The North Dakota Parks and Recreation Department (NDPRD) in association with the State Library held an event on Wednesday, Oct. 16, at 1:30 p.m. at the Bismarck Public Library to announce the expansion of the Library Loan Program, allowing library patrons to “check out” a pass providing entrance to any State Park, effectively waiving the $5 daily pass fee.
“This is part of our continuing mission to introduce people outdoors and enjoy North Dakota State Parks,” said NDPRD Director Mark Zimmerman. “There is so much to see and do at the state parks and the ‘park pass’ makes it easier for everyone to get out and visit some of North Dakota’s best places.”
The Library Loan program was first instituted in May of 2011, involving the 11 public libraries belonging to the Central Dakota Library Network (CDLN). The passes were a hit among CDLN patrons and the decision was made to offer it statewide starting this fall. Nearly 90 North Dakota public libraries will have the park pass available for loan. The pass is good for seven days. Any additional charges, such as camping and rentals, are not included in the pass and are the responsibility of the pass holder.
In 2012, libraries in the CDLN circulated the passes 137 times and in 2013, through September, the passes have been checked out 215 times. The Bismarck Public Library also checks out fishing poles with tackle boxes and life jackets for kids, which is a great “check-out package” for its outdoor enthusiasts. The expanded program will distribute 252 passes to 87 public libraries in North Dakota.
There is a limit of one pass per household and they can only be checked out by cardholders age 18 and older and in good standing with the library. The passes can be renewed after seven days if there is no one on a waiting list to use the pass. To check out a pass a library card must be presented. After seven days passes are to be returned to the library circulation desk from where it was borrowed.
Information on North Dakota Parks and Recreation can be found online at www.parkrec.nd.gov.