Ransom District Library
Ransom District Library
Ransom District Library

Library News & Events

Library Events
Computer Assistance & Classes
Visiting Patron
Michigan Activity Pass

(Bring Your Own Book)

The BYOB Club is a book club with a twist: here you talk about a variety of books, make new friends, eat food, and, best of all, take home new books to read!  Instead of everyone in the group reading one assigned title, every member comes to the meeting with a different title.  The book can be one you have already read and loved, one you've just completed, or just a title you're interested in and is getting a lot of buzz.  There is no attendance and no required types of books.  Anyone can come to any meeting they are available for and bring any type of book to the table!

Upcoming dates:
Wednesday, April 25 | 7 p.m.
Wednesday, May 23 | 7 p.m.
Wednesday, June 27 | 7 p.m.

Library Events

  • Spring Wild Herbs for Wellness with Author Lisa Rose
    Thursday, April 19 | 7 p.m.

    Herbalist, forager and author Lisa Rose will take patrons on a journey to learn about wild plants that can be used for food and herbal medicine.  Come away with tips on how to locate and eat plants like garlic mustard, white pine needles, stinging nettles, dandelion and violet leaves.  Learn how these herbs and wild foods can combat spring colds, allergies, stagnant digestion, and support the body's transition through spring.
  • Education Seminar on Hearing & the Brain with Laurie Bennett
    Wednesday, April 25 | 1 p.m.

    Local audiologist, Laurie Bennett, of Beltone Hearing Center here in Plainwell will lead this education seminar at the library.  A number of recent studies have now shed new light about how hearing is of vital importance to memory, balance, emotional well-being and overall quality of life.  Learn about the importance of good hearing and ways to optimize listening.
  • Take a Hike with author Tom Funke
    Thursday, April 26 | 7 p.m.

    Meet uber-hiker Tom Funke, author of 50 Hikes in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, as he shares stories and hiking tips about places he's visited.  Released in 2008, this book also inspired him to start his first business, the Tahqua Trekker, a hiker shuttle service in Tahquamenon Falls State Park.  Today, Trailspotters of Michigan is the parent company for his outfitting business, which now serves the eastern half of the Upper Peninsula and Western Michigan.
  • Seed Exchange and Container Gardening
    Monday, April 30 | 7 p.m.

    Planting season is almost here!  Do you have extra seeds to share or need seeds?  Make plans to join us for a spring seed exchange and container gardening program.  Ransom District Library has had a seed library available to our patrons since 2016.  A seed library is a self-perpetuating collection of heirloom seeds.  Donations of saved seeds are needed to support our library.  The more seeds in the library, the more others can experience growing their own food.  Seeds will be accepted if they are non-hybrid and non-Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) seeds.  Mary Colborn, a certified educator, writer community activist and organic farmer will be assisting patrons with starting a container garden and answering patron's gardening questions.
  • Images of America: Mackinac Bridge with Author Mike Fornes
    Tuesday, May 8 | 7 p.m.

    Join us for an entertaining , informative presentation about Michigan's iconic five mile span that has seen historic, tragic, and hilarious events.  Since construction began in 1954, the Mackinac Bridge has withstood gale force winds, the pressure of crushing ice flows and blinding snowstorms.  Since opening in 1957, it has been struck by lightning and hit by an airplane and a ship yet still stand as perhaps the safest five miles of I-75.  Author Mike Fornes will be leading this trip through the bridge's history.  Mike has covered the Mackinac Bridge for 26 years for several media outlets in Northern Michigan, including radio and television stations and the Cheboygan Daily Tribune.  He is the author of Mackinac Bridge - A 50 Year Chronicle 1957-2007, USCGC Mackinaw WAGB 83 - An Illustrated History of a Great Lakes Queen, Mackinac Bridge and USCGC Mackinaw (WLBB-30).
  • Powerful Tools for Caregivers
    Thursdays from May 10 to June 14 | 1 to 2:30 p.m.

    Powerful Tools for Caregivers is an educational program designed to help family caregivers take care of themselves while caring for a relative or friend.  You will benefit from this class whether you are helping a parent, spouse, friend, someone who lives at home, in a nursing home or across the country.  Registration required.
  • Author Bonnie Jo Campbell
    Thursday, May 17 | 7 p.m.

    National Book Award Finalist, Kalamazoo area resident, and local treasure Bonnie Jo Campbell will visit the library to read and discuss her work.  The Guardian recently named Bonnie Jo as one of the world's foremost writers of "rural noire", and she has won a Pushcart Prize, the AWP Award for Short Fiction, and the 2008 Eudora Welty Prize.  Her novel, Once Upon a River, which details 16-year-old Margo Crane's life-defining odyssey through rural Michigan on the Kalamazoo River, is currently being made into a movie.  Bonnie Jo's stories and novels focus on people -- especially women -- in Michigan's rural communities as they try to navigate their lives and various changes in the modern landscape.  Other work includes the novel Q Road, and short story collections American Salvage, Women and Other Animals, and the recent Mothers, Tell Your Daughters.  Please join us for a special chance to visit with this celebrated writer and fellow child of the Kalamazoo River.
  • Make & Take Jewelry with Barb Stewart
    Thursday, June 7 | 7 p.m.

    Local crafter and jewelry designer Barb Stewart will teach patrons how to make a fantastic piece of jewelry in this free class.  Barb is owner and designer of the jewelry line Stoney Creek Arts.  She also dabbles in paper crafts such as bead making and other paper-oriented skills.  Please pre-register.
  • Antique Road Show Ransom Style
    Saturday, June 9 | 10 a.m. to noon

    The real Antiques Road Show will be in Rochester in June but Ransom is inviting patrons to dig out their hidden treasures and bring them in to the library for our version of the show.  This fun-filled event will feature appraisals by local antique appraisers and light refreshments.  Tickets are $5 and include having two items appraised.  No weapons, please and carry-in only.  Observers without items do not need a ticket.  Appraisals are verbal, non-binding opinions of value.  Patrons are asked to pre-register.

Ransom Library Seed Exchange

A seed exchange is a self-perpetuating collection of heirloom seeds.  Donations of saved seeds are needed to start our library.  The more seeds in the library, the more others can experience growing their own food.  Seeds will be accepted if they are properly dried and identified.  If donating commercial seeds, please be sure that the seeds are non-hybrid and non-Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) seeds.

The seed library has officially launched!  Please stop by the circulation desk and ask us about it!

Computer Assistance & Genealogy Help

BOOK A GEEK! New at Ransom Library!  Book a private tutor for your technology questions!  Need a little help with your laptop, figuring out Excel, or downloading digital books?  Call the library at 685-8024 to set up a 30-minute session or you can book an appointment using the link below!

If you have local history questions, stop by on Wednesday mornings between 10 a.m. and about 2 p.m. and talk to our local history volunteers.  Not free during this time?  You can schedule a 60-minute session at the link below to get some one-on-one help with your family history.  These appointments are specifically for genealogy research only.

Book an appointment with Ransom District Library using SetMore  

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.

Michigan Activity Pass

Looking for a fun, educational or outdoor experience for the family this summer?  Want to save some money?  The 2017-18 Michigan Activity Pass includes over 400 parks, cultural attractions, and other venues throughout the lower and upper peninsulas!

The 2017-18 Michigan Activity Pass (MAP) runs from May 24, 2017 through May 23, 2018 and will enable library cardholders to print a pass to hundreds of Michigan's state parks, historic sites, cultural attractions, campgrounds, and recreation areas throughout the lower and upper peninsulas.  Passes can be checked out online at the Michigan Activity Pass website listed below from either at home or the library.  Michigan State Park passes (previously offered through MI Big Green Gym program) are offered at no cost and are good for a one-time entry.  There will be five passes available per attraction per library each week.  Library patrons must print out their pass, which are good for seven days.

MAP Link for Passes: michiganactivitypass.info


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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)

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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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