Plot twist: The Library Column is Back!

by Beth Cronk, Meeker County Librarian

What a plot twist! We said goodbye to the “Independent Review” only a few weeks ago, and here we are with a brand-new Litchfield newspaper. I am delighted to tell you that the library will once again have a weekly column in the paper. There’s so much to share with you this week.

We are coming up quickly on the start of the summer reading program. I’ll let Litchfield Children’s Librarian Rachel tell you more about it in next week’s edition, but it begins next Monday, June 3. This year’s theme is “Read, Renew, Repeat.” The library will be celebrating things like conservation, recycling, the environment, plants, and animals.

Children and teens up to age 18 can sign up for this self-paced program beginning on the 3rd, but no need to worry if you don’t get to the library that day. Sign up continues all summer, and the program ends August 31. The summer reading program dates are the same at the Grove City, Cosmos, and Dassel libraries.

Local businesses, if you would like to donate small prizes or gift certificates for things children and teens would enjoy as summer reading prizes, we are always happy to receive those. You can call or email me to discuss it. We give out prizes all summer, so there’s plenty of time. We publicly thank the businesses that donate at the end of the summer.

Miss Rachel will be leading a weekly program called Kid Craft Corner every Tuesday from 4-5 p.m. in the library’s meeting room. The first session will be on Tuesday, June 4, and the program will continue through August 13. This program is free to attend and there’s no need to sign up. Children younger than age 8 need to be accompanied by a caregiver.

Story times begin again on Wednesday, June 5, with the half-hour baby and toddler-focused story time at 10:15. On Fridays, the hour-long story time is at 10:00 a.m. and is geared to preschoolers and up, but kids of all ages are welcome at both. Many of this summer’s Friday story times feature special programs that will appeal to elementary school kids as well as preschoolers.

The first of those special programs will be on Friday, June 7, at 10 a.m.  Science Heroes will present “Adventure of the Lost Treasure,” a combination of science and stories. Families are invited to join us on a treasure-hunting adventure deep within the jungle. The audience helps the performer act out the tale, as they use events in the story to explore exciting science concepts such as air pressure, energy transfer, and physical vs. chemical changes. Volunteers from the audience will help conduct the experiments, and the whole audience will get involved in changing variables, making predictions, and comparing results. Science Heroes was so much fun last year that we brought them back for a new program this year. Thank you to the Friends of the Litchfield Library for sponsoring this exciting program! This is free to attend, and no registration is required.

If 2:00 that day works better for your schedule, you can attend the same program at the Grove City Library.

Litchfield Library’s monthly teen program will be held on Saturday, June 8, from 1:30-3:00 p.m. Margaret will lead the kids in a Dungeons & Dragons escape room challenge. There’s no need to sign up for this free program for ages 11-18.

Have you wanted to check out the library’s books on CD or music CDs, but you don’t have a CD player? You can now check out a portable CD player from the library! The library purchased two of them through an accessibility grant from Prairielands Library System. One has adult and child-size headphones in the tote with it, and the other does not work with headphones. Both have radios as well as CD players. Audiobooks make books accessible to people with vision issues, learning disabilities, ADHD, and physical disabilities, as well as adults or children who are learning to read. Search the keyword “boombox” if you want to put a hold on one of these through the online catalog, or just ask at the front desk.

I offer my congratulations and best wishes to Brent, Kay, and the other local newspaper staff who are now serving the community at the “Litchfield Rail” and the “Hutchinson Station.” At the library we plan to subscribe to both. I hope many people will subscribe, so that we can keep local news alive in Litchfield. Thank you to all who play a part in keeping our community connected and informed.

Closed on Memorial Day

Pioneerland libraries will be closed on Monday, May 27, for Memorial Day. Libraries will be open normal hours on Saturday.

UPDATE: Class is full. Call to be added to the waiting list. May Adult Arts & Crafts: Wooden Resin Coaster

UPDATE: Class is full. Call to be added to the waiting list.

The May Adult Arts & Crafts program project will be a resin coaster! The program will be held on Thursday, May 30, at 6:30 p.m. in the meeting room. Note that this is on the 5th Thursday rather than the 4th Thursday as previously planned.

Free to attend and all supplies are provided. Space is limited. Call the library at 320-693-2483 or stop in to register.

Due to the potential for a mess, no children can attend with the adults participating in this program.


Litchfield Library Foundation Bookmark Contest

The Litchfield Library Foundation is holding a contest for kids in grades 5-12 to design a new bookmark for the library! Entry forms are available at the library and at the Litchfield middle and high schools. The 1st place design will be used for the bookmark handed out by the library unit in this year’s Watercade parade and at the library after the parade. The top 3 designs will get a cash prize. All submitted designs will be displayed at the library. Kids, show us your best library, reading, or book-themed design!

Donation Spot for Rotary Shoe Drive

Drop your new or gently used shoes off at the Litchfield Library for the Litchfield Rotary shoe drive, now until June 29th. The donation bin is in the copy room.

Smokey Bear Turns 80

by Miss Rachel

You might remember the Disney film “Bambi” for its heartbreaking family story. But did you know that in 1942, Disney loaned the characters to the Cooperative Forest Fire Prevention program (CFFP) for one year? After that year was up, the CFFP program needed to find a mascot all their own. They came up with the classic Smokey Bear.

This March, we are celebrating Smokey Bear’s 80th birthday at the library. We want to engage our young patrons in reading about wildfire prevention, forests, and natural resource careers, while exploring the local environment.

On March 27th at 4:00pm, Interpretive Naturalist Savannah Stephenson will be at the Litchfield Public Library. Kids of all ages are welcome to come and learn about the difference between controlled burns and wildfires. Additionally, attendees will get the chance to observe different prairie plant roots to see why some plants survive fire better than others.

For the month of March, kids can participate in the Smokey Bear Reading Challenge here at the library. Kids can complete different activities centered around reading and learning about nature to earn points. Once they’ve earned 8 points, they can come in for a prize. Attending storytimes and the event on March 26th are also worth points for the challenge.

We have plenty of books that qualify for the Smokey Bear Reading Challenge. Come take a look at some of our newest additions!

If you’re interested in reading more specifically about wildfires, we have several new books for young readers. “They Hold the Line: Wildfires, Wildlands, and the Firefighters Who Brave Them” by Dan Paley is a nonfiction picture book that informs readers about how firefighters take on the deadly natural disasters. “Wildfire!” by Ashley Wolff is another picture book that shows the hardships that the animals face when fire breaks out on Spruce Mountain. For fans of graphic novels, “Wildfire” by Breena Bard follows the story of young Julianna whose home is destroyed in a wildfire. How can Julianna move on from this devastation?

Young science explorers might be intrigued by the book “Search for a Giant Squid: Pick Your Path” by Amy Seto Forrester. Readers start out by picking their submersible, then their pilot and dive site, and continue on their exciting adventure. Packed with facts and terminology from the field, young readers can learn a lot from this venture.

Not everyone wants to read nonfiction, and for those readers, I suggest “a slightly scientific fairy tale” by Sandra Fay called “The Three Little Tardigrades.” For those who don’t know, tardigrades are more commonly known as moss piglets or water bears. With a Big Hairy Wolf Spider as the villain, this story is somewhat reminiscent of the story of the three little pigs. Perhaps the familiarity and the slightly scientific take may be just right for your next read with your young reader.

Smokey Bear continues to remind us to that “Only you can prevent forest fires.” Come to the library with your young readers throughout March to celebrate his 80th birthday.

“About the Campaign.” Smokey Bear, 4 Aug. 2021,

2024 Book Sale Dates

The Friends of the Litchfield Public Library will hold the 2024 book sales on these dates:

Saturday, March 16, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Saturday, July 13, 10 a.m. to 3 pm. (Watercade book sale)

Saturday, November 16, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Litchfield Library Board meeting dates

The Litchfield Library Board meets on the 4th Tuesday of January, April, July, and October at 5:30 p.m. in the library meeting room. The Litchfield Library Foundation meeting immediately follows.

This board is an advisory board to the city of Litchfield about library facility matters. Members are appointed by city council. Ex-officio members are the head librarian and a city council representative.

Curbside Service

Litchfield Library is not currently putting the curbside sign outside the front doors, but curbside service will be available indefinitely. Call the library when you’re outside, 320-693-2483, if you’d like your materials brought out. Have your library card number ready.
Library staff can hand your bag of library materials to you on the sidewalk or bring it to your vehicle in the parking lot or in front of the library. Let us know where you’d like us to bring it when you call.
Curbside service may be useful if you have mobility issues or a sleeping child in the car, or because of illness. Whatever your reason, feel free to use the service!

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