Ransom District Library
Ransom District Library
Ransom District Library

Library News & Events

Library Events
Live Music at the Library
New Genealogy Computer (with webcam!)
Computer Assistance & Classes
Visiting Patron
Michigan Activity Pass

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Adult Reading Contest - Get a Clue at Ransom Library This Winter
February 12 through March 30, 2017

Patrons are invited to unlock the mystery of Ransom District Library this winter by earning their detective badges and gathering clues about all that their local library can offer.

This year's program is designed to keep you thinking all winter long by reading the best in mystery books, participating in weekly games, and ending with an interactive live performance by The Murder Mystery Company on Thursday, March 30 at 7 p.m.

Earn your detective badge by attending two library events, solving one mystery, and reading three mysteries from February 12 to March 30, 2017.  This year's grand prize will be a mystery, but we guarantee you will love it!

Friends for Fines in February

Have an old fine you are worried about paying off?  Recruit a friend, neighbor, or relative to get a library card at Ransom Library in February and we will forgive your outstanding fines!  Simply have your new Ransom recruit share your name when applying for their library card and we will forgive your fines.  The forgiveness program can't be used for future fines or for replacement costs for lost books.  Friends must be new card holders and not getting a replacement card.

Tax Help

The Allegan County United Way and H&R Block will be offering assistance and encouragement in filling our your own taxes through their "My Free Taxes" program.  This free program is intended for people with incomes under $62,000.  Help will be available at Ransom Library on February 22 and March 23 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Library Events

  • Color Me Calm "Adult" Coloring Club
    Release your inner child and join us each month for a coloring get-together.  Coloring is a fun and unique way to unwind and express creativity.  And it can actually lower stress.  All materials will be provided.  Just drop in and join us!
    • Thurs., March 9 at 7 p.m.
  • WhoDunit Murder Mystery Movies
    Join us for a classic murder mystery served up with snacks.
    • Wed., February 15 at 7 p.m. - Rear Window
    • Wed., March 15 at 7 p.m. - The Usual Suspects
  • Getting Your Ducks in a Row with Estate Planning - Thurs., Feb. 16 at 7 p.m.
    Local attorney Susan Prentice-Sao will cover all you need to know about estate planning and why you need to get your ducks in a row.  Registration required.
  • Wii Rooms - Thurs., February 23 at 7 p.m.
    In Rooms: The Main Building players walk into a mystery video game based like none they have ever experienced.  Join us for a mini-tournament.  Space is limited.  Registration required.
  • The Art of Journal Making - Wed., March 1 & 8 at 7 p.m.
    Local crafter Birdie Kimmel will be back in this two part journal making class.  Journals can be turned into an Art Journal, Smash Book, Junk Journal, etc.  Registration required.
  • Classic Clue @ Ransom - Thurs., March 2 at 7 p.m.
    First manufactured in the United Kingdom in 1949, Clue is a murder mystery game for three to six players.  Join us for a fun Clue Tournament.  Space is limited.  Registration required.
  • Virtual Reality Room @ Ransom - Thurs., March 16 at 7 p.m.
    Nova Reality is a virtual reality arcade based in Kalamazoo, Michigan.  Whether you aim to relax in the ocean, take on hordes of zombies, or create artistic masterpieces in three dimensions, Nova VR can provide endless entertainment.  Top end VR is something that must be experienced to be believed and patrons will get that chance on March 16th for free when Nova Virtual Reality brings a mobile room to Ransom Library.  Registration required.  **This program replaces the Escape Room Game.**
  • Blood on the Mitten: Infamous Michigan Murders, 1700s to Present with Author Tom Carr - Thurs., March 23 at 7 p.m.
    This is one gruesome trip.  Award-winning journalist Tom Carr talks about Michigan's most notorious murders from 1763-2016.  Carr's book, Blood on the Mitten, is a collection of some of the most infamous murders in Michigan committed over the last three centuries.  Within its pages, readers will find some of the worst and most vicious people to ever walk on the Wolverine State's sandy soil.
  • Murder Mystery Company - Thurs., March 30 at 6:30 p.m.
    The Murder Mystery Company performs thrilling mysteries across the nation!  Anything can happen during their comedic Clue-style performances, and everyone in attendance will have the opportunity to solve the case.  Join us at Ransom District Library for adult refreshments at 6:30 p.m. followed by the performance at 7 p.m.


Live Music at the Library
Starts Sunday, February 12 at 2 p.m.

Join us this winter for our Sunday afternoon concert series starting on February 12th at 2 p.m. with a kick-off "Island" party featuring Zion Lion and Caribbean themed food and beverages.  All concerts in this series will be on Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m.  Take a look at the great schedule lineup below!

  • May Erlewine -- February 19th
    A contemporary folk singer and songwriter based in Michigan whose pastoral, socially conscious music has won a sizable and growing following throughout the Midwest and beyond.
  • KSO Percussion Duo -- February 26th
    Founded in 1921, the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra is the third largest professional orchestra in Michigan with a $2.5 million operating budget, and is recognized throughout the country as a regional orchestra of excellence.
  • Megan Dooley -- March 5th
    Specializing in torch, swing, blues, folk, and American roots music, her rich, gritty, and powerful vocals weave between punchy rhythm guitar, eloquent banjolele, and a "whistle as pure as birdsong."
  • Bronk Brothers -- March 12
    They describe their live show as a "Rockin' Hillbilly Extravaganza." With over a decade of live performances, the act has shared the stage with more than 80 National touring country artists including Dierks Bentley, Charlie Daniels Band, Jason Aldean, Darius Rucker, and many more.
  • Cello Explosion with David Peshlakai -- March 19th
    David Peshlakai currently is Principal Cellist with the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra.  He is also a member of the Burdick-Thorne String Quartet.

4th Annual Author Fair

Ransom District Library invites local authors and illustrators to attend our fourth annual author fair to be held on Thursday, May 5 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.  Whether you are an avid reader or aspiring writer, the fair provides an excellent opportunity to talk with local writers about their books and purchase signed copies.

This year's keynote speaker will be Kristina Riggle, who lives and writes in West Michigan.  Her debut novel, Real Life & Liars, was a Target "Breakout" pick and a "Great Lakes, Great Reads" selection by the Great Lakes Independent Booksellers Association.

Authors who register by March 3, 2017, will be featured in our next newsletter!  Registration forms may by picked up at the library or printed off our website.

Ransom Library Begins 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!

NEW Computer in the Genealogy Room

Ransom Library has added a new computer that is set up with a webcam in our genealogy room!  This will allow patrons the ability to conduct online job interviews or Skype with friends or family in relative privacy.

On Wednesday mornings, stop by and say hi to our Genealogy and Local History Department!  This is a great opportunity to learn about genealogy from our experts!

Computer Assistance & Classes

BOOK A GEEK! New at Ransom Library!  Book a private tutor for your technology questions!  Need a little help with your laptop or figuring out Excel?  Call the library at 685-8024 to set up a 30-minute session!


Goodreads Class - Sat., Feb. 18 at 2 p.m.
Tap into the world's largest social network for readers with this Goodreads class.

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 2016-17 Michigan Activity Pass includes over 400 parks, cultural attractions, and other venues throughout the lower and upper peninsulas!

The 2016-17 Michigan Activity Pass (MAP) runs from May 24, 2016 through May 23, 2017 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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