Ransom District Library
Ransom District Library
Ransom District Library

Library Services

Ransom District Library is much more than just a place to check out books!
Just look at the wide range of services we provide!

Join Us
Ransom Library publishes four newsletters a year packed full of library events.
We offer programs for the whole family! Visit these pages for details of our latest events:
- Library News & Events Page (for Adult Programs)
- Kid's Activities Page
- Teen's Activities Page
- Library Calendar (for all events)

Material Checkouts


Fiction, Nonfiction, Biographies, Graphic Novels, Large Print Books, Audiobooks, Readalongs, DVDs, Music CDs, and Magazines for Adults, Young Adults, Tweens, and Children.

 Online Access to Your Library Account and Online Catalog

Access your online library account by scrolling over "Library Catalog," then click "My Account." Just enter your library card number for your username and password. Once into your account, you may view your checked out materials and renew materials.

You may also reserve materials online. Just search our catalog, locate the item and enter your library barcode number for your username and password. This can also be done through our Catalog Computers in the library!

Order on MEL? Review your MEL Account and renew items! Go to www.mel.org, click MyMel to log in. Or go to MyMel directly to check for due dates, renew your MEL materials, and see the status of your requests. Just select your library (Ransom District Library) from the drop down list and login with your name and library card number.

Public Use Computers

Library has 13 desktop computers and 2 children's computers available for public use. The desktop computers have internet access, a CD drive, printing ability, and Microsoft Office applications. (Word, Excel, Access, PowerPoint, Publisher)

Computers are available on a first come, first served basis. A library card is needed to access the computers. Guest passes are available for library visitors. Children under age 18 need internet permission slips signed by a parent or guardian to gain access to the desktop computers.

Printing is available for $0.10/page (black and white) or $1.00/page (color).

Burchfield Meeting Room

The Library has a meeting room available for reservation. The room is available to non-profit organizations only. There is no charge for meeting room use. Please check our calendar for dates and times that already have the Burchfield Room reserved. If you would like to reserve the room, please call the Library or use the online Meeting Room Reservation Form.

Genealogy Room and Department

We have a Genealogy Room available for small meetings, studying, and research.  It offers a table with four chairs - the perfect size for just a few people.  Lining the walls is a shelving unit containing all of our genealogy resources such as books and family histories.  Our materials complement our subscription to Ancestry.com Library Edition and offer a quiet and private place to do your studying or research.  If you would like to reserve this room, give us a call or use the Meeting Room Reservation Form and make sure to specify that you are interested in the Genealogy Room rather than the Burchfield Room.

Copy, Fax, and Scan

The library has one copy machine for public use. The machine will make color or black and white copies. It also has a built-in scanner. Color copies are $1.00 per page; black and white copies on 8 1/2 by 11 inch paper and 8 1/2 by 14 inch paper are $0.10 per page. Black and white copies on 11 by 17 inch paper are $0.25 per page.

Patrons may send and receive faxes from the Library's fax machine. The fee is $1.00/page for faxes sent and received anywhere in the United States.

Laminating is also available for $1.00/page.

Wireless Internet

Library also offers wireless Internet access throughout the building. There is no charge to use the wireless network and no password is needed./

eBooks & Audiobooks

Log in and check out items today!

Log in today by selecting Ransom District Library and using your library card number. You may begin browsing materials immediately. Please note that an email address will be required to download the software for accessing items and to place holds on checked out items.

New Book Alerts is a free online service that showcases the newest titles purchased by your local library. You can select to receive alerts via email and/or RSS feeds. If you see a new title that you are interested in, just click "borrow" to place a hold on the item right away.

Click here to see the New Book Alerts Page!

Rocket Languages

Rocket Languages is an award winning interactive online language learning system. You can download or stream over 62 hours of interactive instruction in Spanish, Arabic, French, German, Mandarin Chinese, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Korean, and American Sign Language.

Rocket Language...is your ticket to:
- Speaking with a perfect accent!
- Understanding when spoken to
- Cutting learning time up to 50%
- and having FUN while doing it!

Click here and Sign up today!

More About Rocket Languages for Libraries:

Our extensive range of products allows you to learn a language on your own terms and in your own time. With our comprehensive multi-media packages you will be speaking and improving your language skills with every lesson by taking part in the modern, everyday conversations that make up our Interactive Audio Course. In addition, you will learn to speak the language naturally with our language and culture lessons and you can also build on your vocabulary and improve your audio recognition of common words and phrases (and have fun at the same time) with our popular MegaGames range.   

MEL - Michigan Electronic Library (Interlibrary Loan Service)

Access to materials all over the state!

Through the MEL patrons can request materials that are not available at Ransom from other libraries. MEL allows patrons access to 170+ statewide libraries with access to millions of books, CDs, DVDs and other materials. Once ordered, patrons pick up and return those items at Ransom. If you are unable to locate the title you need or do not have access to a computer, our staff can order them for you. In the case of newly released titles, we may be able to purchase the title to add to the Library's collection.

Visit www.mel.org today and browse MelCat.

Reciprocating Libraries

Reciprocal borrowing agreements between libraries allow patrons from one library to obtain a library card from another library. You must present both the library card from your home library and your Michigan driver's license when you register for a library card.

Ransom Library has a borrowing agreement with:

Visiting Patron for Residents & Nonresidents of Ransom Library

Why Visiting Patron?

Libraries that participate in the Visiting Patron program provide borrowing privileges to other libraries’ patrons without requiring reciprocal borrowing agreements or fees. VP is similar to MeLCat borrowing but it bypasses the shipping as it allows for the immediate pickup of materials. VP replaces the Michicard program.

Visiting Patron has many conveniences:

  • Quick checkout—your home library card is already in the statewide system.
  • Using Visiting Patron will reduce the number of (library) cards in your wallet.
  • Visiting Patron provides immediate pickup on borrowed items.
  • Convenient returns—your home library will ship materials back to the lending library for free.
  • Late fines are assessed by your home library. No owing fines in multiple places.
  • Items show up in your MyMEL and you can renew in MyMEL.

How to Use Visiting Patron:
Take your ID and Ransom Library card to any participating Visiting Patron library and check out their materials directly! (Tip: Be sure your fines are below $10 and your account is not expired before you go!)

VP applies to the following residents of the Ransom Library district: City of Plainwell, Gun Plain Township, Portion of Cooper Township in Plainwell, Otsego, and Gull Lake School Districts, and all other Plainwell Schools Students.

Refer to the http://elibrary.mel.org/screens/participating.html for libraries where you can be a VP!

Nonresidents with the following local Home Libraries may use their library card at Ransom as a Visiting Patron: Allegan Library, Henika (Wayland) Library, J.C. Wheeler (Martin) Library. If your home library is not on this list please refer to: http://elibrary.mel.org/screens/participating.html

Non-Participating Local Libraries: Otsego, Parchment, Portage, Kalamazoo, Delton, Richland. If one of these is your home library, ask the staff to consider participating.

Newspapers, Microfilm, and the Sandy Stamm Archives Room

The Ransom District Library has newspapers, microfilm, and archived material available. These materials may not be checked out. Ransom holds the two most current months of most newspapers. For access and details about our microfilm and the material in the Sandy Stamm Archives Room, please contact us.

Local Historic Papers are now available electronically!

The electronic format, consisting of PDF files, is available on all patron computers.  (Not available online.) The electronic papers are searchable (such a wonderful, time-saving feature!!) and can be printed. Currently, they include The Forwarder (1948-1949), The New Enterprise (1971), The Otsego Union (1970-2011), and The Plainwell Enterprise (1886-1974), The [Plainwell-Otsego] Union Enterprise (1974-2011).

Book Sale Materials

The Book Sale Shelves (behind the coffee counter) hold our best sale materials and are regularly restocked with the finest selection. Find books for all ages and of all types: fiction and nonfiction, hard cover and paperback. There is also a rack of movies and audiobooks for sale. These items are available for browsing and purchasing everyday during library hours!

Exam Proctoring

The Library is happy to proctor exams for patrons involved in distance-learning programs. Please contact the Library about having your exam proctored before making arrangements with your school.


The library offers Public Notary Service. The service is provide for free. Please call in advance to ensure availability.

Stay Updated with Ransom District Library's Facebook Page

Adding Ransom District Library to your Facebook Page is just another way to get all the information you could ever need about what's happening at the library!

Get reminders about upcoming events via our status updates and more!

To add Ransom District Library to your Facebook Newsfeed just search for our page! Go to: www.facebook.com, login under your account, and search pages for Ransom District Library.

Click here to see Ransom District Library's Facebook Page.

Stay Updated with Ransom District Library's Twitter Page

Follow Ransom District Library's tweets on our Twitter page - just another way to stay connected with what's happening at the library! Tweets contain the same information as our Facebook status updates about events and services. Tweets also are always referring back to our webpage where you can find full details.

Visit Ransom District Library on Twitter today!

Email Notices


By sending us your e-mail address we can quickly alert you to reserves, MEL books, new titles you may be interested in checking out or even library programs you may want to attend along with reminders of when your items are due and overdue notices. Add your email address to your child's account to get their overdue notices!  Just enter your child's name and/or library account number, your email, and the comment: "Add my email to my child's account!"

Still not sure about sharing your e-mail?

Remember library records are considered private and confidential. Ransom will not sell, lease, or otherwise distribute or disclose your e-mail address for non-library purposes to outside parties unless required court order.

To add your email address to your account just click on Contact Us ; fill in your e-mail address and in the comments area put "add my e-mail address."


The Library has a coffee machine for patron use, featuring a variety of delicious Green Mountain Coffee Roasters flavors.

Coffee is $1.00/cup and can be enjoyed anywhere in the Library except at the computer stations.

Contact us for more details on any and all of these services!


Sign Up for Email Services

Ransom only emails you once a month or as needed for the following reasons:

  • Reserve Notices - (As Needed)
  • Interlibrary loan (MEL) - (As Needed)
  • Item Due Notices - (As Needed)
  • Overdue Notices - (As Needed)
  • Ransom eNewsletters - (As Needed)
  • New Book Alerts - (Once a Month)

Sign up your email to your account and/or your child's account today!

Login to Your
Ransom Account








Ransom District Library - 180 S. Sherwood Ave. - Plainwell, Michigan 49080
Phone: 269-685-8024 - Hours: Mon-Thurs: 10-9 - Fri & Sat: 10-5 - Sun: 1-5

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