The benefits of a library card keep growing at the Utica library

By: Kara Szymanski | Shelby - Utica News | Published October 1, 2018

 Besides checking out books and other media, Utica Public Library cardholders can save money at local businesses and take language lessons with their library cards.

Besides checking out books and other media, Utica Public Library cardholders can save money at local businesses and take language lessons with their library cards.

Photo provided by the Utica Public Library

UTICA — A Utica Public Library card is not just for checking out books and movies anymore.

In addition to the many programs the library offers free to residents, the library has added a new online language learning program and more discounts at local businesses through its Pioneer Perks program, which is free for those who have a library card.

“Having a Utica library card offers its patrons many great services. One of our newest is the online language program called Mango Languages. With your library card, you can access Mango Languages on any device and learn from over 70-plus languages. It’s a self-paced program, and it’s completely free to Utica library cardholders,” stated Katherine Francis, the children’s services coordinator at the Utica Public Library, in an email.

The language program includes conversation and film-based digital resources to help learn the different languages, including English.

“Mango Conversations is an online database that allows Utica residents to log in and learn conversational languages online and at their convenience. There are so many languages offered through this database, far more than the library could offer with physical CDs/book kits, that we are extremely pleased to offer this to our patrons,” stated Marsha Doege, the Utica library director, in an email.

Mango Languages breaks down full sentences into pieces that are gradually rebuilt to reinforce the language structure and vocabulary.

In order to use the free language program, all you have to do is fill in your profile information, including your library card number and PIN. You can then explore the lessons online or download the Mango app in iTunes or the Google Play store and use your profile information to log in and learn on the go.

Another plus to a Utica library card is that cardholders will be able to get discounts at other businesses around town. Some of these businesses include ice cream shops, pizza shops, tax services, wellness centers, movie theaters and more.

“The Pioneer Perks program allows patrons with a Utica library card to show their card at participating businesses and receive discounts or services. Currently, the Utica businesses participating are Dairy Queen (45814 Van Dyke Ave.), Sam’s Sorrento Pizza (45510 Van Dyke Ave.), Utica Chiropractic Clinic, Liberty Tax Service (45629 Van Dyke Ave.), Michigan TCM Wellness Center and Emagine Theatres (all locations). With the exception of Emagine Theatres, the perks are available at Utica locations only for those businesses that may have branches elsewhere. And the list continues to grow as other businesses join in,” stated Doege.

The library hopes this will not only help the residents, but also the local businesses.

“This was something that I have been thinking about for a while now, and I’m happy to see it taking off. I really love the city of Utica and its history, and I love the community feeling that is here. We are already a unique city, but I wanted businesses and residents to always feel that neighborhood pride. The perks program is another special benefit to being a Utica resident,” stated Francis.

Some discounts with the card include percentages off services, money off a product and more.

Doege hopes that this program can be valuable to the residents.

“Only Utica residents are eligible for Utica library cards, so we’re hoping residents will support the library and our local businesses with this program,” stated Doege.

It doesn’t take long to sign up for a card.

“Utica residents need only bring their driver’s license or Michigan ID card to the library to sign up for a card, and the whole process takes about five minutes. If residents already have a card, they simply present it at the participating business and mention the Pioneer Perks. We have flyers at the library detailing the services offered by each business, and folks can always call us at (586) 731-4141,” stated Doege.