Curbside Service

Litchfield Library is not currently putting the curbside table outside the front doors, but curbside service will be available indefinitely. Call the library at the number on the sign, 320-693-2483, if you’d like your materials brought outside. 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.

Literary Fiction at the Library

by Beth Cronk, Meeker County Librarian

Winter has been overstaying its welcome this year. While you wait for better weather, pick up a new book or two that feature top-notch writing. All of the following novels are newly available at the Litchfield Library:

Disorientation is Elaine Hsieh Chou’s debut novel. A Taiwanese American like the author, the novel’s main character is PhD student Ingrid Yang, who is struggling to complete her dissertation on a Chinese poet. She discovers a cryptic note in the archives, leading her to try to solve a mystery that makes her question everything about her life. The book is described as a sharply observant, hilarious campus satire.

Chorus is a novel about a dysfunctional family by Rebecca Kauffman. The seven siblings in the Shaw family each share their memories surrounding their mother’s mysterious death and one sister’s teenage pregnancy, looking back on the first half of the twentieth century as adults in the 1950s. Complex and hopeful, this novel is written like a collection of related short stories, and it has been compared to the work of Alice Munro and Elizabeth Strout.

 

The Cartographers is a work of magical realism by Peng Shepherd. This novel is described as a fantastical thriller that could appeal to fans of Ray Bradbury, Erin Morgenstern, or Dan Brown. A legendary cartographer is found dead in his office at the New York Public Library, with a strange map hidden in his desk. His daughter, also a cartographer, has been estranged from him because of that map, and she discovers that a mysterious map collector has been hunting down every copy of it in existence.

Tove Ditlevsen was one of Denmark’s most prominent authors. Her writings only began to be widely available in English a few years ago, even though she died in 1976. The Trouble with Happiness: And Other Stories is a collection of her short stories that were written in the 1950s and ‘60s but only published in English for the first time this month. Her writing is described as spare, subtle, bleak, and brilliant.

Nobody’s Magic is a coming-of-age novel in three parts by Destiny O. Birdsong. Each story is about a different Black woman with albinism in Shreveport, Louisiana. One is a pampered young woman whose family has sheltered her from the outside world until she begins a romance with a mechanic. The second lives and works in a motel, shutting herself away from the media and her family after her mother is murdered. The third lives and works far from home, and she attracts a man who thinks she is somehow magical and wants her to become his wife and the stepmother of his child. With themes of grief, self-discovery, and family, this novel has been widely praised for its vivid, realistic characters.

Other recent additions to the Litchfield collection have also gotten praise from book reviewers for sophisticated writing. They include the coming-of-age allegory The Boy with a Bird in His Chest by Emme Lund; Wildcat, a funny and touching novel about motherhood and female friendship by debut author Amelia Morris; and To Paradise, the bestselling novel by Hanya Yanagihara, which is set in three time periods in an alternate America: 1893, 1993, and 2093.

Author Jeanette Winterson said, “Books and doors are the same thing. You open them, and you go through into another world.”  You can find many doorways into lives and worlds like and unlike your own on the shelves of the library.

FAQ

by Beth Cronk

Just for fun, I’m going to approach my blog post a little differently this week. Here are some useful facts about the library in a Frequently Asked Questions format. I hope you learn a little something you didn’t know before!

How much does it cost to get a library card?
A library card is free! It’s part of the public services available to you as a resident of Minnesota. Once you have a library card, it’s also free to check out anything in the library collection, both ebooks and physical items. If you had a library card and it’s lost, there is a $3 charge for a replacement card.

How many books are in the Litchfield Public Library?
The library has about 44,000 books. It also has about 2,300 DVDs and about 1,200 CDs.

What if I want to check out a book or DVD that the Litchfield Library doesn’t have?
You can request things from other libraries in the Pioneerland Library System, which has a collection of about 620,000 physical items. If Pioneerland doesn’t have something, you can often request it from another library in Minnesota, using the MNLINK catalog. You can search both the Pioneerland and MNLINK catalogs online and request things yourself, or library staff can help you and place those requests.

Does it cost money to order things from other libraries?
No, the service is free to you as part of the interlibrary loan network in place in Minnesota. Our state is outstanding at providing access to library materials! Litchfield Library gets two deliveries of those interlibrary loan materials each week.

How long can I keep a book?
Most books are loaned for four weeks. Some bestsellers are limited to just two weeks while they’re new; you’ll recognize these by the sticker on the spine that says “14 day loan.”

How long can I keep a DVD I’ve checked out?
DVDs are now loaned for two weeks.

Can I check out magazines?

Yes, magazines can be checked out for two weeks.

A book I checked out had a due date coming up soon, but now I found out that it’s not really due for a few more weeks. What happened?

Automatic renewals! This is a brand-new service our library system is offering. If no one has a hold on an item that you have checked out, and you haven’t renewed it before, the library’s computer system will automatically renew it for you once, three days before its due date. If you are signed up for email updates about your account, you’ll be notified by email when those renewals happen and when you have items that will be due soon.

I’m late returning a library item. How much will I be charged?

There is a charge of ten cents per day for late items, although there is a three-day grace period before those start being charged. Materials for children and teens no longer have late fees. If your item is a month overdue, you’ll get a bill for the replacement of that item. If that happens, once you return the item the charge will drop to a $3 late fee (or to $0 for materials from the kids’ section). If an item is damaged or lost, talk to library staff about how you can resolve that charge.

Can I use my library card in other libraries?

Yes, you can. Your Pioneerland library card will work in all libraries in the system. Our system stretches from Graceville to Glencoe and from Canby to Dassel. If you want to use a different library system in Minnesota, you can do that, too. Bring your card to them, and they will help you register as a reciprocal borrower in their system.

If you have more questions, stop in or call the library, and we’ll be happy to answer them.

Discovery Boxes

March 16, 2022

By Rachelle Golde, Children’s Librarian

The Southwest Initiative Foundation (SWIF) recently awarded grant funding to the Litchfield Public Library. SWIF is a nonprofit organization that represents eighteen counties in Southwest Minnesota, working to create a better Minnesota through a variety of projects including the Grow Our Own grant. The Grow Our Own grant has made it possible for the Litchfield library to create ten educational kits for children and families to check out. The Litchfield library is very excited to share these kits with our library families and community. The kits are full of hands on, interactive materials and books to help children learn through play and exploration. These educational kits have been named Discovery Boxes and include five early childhood concepts and five STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) concepts.

The early childhood Discovery Boxes include:

  1. Rhyme & Rhythm: This box includes child-safe percussion instruments such as wooden egg shakers and a tambourine, three DVDs that feature preschool songs and rhymes, and three books about rhyming.
  2. Letters: This box includes a wooden alphabet puzzle, foam letters, sandpaper letter cards, two DVDs about letter sounds and the alphabet, and two alphabet books. The sandpaper cards are a great way to include sensory experiences with learning the look and shape of a letter or number.
  3. Numbers: This box includes a wooden number puzzle, foam numbers, two counting books, a set of sandpaper number cards, jumbo counting and sorting bears with cups, and a DVD about colors, shapes and counting. The jumbo counting bears and cups can also be used to teach counting, colors, patterns, and sorting.
  4. Money: This box includes materials to help children learn how to count money. A wooden toy register, play money, flash cards and two books are included. This kit includes a variety of play money. The smaller coins can be left out of reach of a younger child while the rest of the materials are explored.
  5. My Community: This box includes a wooden play city, a large set of wooden people, and a set of community helpers paperback books. Create towns and families, and learn about people and community helpers through play.

The STEAM Discovery Boxes include:

  1. Astronomy: This box includes a child-friendly telescope, a star map, a wooden solar system model and books about exploring and understanding space.
  2. Microscope: This box includes a microscope, a large set of prepared slides and books about the microscopic world.
  3. Magnets: This box includes a magnetic robot building kit, a set of magnetic blocks, and a set of magnet movers to help your child explore the concepts of magnetism. This box also includes two books about magnetism.
  4. Fossils: This box includes a fossil collection with twenty different fossils, ID cards, a time-period scale, two books about fossils and six insects in amber.
  5. Gravity: This box includes a marble run set and two books about gravity.

The Discovery Boxes will be available for families to check out from the Litchfield library soon. Contact the library for more information about the new Discovery Boxes, as well as other kit options available at the Litchfield Public Library. Until next time, happy reading!

Fine-Free Youth Materials

We are very excited to announce that juvenile materials in Pioneerland Library System will no longer accrue late fees! This includes books, CDs, and DVDs with call numbers beginning with J, E, B, and YA.

Announcing TumbleBooks!

We are so excited to announce that Pioneerland Library System has a subscription to TumbleBooks!

https://www.tumblebooklibrary.com/Home.aspx?categoryID=77

Our library has a subscription to TumbleBookLibrary, and your family can access it from home! It’s unlimited, and it’s FREE for you to use.

TumbleBookLibrary is an online collection of e-books for children.  They are a great way to encourage tech-savvy kids to enjoy reading!

There are over 250 animated, talking picture books. The site also features Spanish and French books, read-along chapter books, non-fiction books, and exciting games and puzzles.

We hope that you will get the chance to check out the collections with your child!

You can use your computer, tablet, or mobile phone. All you need is an internet connection. There are no downloads: books are streamed right to your device at the click of a button.

Happy Tumbling, everyone!

 

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.

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