The library collection is alive with the sound of music

by Beth Cronk, Meeker County Librarian

“Where words fail, music speaks.” Author Hans Christian Andersen is known for writing beloved stories such as The Ugly Duckling and The Little Mermaid, but he also wrote this famous quotation celebrating the power of music.

The Litchfield Library has many music CDs, books about music and musicians, and DVDs featuring music in one way or another. Some new additions to the local collection are available for checkout or to request:

This year’s Grammy Award in the category of Best Roots Gospel Album went to Celebrating Fisk: The 150th Anniversary Album by the Fisk Jubilee Singers. The Fisk Jubilee Singers are an American a cappella ensemble that performs spirituals originally sung by slaves before the Civil War. This album includes favorites such as “Wade in the Water,” “Blessed Assurance” featuring Cece Winans, and “When the Saints Go Marching In.”

Taylor Swift’s album folklore won the Grammy for Album of the Year. This album has proved difficult to categorize, with some calling it alternative music, pop, or folk. I would call it primarily folk music, with her country and pop roots affecting the mature, poetic songs. If you enjoy folk music but think you don’t like Swift based on her earlier songs, I would suggest you give this album a listen; you might be surprised at its complexity.

Morgan Wallen’s Dangerous: The Double Album has been a best-selling album this year. This is the second album for the country singer, and it features duets with Chris Stapleton and Ben Burgess.

All three of these music CDs are available to check out from Litchfield Library.

Filmed stage productions of musicals are only occasionally available to the public, but perhaps the tide is turning with the pandemic shutting down live theatre for so long and with Hamilton leading the way with its filmed version available on Disney Plus. The UK production of 42nd Street is available on DVD to check out from the library. This musical is based on a 1932 novel and a 1933 movie, plus other songs of the ‘30s written by the movie musical’s composers. The original stage show opened in 1980; the filmed production is a revival that opened in 2017.

The book Odetta: A Life in Music and Protest is a biography by Ian Zack. Called “the Voice of the Civil Rights Movement, Odetta was an opera-trained singer who wrote and sang folk songs that inspired protestors and activists, as well as many artists through the decades from the 1960s to the present. The author interviewed Joan Baez, Harry Belafonte, and many other musicians who worked alongside her.

If the Litchfield Community Theatre’s production of The Sound of Music puts you in the mood for more of the musical, you can come to the library for a fix. Litchfield Library has the Julie Andrews movie from 1965, the movie soundtrack on CD, the 2013 television production The Sound of Music: Live!  and the book The Sound of Music Story: How a Beguiling Young Novice, a Handsome Austrian Captain, and Ten Singing von Trapp Children Inspired the Most Beloved Film of All Time by Tom Santopietro.

As Maria sings in the musical, “the hills are alive with the sound of music.” I hope music that you enjoy surrounds you this summer.

Graphic Novels

By Rachelle Golde, Litchfield Children’s Librarian

Summer reading at the Litchfield Public Library has kicked off to a great start. You can still pick up your reading log anytime throughout the summer. All sorts of books are flying of the shelves and into the hands of eager summer readers. The graphic novel is one type of book that has seen a huge growth in popularity across all ages.

Graphic novels and comics have a history of being recognized as less challenging or fluff reading; however, graphic novels are full-length novels with complex plots, characters, and vocabulary, just formatted similarly to that of comic strips. Graphic novels are a great place to start for reluctant readers as the combination of text and images helps the reader to decode and comprehend the story at a higher level than that of text-only novels. This combination of text and high-quality illustrations make graphic novels a high-quality, sought-after reading material for all ages.

Graphic novels help the reader to build reading and comprehension skills like vocabulary, fluency, grammar, figurative language, inferencing, sequencing, and more. The text formatting in graphic novels can vary throughout the story to show emotions, thoughts, and feelings which also directly relate to the images provided on each page; making graphic novels a wonderful resource for building and learning social and emotional skills through the relationships found between the text and images.

Graphic novels can be found in every genre including fiction and nonfiction categories. Classic literature is also being retold through graphic novel formats for children and teens. These graphic novels can introduce classics to children at an earlier age in a format that is more easily understood. It will also help children and teens to relate to the unabridged classic texts when they are ready to tackle them.

The Pioneerland Library System and the Litchfield Public Library have a wide selection of graphic novels for all readers, including popular series titles such as “Dogman” by Dav Pilkey and “Wings of Fire” by Tui Sutherland.  The Litchfield Library orders new upcoming graphic novel titles on a regular basis. Check out the ‘New Books’ shelf in the children’s area to find the newest graphic novels. The Litchfield Library also has a designated section just for children’s and young adult graphic novels located in the children’s area. Some graphic novels that have recently arrived on the ‘New Books’ shelf at the Litchfield library include:

“Blue, Barry & Pancakes” by Dan & Jason- Litchfield has both volumes 1 and 2 of this new graphic novel series recommended for ages 6-8 (volume 3 will be out this fall). Blue, Barry, and Pancakes are the best of friends and often find themselves on wild space adventures.

“Miles Morales Shock Waves: A Spider-Man Graphic Novel” by Justin A. Reynolds. This Spidey-themed novel is recommended for ages 9-11. Can Miles, or uh, Spider-Man, save a new student’s missing father?

“Dragon Hoops” by Gene Luen Yang. This big action, high school basketball story is recommended for teen readers. This year’s epic basketball season is going to change lives including his own.

Until next time, happy reading!

Reading Colors Your World – Summer Reading Program begins June 1

By Rachelle Golde, Litchfield Children’s Librarian

The Litchfield Public Library will have a full summer reading program starting on June 1st. The program will run through the summer and end on August 28th, 2021. This summer’s reading program will be bold, bright and colorful with the theme “Reading Colors Your World”.  The summer reading program will include reading logs to earn prizes, bonus prize drawings, activity packets, take-home kits, digital programs, outdoor small group programs and an outdoor storytime.

  • Storytime will be held outdoors on Friday mornings at 10am starting June 11th through August 20th. There will not be a storytime program on July 2nd in celebration of the Independence Day holiday. Storytime is geared towards preschool and elementary grade levels but is open to all ages.
  • Maker Space for grades 3-5 is where kids will create a hands-on STEAM based project. This will be held on June 16th, July 14th, and August 11th at 1pm. This is an outdoor program and all participants will need to register in advanced with the library in order to attend. There are capacity limits for this program.
  • Australian Music Animals & More is a digital video program for all ages. Learn about Australian culture and animals through this upbeat musical performance. This will be available from July 12th through August 6th. Registration is required for access to the video. More information will be posted on how to register as we get closer to the program date.
  • Aussie Funk Jam Didgeridoo Workshop is a digital video program recommended for ages 10-18. This will be available from July 12th through August 6th. This program will also include a take-home kit with materials to construct your own digeridoo along with the video program. Registration is required for access to the video. More information will be posted on how to register as we get closer to the program date.
  • Take & Make kits for children will be available each month. These kits are geared towards preschool and elementary grades.
  • The library will continue to offer activity packets with a variety of coloring and activity pages throughout the summer months. You can pick one up during your next visit to the library.
  • In the event of bad weather, all outdoor programs will be cancelled. Examples include rain, storms, and excessive heat warnings, etc. Notices will be posted in the event of a cancelation online and at the library.
  • All library take-home kits and activity packets are available while supplies last.
  • Bonus prize drawings will take place at the end of the summer reading program. There are multiple ways to earn entries to your choice of three children’s bonus prize drawings and three teens’ bonus prize drawings. Five names will be drawn for each of the bonus prize choices.

Make sure to visit the Litchfield Public Library’s website https://www.litchfield.lib.mn.us/ for the most up-to-date information regarding programs and activities. You can also call the library at (320) 693-2483.

Until next time, happy reading!

Study rooms available for use

Litchfield Library’s small and large study rooms are available for use. You can reserve them in advance or drop in and see if a room is available. The small study room holds up to 4 people but is more comfortable for 1 or 2 with only a very small table. The large study room holds up to 6 people and has a large conference table.

Magazines and newspapers available for checkout

The Litchfield Library has the following publications available for checkout (2 weeks for magazines, 3 days for newspapers):

American Patchwork & Quilting
Atlantic Monthly
Car and Driver
Consumer Reports
Country Living
Eating Well
Family Handyman
Food Network Magazine
Forbes
Health
HGTV Magazine
Horse Illustrated
House Beautiful
Looney Tunes comics
Martha Stewart Living
Men’s Health
Midwest Living
National Geographic
National Geographic Kids
Northern Gardener
People
People en Espanol
Popular Mechanics
Prevention
Readers Digest
Scientific American
Sports Illustrated
Sports Illustrated Kids
Taste of Home
Time Magazine
St. Cloud Times
Pioneer Press
Star Tribune
West Central Tribune
Hutchinson Leader
Dassel-Cokato Enterprise Dispatch
Eden Valley Voice

Contact the library to request the issues you would like or pick them out at your Library Express appointment. All of these these publications can be checked out to you and delivered curbside.

Openings for Litchfield Library Board Members

Do you love the Litchfield Library and have some time to give back to it? The local library board is looking for a couple of new members. This group is an advisory board to the city of Litchfield on facilities matters for the library: building, grounds, maintenance, furnishings. They meet four times per year at 5:30 p.m. Since the pandemic began, meetings have been virtual and probably will be for a little longer. Most of the members need to live within the city limits of Litchfield, but some can be from elsewhere in Meeker County. If you’d like more information, contact County Librarian Beth at the library. If you’d like to apply, contact city hall.

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