring a piece of mail delivered to you at your current address, 
something with your name on it, as proof of address.  You’ll also fill out a one-page application. Kids under age 18 need to have a parent or legal guardian accompany them to the library to get the card and sign the application, since the parent is the responsible party for a minor and kids normally don’t have an ID. 

Your first library card is free.  It takes about five minutes to get your card set up.
If you have had a library card in the recent past but you have lost it, visit the library and let us know that you need a replacement card.  We’ll ask to see your photo ID to look up your account.  A replacement library card costs $3.

If you still have that blue library card but you haven’t used it in a while, bring it to the library or call us with your card in hand, and ask us to check on whether your card needs updating.  Everyone’s account needs to be updated annually in person at the library, even if they have been using it to check things out.  When we update your card, we take another look at your ID, so bring that along.

This would be a good time to visit the library and spend a few minutes getting your card ready to use.  If you end up needing to stay home for a while, you may need some entertainment – and our ebooks are free to use.  You can’t even get overdue fees on them.  After three weeks, if you don’t return them, they will return themselves. 

There is a limit of five downloadable books on each library card at one time.  You can return them early to make them available to other people and to free up a slot on your account for a different title. 
Downloadable books work like print books in one sense: the library pays for each copy, and only one person can check out a copy at one time.  So if someone else has an ebook checked out, you will need to add yourself to the waiting list.  You’ll be notified by email when the book is available for you to check out.

Our digital book collection offers titles for all ages and interests.  You can check out books to entertain and educate the kids or yourself.  When you’re preparing for some possible time sequestered at home, remember that a library card is a great tool to get now.

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Access the library's online resources with an active library card!

Did you know that you can check out e-books and downloadable audiobooks at home if you have an active library card? If it has been a while since you've used your card, stop in with that card and your driver's license and we'll update you for the year. If you don't have a library card, come in with your license, or if you've moved recently, a photo ID and a piece of mail delivered to you at your current address. In about 5 minutes we can get you set up with a card, which is free if you haven't had one before. Kids under 18 need to come in with a parent or guardian to get a library card.

Friday, March 6, 2020

The Library is Going To The Dogs!

 By Jan Pease

This Saturday, March 14, several teams of dogs and owners from Therapy Dogs International will visit Litchfield Library at 10:00. 
The Dassel Enterprise Dispatch explained our local chapter last year in their list of organizations in the Dassel area. “Therapy Dogs International (TDI) is a volunteer group organized to provide qualified handlers and their therapy dogs for visitations to institutions, facilities, and other places where there is a need. The non-profit organization was founded in 1976, and is headquartered in Flanders, NJ. TDI Chapter 252 includes Meeker, McLeod, Kandiyohi, and Wright Counties, and is based out of Hutchinson. Currently, there are 11 active members in the area including members from Dassel, Cokato, Lester Prairie, Hutchinson, Litchfield, Willmar, Howard Lake, and Stewart. Contacts are Robin Bucholz at 612-655-6053 or; and Char Gatz at 612-203-7829”

The official name for TDI dogs that listen to children read is “Tail Waggin’ Tutors.” I love that these volunteer owners are willing to bring these sweet dogs into the library.  Children gain confidence in reading with a patient, gentle dog beside them.  Children who aren’t comfortable around animals often have a positive experience being near these well-taught dogs. When the dogs visit Litchfield Library, we always talk about how to meet a dog and what to do if a dog is not friendly. 

Would your dog be a candidate to be a registered therapy dog?  What are the requirements? According to the TDI website, “A Therapy Dog must have an outstanding temperament. This means that the dog should be outgoing and friendly to all people; men, women, and children. The dog should be tolerant of other dogs (of both genders) and non-aggressive toward other pets. Before you consider having your dog evaluated, you should ask yourself if your dog has these qualities.”

Dogs need basic and intermediate obedience experience. They are tested by evaluators and must pass thirteen tests. Take a look at the brochure from the TDI website:

The library can print you a copy of the TDI brochures if you’re interested. I know my little dog, Gracie, would not be able to pass the tests even though she is a well-behaved dog.    

I enjoy having the therapy dogs visit the library.  My special dog-friend, Hazel, will be there on March 14th.  Hazel gets so silly about being at the library (and seeing me) that she forgets her training, and just loves and loves and loves.  This has been going on for four or five years.  Three other teams are expected, so bring children or grandchildren and enjoy a visit with TDI chapter 252.  See you at the library!

Monday, March 2, 2020

Get ready for the census!

by Beth Cronk, Litchfield head librarian

The U.S. Constitution directs the federal government to conduct a census every ten years, which it has done since 1790 when George Washington was president.  This year it’s time to do the census again, and it is our civic duty to fill it out.  

It also helps us and our communities when we fill it out.  Minnesota is at risk of losing a Representative to Congress, especially if we’re undercounted because people who live here don’t fill out the census.  Funding for so many things depends on an accurate count: highways, Medicare, student loans and grants, school lunches, Head Start, USDA business loans, and countless other things.  It’s your own tax money coming back to your own community, and one uncounted person could mean a loss of $28,000 in funding over the next ten years.  Businesses look at population data when deciding where to open a location, so it’s good for community development if everyone is counted. 

 There are both new and familiar things about how the census will work this year, and libraries are partnering with the Census Bureau to help you get the information you need about the process.
The first thing I think you need to know is the timeline for this.  Mailings will start going out on March 12, so it will begin soon. April 1 is considered Census Day; by that date, you should have gotten mail that directs you to fill out the census, unless you get your mail at a post office box.  Whether you fill out your census before, on, or after that day, you should base your answers on where you live on April 1; if you’re a snowbird, use the address where you live for more than six months of the year.  Between May and July, census workers will visit the homes of people who have not yet filled out their census another way.

The big change this year is that the census can be done online.  You will get a mailing with a code that you can use to fill out the form online at the website.  If you would like to fill out the census online but you don’t have internet access, you can come to a public library to use a computer.  All four libraries in Meeker County (Litchfield, Dassel, Grove City, and Cosmos) are registered to be Questionnaire Assistance Centers, which means that our staff will have gone through basic training to  help you and that we have public computers available for you to use to complete your form.

If you don’t feel comfortable filling out your census online, you have options.  You will be able to request a printed form or a visit from a census employee if you would prefer that.  You will be able to call the official census number to give your answers over the phone.  If you wait a few weeks without filling it out online, a paper form will automatically be mailed to you (again, only if you get your mail at home instead of at a PO box).  And if you don’t fill it out either online or by mail, a census worker will visit you in May or later, just like census workers visited your great-grandparents, if they lived in the United States back then. 

Be careful to check that the website you go to is a .gov address, so that it’s legitimate.  You will not get an email asking you to fill out the census, so don’t follow links in any emails that claim to be from the census.  The Census Bureau will not call you to ask you to fill out the census, although they may call you to follow up on questions you didn’t answer.  Look carefully at the printed form you get to be sure it’s really the census.  And look at the badge that a census worker is wearing if they visit your home.  If you want to confirm that someone who comes to your door is a local census worker, you can call 800-923-8282 to check.

The Census Bureau will never ask for your Social Security number, your bank account or credit card numbers, money, or donations.  They will not ask anything about your political views or include information about a political party. 

There will not be a long form for the census this year, so you will not get a long list of detailed questions.  Everyone will get about ten simple questions about their address, the names of people who live in their home, their relationships to the person filling it out, their ages, and their race and ethnicity.  There is not a citizenship question on the census, and it is up to you to answer the questions as you choose and even to skip some, although skipping questions will likely lead to a census employee following up with you. 

The individual information you enter on the census is protected data.  The Census Bureau cannot share those details with anyone, even other parts of the federal government, for 72 years.  In 72 years, or 172 years, your descendants may be grateful for the details about you that they can access.  In the meantime, no one can see it. 

I’ve been through several trainings about this year’s census, and I’ve met with the committee that’s working to get a complete count of Meeker County.  I am not a census employee, and the rest of the library staff are not either.  But we will be glad to help you find the information you need about the census, even if sometimes that’s just finding the best way to put you in touch with the experts at the census helpline. 

I know it can be scary to share your personal information, and that it can be intimidating to know how to fill out the census.  But it is essential to our community, and you can fill it out in the way you prefer.  Stop in to talk to me at the library if you have questions.  Everyone counts!