Curbside pickup of requested items, computers by appointment, and other limited services are available.  Please contact your library for specific information on services provided. 

Library resources for students and parents

by Beth Cronk, Meeker County Librarian

Public libraries help provide support for education. Whichever way your child is going to school this year, the public library is happy to help provide resources for your family.

Pioneerland Library System has recently begun offering Brainfuse, an online resource that can be used anywhere. It includes a range of resources for all ages.

Brainfuse HelpNow offers personalized homework help in core subjects: math, reading, writing, science, and social studies.  Live tutoring is available through the Brainfuse site every day from 2:00-11:00 p.m. Because students communicate with online tutors in real time using an interactive virtual whiteboard to chat, write, draw, and graph, the tutors can provide individualized help to students of diverse needs and backgrounds.

HelpNow also offers skills building and test prep resources a student can work on alone, then take a quiz before connecting with a live tutor to review the quiz results. All live tutoring sessions are saved and can be replayed as well as shared with friends and teachers.

Students learning French or Spanish can use the Language Lab to either get live help from a tutor or use a variety of games and flashcards to practice skills.

The Writing Lab feature provides assistance at any time of day. Students can submit papers for detailed feedback.  The Send Question Center is similar but for help with non-writing assignments such as math or science.

Students who want to form an online study group with friends can do so through BrainFuse’s Meet feature, using the interactive whiteboard.

Is your student getting ready for college? Brainfuse offers SAT test prep and assistance with filling out the FAFSA for financial aid. I have wished for help with the FAFSA so many times! The eParachute feature helps people of any age discover college majors and careers that match their skills and interests.

If kids are a little rusty as the summer draws to a close, direct them to the Summer Camp feature, intended to sharpen math, science, and writing skills to avoid the summer slide.

All of these online resources are available now, and will be through the school year. Students can use them in conjunction with their in-person, hybrid, or distance learning, or parents can use them for assistance with homeschooling.

Speaking of homeschooling, libraries always offer a wide range of books and other materials that are useful for that. Some books are available for parents who are figuring out how to homeschool, such as the newer books The Brave Learner and The Call of the Wild and Free. But most of the resources homeschooling parents use from the library are the vast numbers of books for children and teens that are available on every subject and in every literary genre. If we don’t have it at our local library, we can usually order it from somewhere. Don’t forget documentary films as an educational resource; the library has those, too!

Whatever your school year holds, our library will be glad to help you find books and other resources to help. Remember that you can check out a device to get internet at your house for up to four weeks, and that you can pick up the library’s wifi outside the building 24/7.

No September book sale

The September Friends of the Library book sale is cancelled. Visit the cart of free books in front of the library every day the weather is dry to pick up some books to keep!

Internet access in a new way

In today’s world, it’s very difficult to do without internet access. In addition to offering one-hour computer appointments in the libraries, as well as wifi outside the buildings, Pioneerland has just added a new way for people to get internet access, at least for a little while.

Pioneerland libraries now have mobile hotspots available to check out. These devices provide wifi you can use at home, through T-Mobile.

You use your library card to check them out, just like a book. And like a book, they have a loan period of four weeks. They can’t be renewed.

To request one, you’ll need to call the library, rather than placing a hold through the catalog. If one is available, we can get it to you through curbside delivery right away. If they’re all checked out, we’ll put you on the waiting list and let you know when one is ready for you to pick up. These have been very popular in other library systems, so we anticipate demand.

If you keep the hotspot past the due date, it will turn off and become unusable. There will be a late fee of $1 a day for late returns. If the hotspot is not returned or if it comes back damaged, there is an $85 fee for replacement, and if any of the accessories are missing, there will be a charge for the amount the library spends buying a replacement for that piece. The cases for the hotspots are very sturdy and well-padded, so you can safely return them in the book drop. Staff will wipe down the equipment and cases between patrons.

Internet service relies on cell tower technology and coverage, so the signal will be stronger or weaker depending on where you live, and in some locations they won’t pick up a signal. Because of this, the Cosmos Library does not have any hotspots available to check out; they are unlikely to work in that area. The Litchfield Library has five, the Dassel Library has three, and the Grove City Library (where the signal is spotty) has two. The devices don’t go out through interlibrary loan; they can only be checked out at the library they belong to.

The hotspots have filtering software installed on them in accordance with Pioneerland’s Internet Use Policy, but the library is not responsible for individual activity on the internet. We encourage you to always follow safe internet practices. Pioneerland does not track your internet usage, data, or information while you’re using the hotspot and, in accordance with library privacy requirements, does not provide your information to the service provider.

If you need to print, the libraries do have e-printers that can accept emailed print jobs that meet certain parameters (Word document, photo, or PDF, but not a webpage, for example). The HP e-printing service sometimes doesn’t work well, so talk to library staff over the phone if you need to try using it, and allow plenty of time for the print job to come through. We can deliver printouts curbside.

If you check out a hotspot for a project and you complete it before the due date, please return the device so that someone else can have access to it sooner. We hope that these mobile hotspots will give you a way to get essential things done online at home during this unusual time.

Job opening: Children’s Librarian

JOB OPENING: CHILDREN’S LIBRARIAN
LITCHFIELD PUBLIC LIBRARY

Title of immediate supervisor: County Librarian

Pay grade: 9 (starting $18.12/hour)

Hours: 29 hours a week, including day, evening, and Saturday hours

Job description: Provides professional children’s and teen services to library patrons: children’s and young adult book collection development for the four libraries in Meeker County, children’s and teen programming for Litchfield Library, plus reference, research, and circulation services for all ages.  Responsible for public communication about the library’s children’s and teen services.

Duties and responsibilities:

These examples do not include all possible tasks in this work and do not limit the assignment of related tasks .

  • Develops, schedules, presents, and oversees children’s and teen programs at the Litchfield Library, coordinating with the Legacy program coordinator for the county, staff in charge of individual programs, and the head librarian. Advises and collaborates with staff from Dassel, Grove City, and Cosmos libraries in planning children’s and teen programs, especially the summer reading program. Leads storytimes for young children at the Litchfield Library.
  • Reviews professional literature and book news. Selects new children’s and YA books and audiobooks for Litchfield, Dassel, Grove City, and Cosmos libraries and manages the children’s book budgets for those libraries. Deselects items to manage the Litchfield children’s and YA collections.
  • Writes a Litchfield newspaper article every other week about children’s materials, programs, or literacy issues. Records a radio spot every other week. Creates web and social media content about children’s services at the library. Creates print handouts about children’s programs.
  • Coordinates and leads outreach to Litchfield schools and community organizations involved in children’s learning and wellbeing. May attend relevant community meetings and/or serve on committees as a representative of the library.
  • Provides instruction to patrons of all ages in the effective use of library facilities, resources, and equipment.
  • Provides professional reader’s advisory services for children and teens, based on knowledge of reading levels, child development, and current and classic literature. Provides reader’s advisory services to people of all ages.
  • Assists patrons in locating books and other materials within the library and the catalog.
  • Conducts interlibrary loan searches to request materials for patrons.
  • Conducts reference interviews of patrons of all ages and provides research services, locating information and resources to meet patron needs.
  • Functions as a shift lead when County Librarian is not present, assuming some supervisory responsibility over library assistants.
  • Stays up-to-date on issues related to children and teens that are relevant to libraries through continuing education and current resources.
  • Works with County Librarian in addressing and resolving problems with library programs, collection development, and library equipment and makes recommendations for improvements to services.
  • Administers library building and security procedures and responds to emergency library situations. Enforces library policies.
  • Maintains statistics related to children’s and teen programs and compiles them for the summer reading report and the annual report.
  • Performs library circulation and other activities: checking materials in and out, registering new patrons, answering phones, greeting patrons, managing public computer usage, filling interlibrary loan requests, and other basic functions of the library.

Knowledge, skills, and abilities:

  • Knowledge of and experience in professional reference and research methods
  • Knowledge of alphabetical and numerical classification systems
  • Ability to coordinate and manage a collection in a large community library
  • Ability to effectively work with the general public in responding to needs/requests
  • Ability to effectively work with infants, children, and teens
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills
  • Skilled in using computers and other technology
  • Skilled and experienced in planning, developing, and implementing children’s programs, especially storytimes for young children
  • Knowledge of children’s and teen literature

Minimum qualifications: Bachelor’s degree and at least two years of directly-related work experience, or an equivalent combination of education, experience, and training necessary to perform the essential requirements of the job.

Certification or licensing requirements: None

Physical requirements: Walking, stooping, crouching, reaching, lifting, fingering, feeling, grasping, talking, hearing, and seeing. Exerting up to 20 pounds of force occasionally, and/or up to 10 pounds of force frequently. Some lifting and carrying may be required up to 25 pounds.

Other requirements: Must submit to and successfully pass a criminal background check.

Applications available from the library or www.pioneerland.lib.mn.us. Submit application by August 4 to:

Beth Cronk
Litchfield Public Library
PO Box 220
Litchfield MN 55355

Questions to elizabeth.cronk@pioneerland.lib.mn.us or (320)693-2483.

Printable appliation: https://www.pioneerland.lib.mn.us/PLS_Site/Job%20Application%20112309.pdf

New summer reading prize choices

Water bottle

We got a new batch of summer reading prizes! These were the things Mrs. Pease ordered in the winter, and they were delayed in shipping from the national summer reading program due to the pandemic. You have these now for options, too, when you turn in your summer reading sheets.

 

Power bank

Slime

Keychain flashlight

Metal puzzle

Squishy dino fossil

Clickers

Jumbo candy bars