Starting this year, Goshen College students have the opportunity to receive a library card from Goshen Public Library. This new partnership aims to provide additional resources on top of the college’s Good Library, which already provides students access to many digital and printed resources. 

Prior to this year, if students wanted to find additional resources that the Good Library did not have access to, they would have to go and search for the resources themselves. This program was set in place to make it easier and less time consuming for students to obtain resources for their course work.

Goshen Public Library offers an additional resource for obtaining materials quickly. They partner with the Elkhart Public Library to do transfers. Essentially, if they do not have a book a student wants at that time, they can have it brought over from the Elkhart branch in a few days. 

There is also a book-hold policy. 

Students can call or go online to reserve a book if they do not have time to search for it. Once it is ready, students will be notified and the book will be marked with the student name and shelved. Services like this come in handy for long essays or research assignments.

Goshen Public Library and Goshen College have additional online information about this program for students who may be unfamiliar with Goshen Public Library or are unsure of how to go about obtaining a student card.

Ann Margaret Rice, the director of Goshen Public Library, weighs in on what this decision-making process looked like and what led the library to pair with Goshen College.

“Fritz Hartman reached out,” Rice says, “and over several months both Goshen Public Library and the Good Library representatives worked together to identify opportunities and solutions for this project.”

It is not unheard of for Goshen Public Library to partner with local schools. It is part of a long-term plan to facilitate community partnerships. Rice notes that there is an ongoing partnership with Bethany Christian and Goshen Community Schools, in which the students are issued e-cards.

“We would like to issue full-access cards whenever possible,” Rice says, “which is partly why the library desired a project like this.”

Eight hundred cards have been issued to Goshen College students, which will work for both digital and in-house items. Students will be responsible for all fines and materials. These cards are renewable annually, and Goshen Public Library is working with the Good Library to do an official campaign roll out.

On top of trying to figure out how many students know about this service, it’s also important to note if the students would even use this service.

“I think it’s really beneficial for students,” said Caleb Shenk, a sophomore library assistant. “I’ve had times where we don’t have books that the students desire, and it’s nice to tell them that there is a library very close that works with an ID they already have.”

To get one of these cards, students must provide their school-issued identification card along with a valid ID, such as a driver’s license, and proof of their home address.