Area Libraries Add Pro Football HOF Passes to New Existing Programs


NORTH TOWNSHIP – A library card is worth more than books these days.

As well as lending a range of tech tools and useful outdoor gear (like sleds and ice skates), some local libraries now offer – or will soon offer – free admission and parking at Pro Football Hall. of Fame.

The North Canton Public Library was the first to offer room passes when it launched its community exploration program in November. The library purchased family passes — including two passes each for the Akron Zoo and Wm. McKinley Presidential Library & Museum — to give away to patrons for free.

“Anyone with a library card can reserve one for a full week,” said Christina Weyrick, the library’s community relations manager. “These are passes for a family of four.”

The online booking system allows customers to check one pass at a time and hold certain dates up to 30 days in advance. Weyrick said the program, which was “led” by library director Andrea Legg, is expected to expand in the coming months to include more spaces.

Zoo and McKinley Museum passes are reused and must be returned to the library, but Hall passes are single-use and collected by the museum ticket office. Weyrick said the library has purchased about 50 passes for the room and will purchase more as needed.

“So this one works a little differently, but it’s probably the most popular pass we have right now,” she said.

Passes cannot be used for special events.

Plain Township resident Melissa Kohan said she and her husband were lured by the North Canton Public Library’s free pass to visit the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

“My husband and I both work for schools and were going away for Christmas, so we thought it would be something fun to do, and it was really easy,” she said. “You just need a library card and register online and that’s it.”

Kohan worked at Hall in the late 1980s and early 1990s and wanted to see how it had changed. But she said they wouldn’t have gone without the library program and could use the Akron Zoo pass in warm weather.

“I just think it’s great that they’re giving other things to the community to get people involved,” Kohan said.

Why give away free passes?

Rich Desrosiers, vice president of communications and public relations for the hall, said the arrangement aligns with the museum’s efforts to connect with the local community and increase memberships.

“We want to get people to visit the museum who may have said, ‘Oh, I’ve lived here all my life, I’ve never been here,'” he said.

General admission to the Pro Football Hall of Fame is $30 for adults and $23 for children, according to profootballhof.com.

Desrosiers said the hall offered the same type of pass to other libraries after seeing how well they were received in the North Township. The museum has collected 12 North Canton Library member passes and two Louisville Library member passes in the past few months.

“For us, that’s great because it’s about 50 people who attended and visited the museum who might not have been otherwise,” said Rob Sine, the Hall’s senior sales manager, who worked directly with libraries.

Sine and Desrosiers credited Legg with starting the library’s outreach. The venue has since provided passes at Louisville, Tuscarawas County and Stark County Libraries.

The Louisville Public Library distributed its 25 passes over two days in November, according to director Brock Hutchison. The library has no immediate plans to offer more.

Stark County District Library plans to add passes to its range – which included the Canton Museum of Art and the Wm. McKinley Presidential Library & Museum for several years.

“We are delighted to have recently entered into an agreement with the Hall of Fame to provide free passes to the Pro Football Hall of Fame,” communications director Stephanie Cargill wrote in an email. “We will start offering these passes in March.”

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