Ransom District Library
Ransom District Library
Ransom District Library

Library News & Events

Computer Assistance
Computer Classes
Visiting Patron
Michigan Activity Pass

Adult Reading Contest

Become a Ransom Reviewer in this year's adult reading contest!  It is simple: take any book, read it, review it and return it to be entered into a weekly drawing for great prizes like Amazon gift cards, books, and more! Patron favorites will be on display to make picking out a great book even easier this winter.  The contest will run from February 6 through March 21, 2020.

Live Music at the Library
Join us this winter for our free Sunday afternoon concert series. All concerts begin at 2 p.m.

Zion Lion "Island Party"
February 23
Ransom Library welcomes Zion Lion back for one final island party in the "Burchfield Building." The members are a combination of several bands from the Kalamazoo area  who have created what they believe to be the right mix of reggae, African zouk, mucosa, zoukous, and some Afro-Latin influence make up the body of their work.

Dave Sharp Worlds Quartet
March 1
Bassist, composer, and bandleader Dave Sharp explores music traditions from Turkey, Egypt, Ukraine, India, Armenia, Bulgaria, and Greece. Accompanying Dave on bass is Igor Houwat on oud, Henrik Karapetyan on violin, and Carolyn Koebel on percussion.

Susie Parr Trio
March 8
Breathtaking and mesmerizing Susie Parr is a spellbinding performer with a powerhouse voice. Bandmates John Campos (mandolin, violin) and Jay Gavan (guitar) are veterans of  some of the Michigan music scene's favorite bands. Together they take you on a musical journey including swing tunes, heartbreaking songs from Mexico, French love songs, Gypsy jazz tunes, and their own originals.

May Erlewine
March 15
May plays guitar, fiddle, viola, piano, and a few other instruments, but mostly she sings. What is perhaps most remarkable is May's songwriting ability. Although she is a wonderful singer and her voice is instantly recognizable, it is the songs that she writes that are really turning heads. May's songs are sung (and recorded) by other artists, both great and small.

Library Events

Guitar Club: Brown Eyed Girl Edition | Tuesdays, 4 p.m.
Join our director Joe Gross for a weekly free guitar lesson that will focus on Van Morrison's classic hit, Brown Eyed Girl. That one much-loved song offers a skill set that can be transferred to a very wide range of other songs and styles, and can be taught in varying levels of difficulty. Each week, class will begin with a 15-20 minute basic beginner note reading lesson, followed by working on Brown Eyed Girl. Participants who would only like to take the beginner note reading portion of the lesson are welcome to leave the more advanced session to another time. Arrival before 4 p.m. start time is suggested for help with tuning and other guitar questions. Recommended for ages nine to ninety-nine. Please call the library at (269) 685-8024 to register.

Antique Bottle Collecting | Presented by Al Holden
Thursday, January 30 at 7 p.m.
Learn how to identify which old bottles are valuable and which bottles make good targets in this free class taught by Al Holden of the Kalamazoo Antique Bottle Club. Have a treasure you'd like to share? Bring it along.

February Library Date Night: Valentine Challenge
Love is in the air and what better place to celebrate it than at your local library! This February we are inviting couples to take on the Great Library Hunt or, for the more adventurous pair, the Library Double Dog Dare challenge.  It's simple: pick up your task sheet, complete the tasks together during a library visit and return to the front desk to be in on a drawing for dinner at Four Roses Café and movie at M89 Theatre.  EVERYONE over 18 is welcome to participate. Whether you are best friends, teen sweethearts, or married old farts, come make Ransom the perfect date night.

Valentine Cookie Decorating Class | Presented by Lisa Tyson
Thursday, February 6 at 7 p.m.
Did someone say cookies? Yes we did! Just in time for upcoming Valentine class parties, patrons will learn how to use frosting to make a plain cookie look amazing. Space is limited. Registration is required for this free class. Please call (269) 685-8024 to sign up.

A Journey of Faith: Hiking the Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine
Thursday, February 20 at 7 p.m.
Are there things on your bucket list of life that you have let go and think you cannot accomplish? Do you think you are too young, too old, or do not have the skill and abilities? At 50, Mark Rich did! We all have doubts and fears.... Come for a night of stories of the journey and inspiring pictures of the natural beauty and life lessons learned on the Appalachian Trail.

Ransom District Library Building History | Presented by Sandy Stamm
Thursday, March 5 at 7 p.m.
Local history expert and library volunteer Sandy Stamm will share the history of our current building as our new building is built out front. Patrons are invited to bring photographs of past library events they attended to share.

What the Eyes Don't See Book Discussion
Wednesday, March 11 at 7 p.m.
Join us as we discuss Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha's riveting account of her discovery that Flint's children were being poisoned by lead leaching into the city's drinking water. The book is Michigan Humanities' Council choice for the 2019-20 Great Michigan Read, which aims to connect Michigan residents by deepening readers' understanding of our state, our society, and our humanity. Copies of the book are available at the circulation desk.

Trivia Night @ Ransom Library | Hosted by Jeff Marsh
Thursday, March 19 at 7 p.m.
So you think you are smart? Find out in Trivia Night at Ransom Library! Test your  knowledge of obscure, random, and (often) useless facts in the only trivia quiz in town that's researched by nerdy librarians. Play individually, form a team here, or bring a team of up to six participants. The winning team will be honored with the  Ransom Crown. We will provide snacks. Please call the library at (269) 685-8024 to register.

Peer Prevention Players Comedy Show
Thursday, March 26 at 2 p.m.
Performers will promote healthy aging using humorous skits, poems, and songs that encourage laughter and enjoyment about growing older. Please call the library at (269) 685-8024.

Computer Classes | Presented by Kris Hayes

Cloud Computing
Wednesday, February 6 at 7 p.m.
Heard about the "Cloud" but don't have a clue what that means or how to get started? Well, you're in luck! We will teach you everything you need to know.

Stump the Computer Geek: Q&A
Wednesday, March 4 at 7 p.m.
Have a computer question or problem that you can't solve? Stop in and challenge our computer technology expert to get your answer.

Senior Fitness Classes

A Matter of Balance Class | Presented by Christian Neighbors
Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1:30-3:30 p.m. starting January 21st and ending February 13th
Many older adults have concerns about falling and restrict their activities.  A Matter of Balance is an award-winning program designed to manage fears about falling and increase seniors' activity levels.

Registration is required for this four week class. Please call the library at (269) 685-8024 or Christian Neighbors at (269) 685-4166 ext. 103 to sign up.

LIVING WELL: Gentle Fitness | Presented by Sharrin Schultz
Wednesdays from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. | February 26th, March 4th, and March 11th
Taught by ACE Certified Group Fitness Instructor and Senior Fitness Specialist Sharrin Schultz, this chair-based fitness class will help improve balance, stability, strength, cardio health and flexibility. This class is for you if you feel unstable while standing to exercise, you have chronic illness or balance issues, you are recovering from injury or surgery, or you just want a kinder and gentler exercise experience. Please call the library at (269) 685-8024 to 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 or looking for information beyond Plainwell?  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


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!

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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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